We are disappointed to announce that late last night, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 323 (Wieckowski). This means it will be effective on January 1, 2020. We worked hard to defeat SB 323 and I am proud of the work we’ve done. We came very close, especially on the Assembly Floor where the bill passed and was sent to the Governor with NO votes to spare. It would not have been so close without your hard work at the grassroots level, nor would the bill be as it is written now. Believe it or not, SB 323 was even worse when it was first in print and our opposition forced the bill to be amended to account for the problems we pointed out. While we’re disappointed in the outcome, we were very successful in reducing the bill’s negative implications. Your efforts, in the form of phone calls, letters, e-mails, social media messaging, and in-person visits with legislators, made a big difference – and nearly made all the difference.
SB 323 will implement the following, effective January 1, 2020:
- It limits the right of an association’s membership to set qualifications for candidates. It prevents non-owners from running for the Board and allows associations to disqualify candidates only if they have been owners for less than one year, if a joint owner was on the Board or a candidate, if they have been convicted of a felony that jeopardizes the Association’s fidelity bond insurance, or if they were delinquent in assessments.
- It prohibits associations from ever suspending an owner’s right to vote.It requires the inspector of elections to be an entity or individual with no previous contractual relationship with the association, which disqualifies an association’s existing managers, attorneys and accountants, among others. This will be a new cost for many associations.
- It requires associations to post the requirements for running for the Board at least 30 days before the nomination deadline.
- It requires associations to post the list of candidates, deadline for returning ballots, time and place of the annual meeting, all 30 days before ballots are mailed.
- It allows owners to review the signatures of all other owners on the outside mailing envelopes, and to copy voter lists, including parcel numbers. As a condition of casting a ballot, homeowners must give up their right to keep their signatures private.
- It makes member e-mail addresses part of the membership list available to all members, upon request. Members can opt out of having their e-mail addresses included with the membership list, but the bill makes NO allowance for e-mail addresses that have already been provided to associations.
I would like to thank our entire legislative team (Delegates, Liaisons, and LSC Members) and our Advocate in Sacramento, Louie Brown, for their tremendous work this year. But I would especially like to thank you — our member homeowners, homeowner leaders, managers, and business partners for everything you’ve done to support our efforts to oppose SB 323 and all of the other successes we’ve had this year. Thank you!
Nathan McGuire, Esq.