After a years-long fight, SB 1201 moves forward
to the California State Assembly

In early April, then mid-April, and then finally in late-May our coalition held our breath during each senate committee vote as Rise Economy and bill cosponsors Public Advocates watched the LLC Transparency Act (SB 1201) fly over every committee hurdle and moment of opposition. 

An image of Sen. Durazo speaking Tuesday, May 21 at the Senate Floor hearing.On Tuesday, SB 1201 concluded its longest California legislative journey yet after moving out of the California Senate with a 23-10 vote. The bill now moves to the Assembly. Opponents of SB 1201, including state and local landlord groups, the California Association of Realtors, the California Chamber of Commerce and the state budget itself, threatened yet another year of fighting and speaking truth to power.  

“At a time when we are facing a large state deficit, this legislation is simply common sense and would both promote government efficiency and save taxpayer dollars,” said SB 1201 author Senator Maria Durazo.

SB 1201 would protect and support tenants and small business owners by ensuring bad actors are unable to hide behind layers of corporate entities to operate with impunity. It also will enable communities to know and hold accountable who owns businesses and properties in their neighborhoods. 

Without owner transparency, we cannot assess the full extent to which our communities’ assets are actually owned by a small number of corporate entities,” said Rise Economy Chief of Organizing and Campaigns Jyostwaroop Bawa in the Daily Republic. “This limits the ability of policymakers to craft solutions that are responsive to real-world conditions and that ensure low- and moderate-income families can live in stable and affordable neighborhoods and build wealth through homeownership and small business ownership.”

The bill, whose requirements wouldn’t be implemented until 2026, would require all LLCs to disclose the individual who “owns at least 25% of the company’s assets on its registration with the state. It would apply to all LLCs and similar corporations regardless of the size.”

“This is an example of a good governance bill that will fail because of bad governance,” said Bawa in CalMatters. “By not collecting beneficial owner information, the Secretary of State’s office is allowing chaos to continue with impunity.” 

After three years of organizing, this time SB 1201 did not fail. 

We are grateful to bill coauthors Senator Durazo, Senator Dave Min, and Senator Aisha Wahab for championing this crucial bill, and to Public Advocates and our statewide coalition for continuing the forward momentum to achieve greater access to hold back actors across the state accountable.