Special to the Vanguard
Sacramento, CA – Another major union, the District Council of Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ of Northern California, released a letter this week endorsing SB 423, Senator Scott Wiener’s legislation to extend SB 35 (2017), one of the state’s most successful tools for accelerating development of affordable housing. They join a large and growing chorus of union support for the bill, which together represent the majority of the state’s unionized residential construction workers.
The new announcement also follows Attorney General Bonta’s declaration earlier this week that SB 35 should be extended, made at a press conference Monday announcing a lawsuit against the city of Elk Grove for allegedly violating SB 35. “From where I stand,” Bonta said of SB 35, “it should be renewed.”
SB 35’s streamlined approvals have proved to be enormously successful at increasing affordable housing production in communities failing to keep pace with their housing goals—helping develop over 13,000 units of affordable housing and tens of thousands of high-wage jobs in the four years since it went into effect. With the law sunsetting at the end of 2025, Sen. Wiener’s new bill, SB 423, would extend its provisions—and add strong new labor standards signed into law last year by Governor Newsom that will ensure it continues to produce both affordable housing and stable, high-wage jobs for California workers.
“The growing chorus of support from California workers and housing leaders for extending SB 35 is a recognition that we cannot allow this critical affordable housing tool to lapse,” said Senator Wiener. “Our state has committed to building 2.5 million homes in the next 8 years, and the only way to do that is by partnering with workers. SB 423 will extend wage and healthcare protections to hundreds of thousands of construction workers that currently lack them, helping to build and retain the workforce we need to tackle our housing crisis.”
SB 423 is sponsored by the California Housing Consortium, California Conference of Carpenters, the Inner City Law Center, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, and California YIMBY.