March Legislative Update
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
by: Craig Benedetto and Marshall Anderson, California Strategies

Section: Government Affairs

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Legislative Update 

March 2024

By Craig Benedetto & Marshall Anderson, Legislative Advocates 



In a very low turnout election, with only 36% of registered voters casting ballots, all of outstanding ballots are now counted, the March elections are complete.  With this, the November elections are a little clearer with the primaries soon to be certified.  Here are the results from the unofficial results, which will be certified by April 4th:

  • President of the United States: Incumbent Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump swept Super Tuesday and will square off in a rematch for President this November after the other challengers to both candidates announced they were suspending their respective campaigns. 
  • U.S. Senate: Democrat Adam Schiff employed a strategy that thrust Republican Steve Garvey into the runoff. Schiff is largely expected to take the seat that Senator Dianne Feinstein once held for both a partial and full term, although Garvey using baseball metaphors said the game is hardly over.
  • U.S. House of Representatives: All incumbents, except Rep. Mike Levin greatly outpaced their challengers and appear poised to retain their seats but will run-off in November.
    • 48th District: Republican Darrell Issa (62%), Democrat Stephen Houlahan (16%)
    • 49th District: Democrat Mike Levin has been hovering around 51% of the vote.  He’ll face off against Orange County businessman and Republican Matt Gunderson (25.7%) in what is expected to be a nationally watched race
    • 50th District: Democrat Scott Peters (57%), Republican Peter Bono (24%)
    • 51st District: Democrat Sara Jacobs (57%), Republican Bill Wells (40%)
    • 52nd District: Democrat Juan Vargas (65%), Republican Justin Lee (35%)
  • California State Senate and Assembly Races: Four of the seven assembly races were re-elections for incumbents, with all looking like strong bets come November.
  • State Senate, 39th District: Democrat and current Assemblymember Akilah Weber finished near 60% and appears to be a lock for the Senate seat being vacated by Toni Atkins. 
  • 74th Assembly District: Republican Laurie Davies (55%), Democrat Chris Duncan (45%).
  • 75th Assembly District: Marie Waldron’s east county seat is up for grabs with former San Diego City Councilmember and conservative radio personality, Carl DeMaio, the lead vote-getter with 43%. Despite his efforts to promote the Democrat in that race, he’ll face off against another Republican, Andrew Hayes, in November who finished with 19%.
  • 76th Assembly District: Kristie Bruce-Lane, the Republican in the race, finished just below 50%. She will face off against Poway School District Board Member and Democrat, Darshana Patel (34%) for the seat currently occupied by Brian Maienschein who is termed out of office.
  • 77th Assembly District: Democrat Tasha Boerner (57%), Republican James Browne (38%).
  • 78th Assembly District: Democrat Chris Ward is running unopposed.
  • 79th Assembly District: Democrat Colin Parent, CEO of Circulate San Diego and a current La Mesa City Councilmember, was the top vote-getter with 40%. LaShae Sharp Collins narrowly edged Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez for second place by 111 votes.
  • 80th Assembly District: Democrat David Alvarez (59%), Republican Michael Williams (41%).
  • County Board of Supervisors: All county board seats advance automatically. Those up for re-election include Nora Vargas (D), Joel Anderson (R), and Terra Lawson-Remer (D). 
  • City of San Diego: Note: In 2016, City of San Diego voters approved Measure K the top two candidates during a primary election to face off during a November general election, even if one candidate achieves a majority in the primary.
  • Mayor of San Diego: Mayor Todd Gloria finished with just below 50% of the vote and will face off against police officer, Larry Turner, who received 23% of the vote. 
  • San Diego City Attorney: Deputy City Attorney Heather Ferbert (53%) finished first in the primary with current Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (47%) finishing behind. Nevertheless, the two will face off again in November.
  • San Diego City Council: 
  • Incumbent Councilmembers Joe LaCava (District 1), Marni von Wilpert (District 5), and Raul Campillo (District 7) are all running unopposed and will be reseated.
  • District 3: Stephen Whitburn will advance with about 52% of the vote. Homeless advocate Coleen Cusack finished second with 21% of the vote. 
  • District 4: In the special election to fill Supervisor Monica Montgomery-Steppe’s vacated seat, her former chief of staff, Henry Foster, will win outright with 54% of the vote. Because this is a special election, there will not be a forced runoff and Foster will be seated once votes are certified, which is expected in 30 days. 
  • District 9: Incumbent and current City Council President, Sean Elo-Rivera, picked up about 52% of the vote. He’ll face off against police officer, Terry Hoskins (30%). 
  • City of Chula Vista:
    • City Attorney: Marco Verdugo will take over as City Attorney for the unexpired term of the top vote-getter in the last election, who couldn’t be seated due to his untimely passing.
    • District 3: Michael Inzunza was the top vote getter with 49.5%. Second place was tight, but Leticia Munguia edged Daniel Rice-Vazquez for the runoff slot by ~150 votes.
    • District 4: Cesar Fernandez was the top vote getter and former Councilmember Rudy Ramirez placed second. This is former Councilmember Andrea Cardenas seat.  She resigned before her name could be removed from the ballot, but she finished a distant fifth.
    • Prop 1: Only one statewide initiative appeared on the ballot. Prop. 1 is a bond measure that would repurpose monies from the “millionaire’s tax” to pay for mental health treatment facilities. It has been close throughout the counting process and won by 50.2% or less than 30,000 votes statewide out of over 7 million votes cast.
    • Measure A: The City of San Diego’s only measure to appear on the ballot passed overwhelmingly. It would allow the City Auditor to hire independent legal counsel to aid in fraud, waste, and abuse investigations. 

You can view all County of San Diego election results as they are updated by clicking HERE.  You can view the CA Secretary of State’s election results for full statewide results, including results for state districts that cross county boundaries HERE


NOTE: many of the other cities in the County of San Diego have not completed the filing process for their open city council positions.  As the year progresses, NAIOP will provide information on those races when it becomes available.



In a potential match up of competing tax measures, the City of San Diego’s Rules Committee has unanimously endorsed Mayor Todd Gloria’s and Councilmember Raul Campillo’s proposed 1 cent general sales tax increase to pay for city priorities, including infrastructure, services and other needs.  Touting the need, the Mayor and Councilmember Campillo noted that the City of San Diego is facing a budget deficit of $172 million next year and over $1 billion over the next five years, and infrastructure gap estimated at over $4 billion.


This comes on the heels of San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera proposing last month and also garnering unanimous support from the Rules Committee for a storm water infrastructure parcel tax to pay for stormwater and water quality related improvements.  The sales tax proposed by the Mayor and Councilmember Campillo and Council President Elo-Rivera’s parcel tax will potentially be the second and third local tax measure on the ballot, including the recently qualified county-wide sales tax increase to pay for transportation improvements.  The Rules Committee respective support sends both measures to staff to draft specific language, which would then be considered for official placement on the November ballot both by the committee and full Council in the coming months.  BOMA’s Government Affairs Committee will be getting briefings on these measures and considering them as they evolve during the process of placing them on the November General Election ballot.



Following 11 years of discussion, amendments, and hundreds of public meetings, the Board of Port Commissioners voted unanimously last month to adopt the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU) and programmatic Environmental Impact Report. Board members listened to two hours of public testimony, most of which came from the “Embarcadero Coalition,” made up of nearby residents concerned about plans to connect the Airport to San Diego’s mass transit system and density, visual and traffic impacts resulting from the plan’s implementation. On the other hand, the City of San Diego voiced concerns over the lower densities and heights of buildings the Port would allow on its Tidelands. 


The plan, as adopted, outlines future development guidelines for Port-owned parcels around San Diego Bay, with an emphasis on public access, environmental conservation and shoreline protection, and up to 340,000 square feet of new retail space, restaurants, and parks. The plan also opens the door for potentially 3,910 additional hotel rooms by 2050. Commissioners praised the plan’s balancing of issues.  The PMPU will now go to the California Coastal Commission for approval, a process expected to take up to 12 months. To learn more, please click HERE. You can read the full PMPU HERE.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline to file individual and business tax returns for those impacted by recent weather events. Additionally, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will also extend state tax filings and payments. The deadline for both has been automatically moved to June 17 for those residing in the disaster areas, which includes all of San Diego County.  Those outside of areas falling under the declaration are asked to contact the IRS for assistance. To learn more and for IRS contact information, please click HERE.



Former City of Chula Vista Councilmember Andrea Cardenas, alongside her brother, political consultant and former Chief of Staff, Jesus Cardenas, pleaded guilty to two counts of grand theft related to funds illegally obtained from the federal Paycheck Protection Program and the State EDD. The City Council is currently considering candidates to fill the remainder of Cardenas’ term via an appointment process. To read Mayor McCann’s statement in response to the guilty plea, click HERE.



The Encinitas City Council recently discussed projected budget deficits and potential options to raise city revenue. In addition to potentially placing a 1% sales tax increase on the ballot, Encinitas officials also highlighted a potential 2% increase to the Transient Occupancy Tax. Following Wednesday’s discussion, city staff will begin reaching out to impacted stakeholders before returning to city council at a later date with a proposal. A full city council vote would be required to place the measure on the ballot. To view the staff report, please click HERE.



In a departure from the more onerous requirements that were originally proposed, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has introduced new rules that will require disclosures by publicly traded companies to report out on greenhouse gas emission data. The rules will require disclosures on ‘climate-related risks’, and activities to mitigate these activities. Additionally, disclosures must include climate-related targets. The original proposal had called for disclosure for both direct and indirect emissions, including from suppliers.  While the rules are set to become effective in 60 days, it is likely that the SEC’s new ruling may still face litigation.  The US Chamber had objected to the original proposal and is evaluating the new requirements.  The State of California adopted a law that requires the same onerous requirements as the original SEC proposal.  That requirement is currently being challenged in the courts.  You can learn more HERE.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday that Americans who test positive for COVID-19 no longer need to isolate for five days, provided symptoms are mild and individuals do not have a fever. This change in guidance reflects the decreased threat of COVID-19, which has dropped from the third leading cause of death early in the pandemic to the 10th, currently. You can learn more HERE.



The City of San Diego has released a second draft of Blueprint SD, a citywide planning tool aimed at identifying the City’s housing, climate, and mobility goals to better implement them at the community planning level. Blueprint SD is expected to expedite the community plan update process and more than double annual housing production with a select emphasis on building homes near transit priority areas. It is also intended to be a key means to helping the city achieve its climate action goals.  To view a summary of changes, please click HERE. You can read the entire plan HERE and provide comments via email to Comments are due by April 29, 2024. 



This week, City of San Diego staff released a second draft of the University Community Plan Update, which could serve as a community planning guide over the next 20 to 30 years. The plan takes into consideration changes in land use, mobility, infrastructure, urban design, public facilities and services, natural resources, historic and cultural resources, and economic development. To view the updated plan, please click HERE


The City also released the Hillcrest Focused Plan Amendment, also known as Plan Hillcrest. The plan is an amendment to the Uptown Community Plan, which was adopted in 2016. It attempts to address place-making, connectivity, and housing, in addition to celebrating the neighborhood’s unique LGBTQ+ history and culture. 


To view the draft Environmental Impact Report, please click HERE. BOMA members have until April 29 to provide comments: 



The California Chamber of Commerce, along with the California Business Properties Association, which includes BOMA California, and other groups, are requesting opposition to Assembly Bill 2288 (Kaira), which would expand the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). PAGA is often manipulated by trial attorneys, leading to over $10 billion in PAGA settlements since 2013. AB 2288 would invite even more PAGA litigation by allowing the courts to award injunctive or declaratory relief in addition to penalties. To learn more about the bill, click HERE. A statewide initiative to reform PAGA has also qualified for the ballot. The Governor’s Office and members of the business community are attempting to negotiate a settlement to avoid a costly election battle. 



This week, the San Diego city council voted to spend $4.5 million to study charges for trash and recycling services in single-family neighborhoods. The move comes on the heels of Measure B, which was approved in November 22. The measure allows the City to establish a fee for waste and recycling, a service that is currently provided for free in single family residences. The contract approved this week includes community outreach and a study to assess the efficiency of current waste collection practices. The plan anticipates approximately $80 million in new revenue should fees be implemented. To learn more, click HERE.