San Francisco supervisors today passed legislation that would expand eviction protections for some residents.

The ordinance, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, would extend just-cause eviction requirements and protections to tenants in units built after 1979, which are not currently covered by those rules.

Avalos said today the proposed law would provide “equal protections” for all tenants. He also noted that the would-be tenants in the thousands of more rental units planned in the city in the coming years would not otherwise have protection against arbitrary eviction.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, however, plans to veto the ordinance, according to his spokesman Joe Arellano.

“He doesn’t believe its good policy,” Arellano said. He said Newsom supports the homeowners and landlords in this case, who need the “flexibility” to be able to evict tenants and move into the units they own if the need arises.

Arellano said the legislation would force the owners, who purchased buildings with the knowledge of the current eviction laws, to pay thousands of dollars to evict tenants.

Seven supervisors voted in favor of the ordinance today, one shy of a veto-proof majority. Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, Carmen Chu, Bevan Dufty and Sean Elsbernd opposed it.
The legislation comes up for a second vote next week.

Also today, Supervisor David Campos introduced legislation that would establish a 13-member medical cannabis task force to provide the Board of Supervisors with “badly needed expertise” on ongoing issues in the community, such as changes in state and federal policy, and on proposals involving cultivation, decriminalization and taxing of marijuana.

The task force would include patient advocates, dispensary managers, attorneys, drug policy experts and community organizers.

The legislation was developed with input from the 23 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco, according to Campos’ office.

Supervisor Eric Mar introduced legislation urging the state of California to reimburse San Francisco for the approximately $2 million incurred in the defense of the so-called “San Francisco Eight,” eight men charged by the state Attorney General’s Office in 2007 with the 1971 fatal shooting of police Sgt. John Young. Charges have since been dropped against five of the men, and two accepted plea deals to lesser charges. The last defendant’s case is still pending.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose office defended one of the men, has been at the forefront of the push to get the money returned. The city is required to pay for private attorneys to defend those the public defender cannot represent due to conflicts and who cannot afford their own lawyer.

Adachi has repeatedly made the case that the city’s budget difficulties have left his office understaffed and forced to turn over more cases to private attorneys.

“This prosecution was initiated by the state,” Adachi said in a prepared statement. “It’s only fair that the state bears the cost of the defense.”

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