IIDA California Chapters Weigh in on State Legislation

June 1, 2023

Advancing Equity, Sustainability, and Educational Facilities

This year, over 2,630 bills were introduced across the Senate and Assembly houses–a higher number of bill introductions than is typical and the highest number in over a decade. This crush of bills paired with the State’s projected $31.5 billion budget deficit, foreshadows an unlikely future for some initiatives with big price tags. With the 2023 Legislative session nearly halfway complete, we wanted to provide an update of IIDA’s California chapters’ actions on a few pieces of key legislation.

The Northern and Southern California chapters of IIDA have joined together to adopt positions on seven bills which align with our chapters’ missions and core values. These bills include equity, climate and sustainability-focused initiatives, as well as two bond proposals that would, if passed by voters, provide funding for new construction to repair and modernize school facilities for California’s students.

Photo credit: Josh Hild

IIDA supports Senate Bill 306, a climate-conscious building decarbonization initiative that would provide opportunities to better protect residents from the harms of extreme heat, wildfires, and local air pollution. IIDA believes California’s buildings should promote the health and well-being of occupants–providing necessary shelter from the worsening impacts of climate change–while recognizing how decarbonizing buildings can help combat climate change. IIDA supports this opportunity brought forth by Senator Anna Caballero, to improve buildings in the State, minimize our carbon footprint, and advance the safety of all Californians. 

Assembly Bill 529 Would require the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), in consultation with other state agencies to research and develop, and to consider proposing to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), revisions and clarifications to the California Building Standards Code pertaining to adaptive reuse development projects. Given the State’s ongoing housing crisis–adaptive reuse is an area gaining traction to help increase housing supply.  As experienced commercial interior designers, we appreciate the usefulness and significance of turning commercial properties into housing and look forward to enhancing future conversion projects with our expertise.

Senate Bill 28 and Assembly Bill 247 are both general obligation bonds that, if passed by voters, would fund construction and modernization of school buildings for California’s students. It is anticipated that ultimately only one of the bills will proceed and the Senate and Assembly will negotiate a final bond proposal.  The Senate-side bond, SB 28, focuses on school facilities funding for preschools, K-12, and colleges. The Assembly-side proposal, AB 247, would fund capital projects for transitional kindergarten, K-12 and community colleges. If these measures are passed this session, they would appear for voter consideration on the 2024 statewide primary ballot.  IIDA members design educational facilities across the state every day. We support the improvement of California’s educational facilities that we know assist in improved learning outcomes for students.

SB 306, SB 28, and AB 247 have been passed by their respective houses of origin and have moved into the second house where their assignments to a policy committee(s) are pending. AB 529 is currently on the Assembly floor, awaiting votes that could send it onto the next house. All bills must be passed by their house of origin by Friday, June 2nd in order to move forward this year. We look ahead to continuing our support for these initiatives along the way, and monitoring their progress throughout the remainder of the legislative session. 

IIDA continues to support Assembly Bill 342 which was introduced with support from AIA California., which allows the California Architect Board to ask licensees to provide demographic information including race, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity at the time of initial license and at the time of renewal. AB 342 is well on its way, having already been assigned to two policy committees in the next house: Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development as well as the Judiciary Committee. Our chapters believe the collection of this demographic information will bring value to the industry at large, advancing us toward our shared Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals. 
IIDA maintains a support if amended position on SB 816, which makes minor modifications to certifications for Interior Designers. SB 816 passed the Senate Floor on Wednesday, May 24th and is on its way to the Assembly-side where it will soon be assigned to a policy committee(s). For more information outlining our position, check out our previous blog Senate Bill 816 Pledges Collaboration.

For more information regarding IIDA’s Advocacy efforts, visit each chapter’s Advocacy resources:
Northern California Advocacy
Southern California Advocacy