Tim Grayson 15th

New laws for 2023 address housing, drought – and bring free books

Tim Grayson 15thCONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Dec. 16, 2022) — Every year, hundreds of new California laws take effect on Jan. 1. This year, the governor signed 997 bills into law, many of which are sure to have a lasting impact on our state and community.

A bill I co-authored with Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, AB 2011, will help California to fast-track housing development along transit corridors and on underutilized commercially zoned lands, such as abandoned strip malls. Importantly, this bill also honors our commitments to workers by requiring prevailing wage and health benefits.

Our housing and affordability crisis is undeniably dire. California averages fewer than 100,000 new units per year, and our state has never, in any year, produced more than 20,000 new affordable homes. In order to simply keep pace with existing demand, which is not enough to address the crisis, we need to build 180,000 new housing units a year, including 80,000 units affordable to lower-income households. We will never reach these goals if we don’t pass measures such as this one to bolster production.

I was proud to co-author this new law to advance our state’s housing goals and to get homes we desperately need built, quickly.

Free books will soon be gifted to California’s children, because bipartisan legislation authored by Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Sen. Shannon Grove is bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library here. The program, which inspires a love of reading and learning in children, will launch here this June.

From birth to their 5th birthday, California children will have access to free, age-appropriate books on a monthly basis. You can find more information on this exciting program at library.ca.gov.

California’s drought is becoming increasingly severe, and we are preparing to have a fourth consecutive dry year. A study published in Nature Climate Change even reported earlier this year that California’s current megadrought is the worst in at least 1,200 years. Water conservation is more important than ever, and that is why I was proud to support Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel’s AB 2142 to make it much easier for Californians to participate in lawn replacement programs sponsored by their local water agency.

AB 2142 enhances the value of rebates for installing drought-tolerant landscaping by exempting them from taxation and, therefore, will strengthen consumer rebates and help Californians save money and water. Over the last three years, California has earmarked more than $8.8 billion to modernize water infrastructure and respond to the drought, and I’m thrilled to see this new law build upon that good work.

Please note: Due to redistricting, as of Dec. 5, I represent the 15th Assembly District, as opposed to the 14th. If you would like to learn more about legislation that was passed in 2022, or share with me your policy priorities for 2023, contact my Concord office at 925-521-1511.