This year’s CHLA Legislative Action Summit showcased the strong voices of California hotels and the impact they are having on state and local policy-making.
Held in-person for the first time in two years in Sacramento, hoteliers heard from California’s Attorney General, elected representatives, and state regulators. Importantly, all of them heard from attendees, who focused on improving public safety, reducing high-frequency ADA litigation, and promoting the state’s hospitality recovery.
“Advocacy for our hotels, for our employees, and for California’s hospitality industry is one of the most important roles hoteliers have,” said Lynn Mohrfeld, CHLA President and CEO. “After two years of closures because of the global pandemic, it’s incredibly important for us to pursue level playing with STRs, reasonable taxation, and beneficial regulation so that hotels and hospitality can generate the economic recovery that benefits so many in California.”
“After two years of closures because of the global pandemic, it’s incredibly important for us to pursue level playing fields, reasonable taxation, and reduced regulation so that hotels and hospitality can generate the economic recovery that benefits so many in California.”
– Lynn Mohrfeld, CHLA President and CEO
California’s 5,500+ hotels and 292,000 employees represent a significant segment of the state’s economy:
- $24 billion in federal, state, and local taxes
- $83 billion in state GDP contributions
- $70 billion of guest spend at hotels and hospitality
Before meeting with dozens of state senators and assembly members, attendees heard from a variety of speakers, including:
- Attorney General Rob Bonta, who focused on public safety and crime reduction. “We’re stopping organized retail crime because it hurts business, hurts tourism, hurts employees, and the public. The smash and grab videos we’ve all seen are unacceptable and we’re making progress in preventing these types of crime and holding perpetrators accountable.” He also praised hotels for the work they’ve done in helping reduce crime: “Our success isn’t possible without hotels, owners, and the hospitality industry. I recognize the important role you play in our communities.”
- Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, who addressed hotels’ economic recovery. “It’s gonna be a long haul as international and convention travel is a long ways away. That said, we’re California, the diversity of our geology is huge—no one else has that. We’ll come back.”
- Julee Malinowski-Ball, Public Policy Advocates, focused on the legislative process: “State senators and assembly members want to hear from you. Your voice is powerful, particularly, if your hotel is in their district.”
In their meetings with individual legislators, attendees focused on issues being considered in bills and the budget, including:
- Assembly Bill 2390, which would have allowed the aggregation of the values of the property involved in one or more cases of shoplifting or theft, making it easier to enforce anti-theft laws.
- Assembly Bill 2162, which would collect $4 on new business licenses to fund identifying and remedying construction-related ADA deficiencies in small business properties.
- Gov. Newsom budget, which would allocate $45 million to Visit California for tourism marketing promotion to extend media campaign to attract visitors to California.