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What is the most influential group in California's housing debate?

A construction worker works on a site in San Jose. (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)
A construction worker works on a site in San Jose. (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

California's housing affordability crisis is driven by a shortage of new home construction. 

For the last two years, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers have introduced legislation to make it easier for developers to build. But for even longer than that, the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, the labor group representing construction workers, has pushed for higher pay in homebuilding. The union also has used its considerable sway at the Capitol to influence a key housing cost study and target state bureaucrats and academics it believes have opposed higher pay standards.

The union's opposition was one of the main reasons Brown's housing plan failed last year, and its lack of support for similar pending bills looms over the current housing debate.

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