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  • Archive for January 14th, 2011

    Jan 14


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    CALGreen, the nation’s first statewide green building code, is now mandatory for all new construction.  Training on this new code is now more important than ever.  Green Technology’s CALGreen training, developed in partnership with the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development, has proven the most popular and effective introduction to this new code.  Here are dates for upcoming Seminars:

    Ventura, 26 January

    San Jose, 2 February

    Irvine, 9 February

    Sacramento, 23 February

    San Francisco, 9 March

    For more information and a full list of our upcoming seminars, click here.

    Jan 14


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    The State Legislative Analyst Office has released an overview of the Governor’s Budget and generally had praise for the plan.  Mac Taylor stated that “We think the Governor’s package is a good starting point for legislative deliberations,” but noted that the budget does rely on some risky assumptions, such as the legislature approving such a large amount of cuts and voters approving to tax themselves $12 billion.  Click here to see the LAO’s review.

    Jan 14


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    The California State Assembly Budget Subcommittee on State Administration will hold a hearing at 2:00 p.m. on February 7, for an overview and discussion of the Administration proposal to eliminate Enterprise Zones and Redevelopment Agencies.  You can watch the hearing on the Assembly’s website.

    Jan 14


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    Governor Brown’s budget also proposes to fundamentally change the role that state and local governments play in local development activities. State tax benefits for enterprise zones are eliminated and the current funding mechanism for redevelopment agencies (RDAs) is phased-out. Eliminating RDAs, to save $1.7 billion, is particularly troubling to local officials and developers alike.

    Although the plan is anticipated by the Governor to return “billions in property tax revenues to schools, cities and counties and help pay for public safety, education and other services,” those familiar with RDAs believe this action may actually have an negative impact on local revenues by decreasing economic activity and eliminating jobs.

    John Shirey, Executive Director for the California Redevelopment Association, reacted to the proposal with concern that the proposal was penny wise, but pound foolish. “The state and local governments have very few tools to stimulate the economy, but redevelopment is the exception,” stated Shirey in a press release. “Redevelopment is already a locally-governed service, which generated hundreds of thousands of jobs and puts people to work at a time when unemployment is soaring over 12 percent. Redevelopment contributes tens of billions of dollars to our economy and is responsible for more than $2 billion in state and local taxes each year.”

    In addition to the fiscal impact of reduced economic activity, some are concerned that the elimination of RDAs will also make it more difficult for the State of California to reach goals set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and the nation’s first law linking greenhouse gas emissions to land use (SB 375), by making urban growth more difficult. Communities use redevelopment for cleaning-up brownfield sites, building infill projects, and producing affordable housing.

    Although many Capitol Insiders do not think this proposal has a real chance of actually being included in the final budget, we are taking the proposal very seriously and working with a coalition of groups to make sure we educate the Governor’s office and Legislators about the absolute importance of Redevelopment.

    The Governor’s proposal now goes to the Legislature where these issues will be “debated” at length. We will be educating lawmakers about the important role that RDAs play in revitalizing downtowns, creating jobs, and facilitating sustainable growth.

    Click here to read the full press release from the California Redevelopment Association.

    Jan 14


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    Calling it a “Tough budget for tough times,” Governor Jerry Brown released the first spending plan of his third term less than one week after being sworn into office.  The Governor’s Budget proposes total spending of $127.4 billion for the 2011-12 fiscal year, $84.6 billion of which is from the State’s General Fund.

    The spending plan seeks to eliminate an 18-month budget gap, estimated at $25.4 billion, with $12.5 billion in spending reductions, $12 billion in taxes, and $1.9 billion in other solutions.

    The major program cuts proposed include $1.7 billion to Medi-Cal, $1.5 billion to California’s welfare-to-work program (CalWORKs), $750 million to the Department of Developmental Services, $500 million to the University of California, $500 million to California State University, and $308 million for a 10 percent reduction in take-home pay for some state employees. Brown also plans to trim state government operations by $200 million through a variety of actions, including reorganizations, consolidations and other efficiencies.

    The Governor is starting with cuts in his own office.  He has ordered an immediate cutback of 25% ($4.6 million) in his own staff operations, eliminated the Office of Secretary of Education ($7 million), and used only 16% of the funds budgeted for the Gubernatorial Transition.

    The taxation proposal in the budget calls for an election in June 2011 where voters will be asked to continue personal income and sales taxes as well as the Vehicle License Fee rate, both of which are set to expire this year, for an additional five years. Finally, the budget also requires all corporations to use a single sales factor when measuring income attributable to California.

    Click here for full information on Governor Brown’s budget proposal.