High-Profile California Housing Bill Dies Without A Vote: ‘I’m Deeply Disappointed’

The highest-profile bill moving through the California Legislature aimed at addressing the state’s housing crisis has effectively been killed for the rest of the year.

Proposed by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, Senate Bill 50 would have rewritten zoning laws and forced local governments to allow taller apartment buildings and other multi-family complex near transit areas and job centers.

The legislation touched a nerve for local government officials who said that the bill would override their local zoning restrictions and housing plans. It also worried some housing advocates, who feared that any new construction in urban centers would displace longtime residents.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, announced in a Thursday budget hearing that he would make Wiener’s proposal a “two-year bill,” which makes it so the bill is held for the rest of the year. While SB 50 could still get amended, it won’t be considered again until 2020.

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