U.S. COVID-19: Update on California SB 939

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
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Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to send SB 939 to the Senate Suspense file for further evaluation. Senator Scott Wiener attended the hearing and advised the committee that he is working on significant amendments to the bill to better address the concerns of all stakeholders, which should be available in the coming days. He mentioned that the amended bill will, among other things, remove the lease termination option for “softer” language that will continue to incentivize landlords to re-negotiate their leases in light of the realities of the current environment, shorten the time period of the eviction moratorium for commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19, and tailor the benefits of the bill to small businesses most in need of a lifeline. Senator Bates, who is the Vice-Chair of the committee, also asked Senator Portantino, the Chair of the committee, to consider balancing the impacts on both sides of the equation and reviewing the fiscal impacts of the bill, namely, with regard to loss in property tax revenues for the State and the bill’s impact on public property. We will continue to monitor this bill as new developments arise.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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