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  • Archive for June 24th, 2011

    Jun 24

    ENERGY REGULATORS TO HOLD WORKSHOP THAT WILL IMPACT YOU

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On Wednesday, July 6, the California Energy Commission’s Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee will conduct a workshop jointly with the California Air Resources Board, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Independent System Operator Corporation, and California Public Utilities Commission to discuss updates to the California Clean Energy Future.

    We encourage participation from our members in this meeting that will update the California Clean Energy Future to reflect Governor Brown’s 2020 energy policy goals as well as the recently enacted 33 percent renewable portfolio standard.  If you care about energy prices, this proceeding will directly impact you.

    The agencies are looking for feedback on how to measure progress in meeting the policies identified in the California Clean Energy Future Overview document and on how to execute the policies and track progress in a “transparent and effective” way.

    Click here for more information on this energy proceeding.

    Jun 24

    MANDATORY COMMERCIAL RECYCLING MEETING

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As the state moves forward implementing mandatory statewide commercial recycling regulations, the responsible regulatory agency, CalRecycle, is conducting a workshop to seek stakeholder input.  As part of the state’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the landmark AB 32, the proposed mandatory commercial recycling rules attempt to reduce greenhouse gases by focusing waste reduction within the commercial sector and requiring businesses and multifamily units of 5 units or more that produce more than four cubic yards of solid waste per week to recycle. 

    At the workshop, staff will present the results of additional economic analyses done for the proposed regulation and changes to the regulatory language since January.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. at the CalEPA Building in Sacramento. Participation via webcast will be available.

    Since this regulation may have a major impact on our members, we encourage those interested and knowledgeable in this area to review the regulations and either participate in the workshop or provide us with feedback and concerns to carry to the meeting on your behalf.

    More information can be found on the Mandatory Commercial Recycling regulations by clicking here.

    Jun 24

    ANTI-DEVOLOPMENT BILL MOVES FORWARD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A bill that has become known as a “litmus-issue” for labor, advanced from the Assembly Local Government Committee on a party line vote.  SB 469 (Juan Vargas; D-San Diego) would require additional economic and community impact analyses for retail developments that are 90,000 feet or larger and sell groceries.  The open secret in the Capitol is that the purpose of this bill is to allow certain company’s projects to more easily be harassed by activists.

    Although the bill hit a tiny hiccup in committee, a “courtesy” vote at the last minute let the bill move forward.   The author, Senator Juan Vargas from San Diego quickly devolved into union talking points about “living wages” when questioned about policy aspects of the bill.  When questioned as to why the bill had such a convoluted definition of retailer, another policymaker from San Diego Assemblymember Ben Hueso talked about how the bill was going to help “end monopolies” in this nation. 

    Here is an interesting summary about the hearing.

    The bill next moves to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.  We need your continued help to communicate with legislators that this bad bill should be stopped now, in this committee. 

    Click here then go to “get involved” to send a letter.  ICSC members should click here.

    Jun 24

    BUDGET VETOED – SPLIT ROLL NOW ON THE TABLE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Just one week after Governor Brown vetoed a version of the budget sent to him by the Legislature that was deemed “unbalanced,” he has mentioned the specter of a split roll property tax as a way to balance the budget. 

    Yesterday the Governor responded to a question about efforts to change Proposition 13, which provides tax protections to both residential and commercial properties by stating that the “core of Prop. 13” is important to Californians and unlikely to be changed “anytime soon” (i.e. no changes to residential). But he said, “If the taxes are not extended, I believe there will be efforts to accelerate the reassessment of commercial property, or other efforts” (i.e. reach into your businesses pocket for more state revenue).

    This statement is clearly understood to mean that the failed budget talks could lead to an initiative fight that would not just be limited to Brown’s plans to raise sales taxes, vehicle license fees, and income taxes, but provide another opportunity for forces that have long sought to create a split roll to rear up once again.

    The Governor said he expects labor groups to pursue changes to Prop 13 that would make it easier to raise taxes on commercial properties.  Two years ago split roll initiatives were submitted to the Secretary of State, but ultimately abandoned in favor of another measure.  Those proposals, however, remain in the pipeline and could quickly start moving forward again.

    According to several recent studies, a split roll property tax would be devastating for our industry and harm the state’s prospects for economic recovery.  We hope the Governor’s comments were just “off the cuff” and not part of a more organized effort to raise your taxes in this manner.