Senator Caroline Menjivar Joins the White House State Legislative Convening on Junk Fees
Representing the state of California’s legislative bill package to combat junk fees, including Menjivar authored SB 611, requiring transparency in rental housing fees
Washington, D.C. – During the President’s State of the Union address on February 7, 2023, President Biden proposed a federal Junk Fee Prevention Act, and California is striving to lead the way in protecting consumers and renters through state action. Today, Senator Caroline Menjivar (D-San Fernando Valley) joined the Biden-Harris Administration for the White House State Legislative Convening on Junk Fees. She spoke as a representative of California’s 6-bill legislative package combatting junk fees, and as the author of SB 611.
The California legislative package includes:
• SB 611 Menjivar (D-San Fernando Valley), rental housing
• SB 666 Min (D-Irvine), small business financing
• SB 680 Skinner (D-Berkeley), electric vehicle pricing
• AB 8 Friedman (D-Glendale) & Irwin (D- Thousand Oaks), ticketing
• AB 537 Berman (D-Menlo Park), lodging
• AB 1222 McKinnor (D-Inglewood), car rentals
During the White House State Legislative Convening, Menjivar said, “In California, my colleagues and I are joining White House efforts to end the use of junk or hidden fees. Junk fees place detrimental burdens on tenants and contribute to housing instability.” Regarding the consequences of junk fees for rental housing in her district, Menjivar continues, “This issue is always top of mind for me because the communities I represent in L.A. County have extremely limited affordable housing, and I myself experienced housing insecurity as a youth after my family was evicted from our home. Too many families in my community, and throughout California, experience similar circumstances. They live one financial hit away from being evicted. We must act, and every solution that contributes to a family’s economic stability makes an impact.”
Menjivar then went on to speak on the bill she authored, SB 611, which seeks to enforce transparency in the rental housing market by requiring landlords to clearly state to potential renters what their up-front and monthly payments will be. Junk and hidden fees have been proliferating in rental housing, forcing renters to pay much more than the advertised price per month. Renter protections can be increased by capping late or cleaning fees, and limiting mandatory application, administration, property insurance, check cashing, trash valet, roommate fees, and more.
Renters must know the true cost of a rental unit in order to decide if they can afford it in the first place, as well as accurately plan for their financial futures.
This virtual event included Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Ambassador Susan Rice, Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor, Lael Brainard, Assistant to the President and National Economic Council Director, CFPB Director Chopra, New York State Senator James Skoufis (D), and Vermont Minority Leader, State Senator Randy Brock (R).
At the conclusion of her speaking portion, Senator Menjivar stated, “Thank you to the Biden-Harris Administration, and state leaders across the country, in bringing awareness to this issue.”