In Pursuit of California for All, IIDA’S California Chapters Expand Legislative Platform

July 22, 2022

Last year, IIDA’s legislative relations hit a major and meaningful milestone, with both California chapters taking support positions on bills aimed at limiting construction’s carbon footprint. This year, IIDA’s legislative wingspan continues to broaden. The Northern and Southern California chapters again adopted support positions on two climate-related bills, and also voted to support a measure that would improve disability access to commercial buildings and provide funding for that work. 

SB 1297, authored by Bay Area Senator Dave Cortese, promotes use of low-carbon building and construction materials. Senator Cortese authored the suite of bills that garnered IIDA’s support last year, and also earned the California chapters’ first-ever Legislator of the Year Award. SB 1297 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 3.

Sharing SB 1297’s climate-conscious building objectives, AB 1369 (Bennett, D – Ventura) would make important changes to the Buy Clean California Act (BCCA) of 2017 to provide updated and thorough information on the global warming impact of building and construction projects. AB 1369 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 1. 

SB 1297 and AB 1369 are closely aligned to the objectives of the IIDA Climate Action Committee, which you can learn more about here.

Finally, AB 2164 by San Jose member Alex Lee, would allow small businesses to access funds from business license or permit filings for disability access improvements. Additionally, the bill would make permanent the collection of those fees, which would provide a reliable funding source for the accessibility improvements. Supporting this bill was an easy decision for IIDA leadership to make. Commercial interior designers conceptualize and execute public environments, and we have the responsibility and distinct honor to champion universal design practices. AB 2164 acknowledges the importance of that practice, and would support California’s small businesses in implementing them as well. “Universal design was a matter of practice before it was a matter of law,” says IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “IIDA believes that access and equity are inherent in what designers do,  AB 2164 is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

California remains the vanguard of progressive environmental and social change. IIDA members understand the impacts that our built environments have on our precious natural environments, and are uniquely positioned to minimize those impacts. 

These three bills will be heard again in committee, and if passed out, will also need to pass a full floor vote before they reach Governor Newsom for either passage or veto. Check back in with the IIDA Newsroom for additional updates.