Advocacy & Legislative Activity

CHLA is dedicated to protecting your hotel through extensive advocacy and legislative efforts. CHLA, as the voice of California’s lodging industry, participates at all levels of government, ensuring our members’ interests are clearly represented and fervently pursued. Across California, CHLA actively lobbies the California State Legislature, as well as administrative and regulatory agencies in a consistent effort to protect our members’ rights and have a significant impact on public policy. To facilitate operations on the local level, CHLA has established partnerships with regional lodging and destination marketing associations to address issues that may have a wider effect on the industry.

As part of our process, we engage, create, and partner with coalitions to further goals common to the hospitality industry’s interests. For our stakeholders, we provide the latest information regarding proposed and upcoming laws and regulations enacted at the state level, often with detailed operational summaries to keep properties compliant with new mandates. At the end of each legislative session, we compile a comprehensive annual CHLA Advocacy Summary to highlight our efforts, new laws hoteliers should be aware of, and much more.

Public Policy Advocates LogoCHLA’s Board of Directors sets the policies and priorities for the association under the guidance of the Government & Legal Relations Committee, while CHLA’s Political Action Committee (CHALPAC) operates under the stewardship of our PAC Committee. Approved policies and advocacy positions are implemented by CHLA’s President + CEO and Advocacy Director, in conjunction with Public Policy Advocates (PPA), CHLA’s contract lobbying firm.

Legislative Priorities

As an industry, we recognize that hotels can play an important role in fighting human trafficking, which is why CHLA worked closely with Senator Atkins in 2018 to ensure the passage of SB 970 requiring hotel employees to complete at least 20 minutes of human trafficking awareness training. CHLA provides hoteliers with access to free training and indicator cards that teach employees how to identify and report this heinous crime.

With greater insight and understanding of how human traffickers operate, hotel employees are better prepared to recognize suspicious behavior and report trafficking incidents.

CHLA members comply with all local ordinances, including business registrations and licenses, insurance, and fire and safety protocols. Our members also pay the required taxes and submit to regular audits verifying that the owed taxes are collected. Hotels that observe these rules and regulations are at a competitive disadvantage with short-term rentals that do not obey the law or pay the required taxes and fees.

Considering the growing trend of Airbnb ‘investor’ units, CHLA fights for an even playing field with short-term rentals operating as illegal hotels in residential areas.

Social and nightlife venues are an economic driver for many hotels. CHLA believes less stringent alcoholic beverage control, such as extended service hours, will increase tax revenue and tourism as well as revitalize business districts where hotels are located.

California must compete with Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami Beach and New Orleans, all of which have late-night service hours beyond 2 a.m. CHLA supports efforts, like those of SB 905 (Wiener, 2018), allowing destination cities to authorize certain businesses to serve alcohol until 4 a.m.

CHLA aims to limit unnecessary and costly regulation impacting the business community by working with various state agencies, including the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Cal/OSHA and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Transient occupancy tax (TOT) rates affect the flow of tourism. The fiscal burden rests on hotel guests, and a high TOT may force travelers to seek lodging outside of the city or state – impacting hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the area.

The hospitality industry proudly invests in local communities, contributes significant tax revenue and provides lifelong career opportunities; therefore, it is imperative that hotels remain affordable lodging options for domestic and international travelers, which is why CHLA opposes any increase in local TOT rates.

As a Partner State Association of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the California lodging industry is well-represented in Washington, D.C. AHLA, via their volunteer leadership, sets legislative and regulatory priorities to create a favorable framework for the U.S. hospitality industry to prosper.

CHLA’s involvement on the national level includes participation in AHLA’s Board of Directors, Government Affairs Committee, and Labor Relations Council as well as annual attendance at AHLA’s Legislative Action Summit, traditionally with one of the largest state contingents. Additionally, CHLA has excellent relationships with AAHOA, the American Resort Development Association, the U.S. Travel & Tourism Association and is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

For the latest information on national issues, please click here

CHLA is my connection to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.  Through their legislative programs, and those of the American Hotel & Lodging Association nationally, our property is protected from adverse legislation and has benefited from all CHLA’s efforts in all aspects of governmental affairs time and time again.

– Luis C. Barrios – General Manager, CHLA Past Chair