Testimony by Rob Lapsley

Thank you Madame Chair, Senator Weiner and members.

My name is Rob Lapsley and I am President of the California Business Roundtable. I am joining you today to strongly oppose SB 939.

During this crisis, we have been working to develop and implement the Governor’s executive orders and many local governments emergency ordinances on rent caps, evictions and other issues in the multi-family and commercial property sectors.

We support these public policy measures and continue our efforts to ensure they work successfully for property owners and families and businesses.

During this incredibly stressful time we also focused on the challenge that a crisis in one or more sectors of our economy due to the pandemic could not and should not be a catalyst for public policies that create and cascade a crisis in other sectors such as housing and commercial property.

But today we once again face that same challenge in SB 939.

If the goal is to help restaurants the state should prioritize financial resources and help support restaurants – not unfairly shift the crisis to property owners which will in turn shift the crisis to banks and then to shareholders — which in reality are many of the small business owners you are trying to help.

It is clear that this bill has significant constitutional problems. We hope that
this should be clear and persuasive enough to vote no on this measure. We
will be pursuing these issues in the courts if needed.

We know amendments are being discussed. We will look at these under the
consideration that they do not cascade a whole new crisis in other sectors of
our economy.

SB 939 cannot send the wrong message for the future capital investment we
need to grow out of this recession and to return workers back to their jobs
as quickly as possible.

We respectfully ask for a NO vote.

Thank you.