2022 brings some new laws that may be of interest to California Architects. Here are some of those new laws.
New Laws Sponsored by AIA California
Zero Net Carbon Continuing Education
To help California architects prepare for rapidly changing building standards and client expectations, and to be leaders in the country, AIA CA sponsored AB 1010 (Marc Berman – Palo Alto) to require California architects to take five hours of coursework in Zero Net Carbon every two years, beginning with the 2023 renewal year. AIA CA is developing quality coursework and will make it available without charge for the 2023 renewal cycle.
The California Secretary of State’s office began rejecting names of newly formed general stock architectural firms in the Fall of 2019 if the firm name contained a last name of an architect and the word architect. The paperwork for a new architectural general stock corporation named Smith Jones Architects, Inc., for example, would be rejected. AIA CA successfully sought to have language to fix this problem added to AB 830 (Heath Flora – Ripon). AB 830 was signed into law, allowing newly formed architectural general stock corporations to once again use the last name of an architect and the word “architect” in its firm name.
New Housing Laws
The Legislature considered several bills related to housing. Many bills failed to pass the Legislature. Some significant bills, though, did pass and become law. For example, SB 9, which requires ministerial approval of some housing development, and SB 10, which allows a local government to adopt an ordinance to zone any parcel for up to 10 units, became law.
Here are reports from the Senate Housing Committee and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development on the legislation heard in those committees in 2021. Not all of the bills listed passed and became law. Indeed, only those that have a Chapter number in the status line (e.g. Chapter 517, Statutes of 2021) passed the legislature and were signed into law by the governor.
New Employment Laws
2021 did some changes to employment law, some of which may be of interest to architectural firms and employees.
The California Chamber of Commerce has prepared a report highlighting some of those new employment laws.
Here is the California Chamber of Commerce Report.
New Sustainability Laws
SB 68 (Josh Becker – San Mateo) requires the California Energy Commission to develop and publish guidance on best practices to help reduce barriers for building owners to transition to electric equipment and appliances, and install electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment; and authorizes awarding of moneys from an existing grant program, funded by surcharges on energy ratepayer utility bills, for technological advancements that reduce the costs of electrifying building-related applications.
SB 596 (Josh Becker – San Mateo) requires the California Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy for the state’s cement sector to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than December 31, 2045.
AB 1124 (Laura Friedman – Burbank) increases the development of solar needed for the state to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals and build a reliable electric grid.