The City Council has all but given up on earlier plans to hire a lobbyist to work against a state Assembly bill that would mandate vacancy decontrols in cities that pass rent control laws.
Several council members held out hope that a lobbyist could be hired if the bill--sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Costa (D-Fresno)--reaches the state Senate, but Councilman John Heilman said the "word we get from Sacramento is that if we send someone up three weeks from now, it will be too late."
Councilwoman Helen Albert said she had already made plans to travel to Sacramento to lobby before the bill reaches the Assembly floor in early May. The four other council members also said they hoped to lobby against the bill.
The council is working on a rent control bill that is expected to feature some form of vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to raise rents after a tenant vacates an apartment.