CLTA-PAC: The Political Challenges in California
California has one of the most active Legislatures in the Country:
Unlike some other states that have a biennial legislature (such as Texas, Nevada, North Dakota), California’s State Legislature meets every year for approximately nine months.
This translates into many of California’s 120 legislators being essentially “professional” politicians who are very active in pursuing new legislation. In other states where the politicians are not meeting every year, the pressure on the industry lessens significantly in the off years.
For better or worse, California’s State Legislature is very active and generates approximately 1,500 bills a year, of which approximately 700 bills reach the Governor’s desk and are signed.
California has very well organized and well-funded plaintiff’s attorney associations, large unions, and very active “consumer” groups:
California has a very active plaintiff’s bar that is also a major contributor to legislators and regulators. Almost every year, California sees a number of bills introduced by the trial attorneys that have an adverse impact on many industries.
So-called consumer groups are also very active in California and often sponsor or support legislation that has an adverse impact on insurers, real estate transactions, foreclosures, etc. While these groups mean well, their activities and sponsored bills often pose serious threats to the real estate industry, including the title companies involved in virtually all real estate transactions and funding.
Thus, trial attorneys, unions, and consumer groups are very active and well-funded organizations that have tremendous impact on Legislation introduced in California. Unfortunately, CLTA often sees these groups cross-pollinating each other and creating an even more challenging arena in the State Legislature.