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  • Archive for February 11th, 2011

    Feb 11

    RESPONSE TO REPORT CRITIQUING REDEVELOPMENT

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    On February 9, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released a report critical of findings of an independent study commissioned by the California Redevelopment Association, which found that eliminating redevelopment could jeopardize more than 304,000 jobs annually. Unfortunately, the LAO’s critique is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the report’s methodology. Click here to view the response from the authors of the original report, Dr. David Gallo, Professor of Economics, Chico State University, and Dr. Gus Koehler, Principal Time Structures, Inc. Their response clarifies these inaccuracies in the LAO’s report.

    Feb 11

    RDA/ENTERPRISE ZONE ELIMINATION BATTLE RAGES ON

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    As part of a coalition of more than 60 local governments, elected officials, business groups, and labor groups, environmental leaders, and affordable housing advocates, we have been working hard to stop the proposal to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies in California.  This week, hundreds of stakeholders descended on the Capitol to attend three different hearings exploring both issues.  We reaffirmed the value of redevelopment by communicating testimonies and success stories from various locations throughout the state, and provided examples of how such monies are used to provide jobs and stimulate local economies.

    The battle continues next week with a joint hearing of the Senate Transportation and Housing and the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committees. They will be discussing “Redevelopment and Affordable Housing Finance.”

    Feb 11

    REGULATORY REFORM HEARINGS

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    Business groups have complained for years that the California regulatory system is cumbersome, inefficient, and dampening the economic recovery.  Last year, several bills were introduced meant to relieve some of the pressure, only to die in early policy committees.  However, with California falling deeper, harder, and longer into recession than some other parts of the country, Legislators and non-business policy groups are taking a second look at what can be done. 

    To that end, this week the E3 (Environment, Education, and Energy) Roundtable of the Republican Caucus, held a hearing and invited the Little Hoover Commission, and business representatives to discuss the issues and provide a variety of suggestions on how the existing regulatory development process could be improved. One point that seemed to resonate with lawmakers was the fact that many state agencies have an inherent conflict of interest when producing an economic impact analysis of their own regulations. The homebuilders stressed the need to have access to a “neutral” third-party within state government who could, on an as-needed basis, critique the regulatory impact analysis produced by a state agency. 

    We are expecting more than a dozen bills on regulatory reform this year, and will do everything we can do identify those ideas that make the most sense, and help push them to the Governor’s desk.

    Feb 11

    GOV’S WATER CHIEF WANTS DELTA WATER DIVERSION

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    “The Brown administration’s top official on Delta matters said this week he is confident a new aqueduct can be built to divert water from the Delta for water users in Southern California.”  Jerry Meral, who was also with the first Brown Administration as the deputy director of the state Department of Water Resources from 1975 to 1983, then also supported the controversial Peripheral Canal that would have skirted the Delta to move Sacramento River water to the south.  Meral is currently Brown’s deputy secretary for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and also has very strong environmental credentials.  This is stirring up the imagination of the many constituency groups that want to fix California’s water supply and conveyance system.  Read more about it here.

    Feb 11

    GOV DROPS STATE BUILDING SALE

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    The Governor has decided to drop the sale of 11 office properties that the previous administration had pursued in order to raise $1.2 billion in immediate cash for the state budget.  “Selling state buildings is the ultimate in kicking the can down the road,” he said.  The deal would have had the state sell several office buildings to private investors and then lease them back over a 20 year period.  The Legislative Analyst’s Office criticized the plan estimating that it would prove “costly” for the state in the long run and was the equivalent to borrowing at 10.2% interest over the next 35 years.  Aside from the LAO criticism, a group of former building authority members had filed suit to block the deal.  Click here for more information.

    Feb 11

    BILL INTRODUCTION DEADLINE ALMOST HERE

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    So far this year your California State Legislature has introduced just over 700 separate pieces of legislation.  However, next week is a major Constitutional marker in the process, known as “Bill Introduction Deadline.”  Basically, all bills need to be introduced by then to be considered this year.  Since procrastination is king in the Capitol, over the next seven days we expect that the number of bills introduced will more than triple.  This means a lot of reading for your staff in Sacramento.  Please help us out by paying attention to your local papers, at Chamber lunches, or when you bump into your Assemblymember at the store, and let us know if you hear about any proposals that might have an impact on our industry.