SB 50, Senator Scott Wiener’s bill to boost housing production near transit and job centers, has been defeated. The bill fell three votes short on Wednesday, and Wiener was unsuccessful in his reconsideration request today.
The bill was stalled in the Senate last May when the Chair of the Appropriations Committee deferred action on the bill until 2020. On January 24, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins moved it to the Rules Committee, which she chairs, and Senator Wiener introduced amendments designed to address certain concerns regarding local control and potential impacts on low-income residents. The amendments included a “local flexibility plan” that would allow local agencies to create alternative housing plans that are designed to produce the same number of units as SB 50 compliance would. The amendments also added a neighborhood preference for 40% of new low, very low and extremely low income units developed under SB 50.
Both Governor Newsom and Senator Atkins have indicated that regardless of the fate of SB 50, some form of legislation to increase housing production will be passed this year.