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  • Archive for February 1st, 2013

    Feb 1

    GOVERNOR FILLS VACANCY ON STANDARDS COMMISSION

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Cheryl Roberts to the California Building Standards Commission. She fills the “local fire official” seat on the commission which became vacant after the retirement of Rose Conroy. Roberts has served in various positions at the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District since 1992, including battalion chief, fire captain, fire academy coordinator and paramedic. Roberts is a Republican.

    Feb 1

    CEQA REFORM

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In reaction to the Governor’s speech where he mentioned reform of the California Environmental Quality Act:

    “We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act. Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.” Governor Jerry Brown, State of the State, 1/24/13

    The CEQA Working Group released the following reaction:

    “We thank the Governor for his statements in support of regulatory reform, emphasis on modernizing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). We look forward to working with the Governor and legislative leaders to achieve these objectives. CEQA is a great law that has unfortunately been misused– discouraging investments in our communities that not only foster economic growth and job creation, but help us meet our environmental and greenhouse gas reduction goals.” ¬ Carl Guardino, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Co-Chair, CEQA Working Group:

    “Modernizing CEQA is essential if we’re to successfully grow our economy. With thoughtful, responsible changes, CEQA can be modernized to function in a way that contributes to, not stands in the way of, the economic and environmental vitality of California.” Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair, CEQA Working Group:

    The CEQA Working Group is a broad coalition representing business, labor, schools, hospitals, clean tech, transit, affordable housing and other organizations that are pushing for moderate reforms to CEQA that will preserve its original intent – environmental protection and public disclosure – while eliminating some of the misuses of CEQA that hurt job creation, community renewal and our environment.

    Feb 1

    GOVERNOR’S AGENDA – CLIMATE CHANGE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here is what Governor Brown Had to say about Climate Change:

    When we think about California’s future, no long term liability presents as great a danger to our wellbeing as the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    According to the latest report from the World Bank, carbon dioxide emissions are the highest in 15 million years. At today’s emissions rate, the planet could warm by more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, an event unknown in human experience. California is extremely vulnerable because of our Mediterranean climate, long coastline and reliance on snowpack for so much of our water supply.

    Tipping points can be reached before we even know we have passed them. This is a different kind of challenge than we ever faced. It requires acting now even though the worst consequences are perhaps decades in the future.

    Again California is leading the way. We are reducing emissions as required by AB 32 and we will meet our goal of getting carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

    Key to our efforts is reducing electricity consumption through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances. Over the last three decades, these pioneering efforts have saved Californians $65 billion dollars. And we are not through yet.

    We are also meeting our renewable energy goals: more than 20% renewable energy this year. By 2020, we will get at least a third of our electricity from the sun and the wind and other renewable sources—and probably more.

    Feb 1

    GOVERNOR’S AGENDA – WATER

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here is what Governor Brown Had to say about water:

    Central to the life of our state is water and one sixth of that water flows through the San Joaquin Delta.

    Silicon Valley, the Livermore Valley, farmers on the East side of the San Joaquin Valley between Fresno and Kern County and farmers on the West side between Tracy and Los Banos, urban Southern California and Northern Contra Costa, all are critically dependent on the Delta for Water.

    If because of an earthquake, a hundred year storm or sea level rise, the Delta fails, the disaster would be comparable to Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy: losses of at least $100 billion and 40,000 jobs. I am going to do whatever I can to make sure that does not happen. My proposed plan is two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, designed to improve the ecology of the Delta, with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration. Yes, that is big but so is the problem.

    The London Olympics lasted a short while and cost $14 billion, about the same cost as this project. But this project will serve California for hundreds of years.

    Feb 1

    GOVERNOR’S AGENDA – JOBS – CEQA

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here is what Governor Brown Had to say about jobs:

    California lost 1.3 million jobs in the great Recession but we are coming back at a faster pace than the national average. The new Office of Business and Economic Development — GoBiz —directly assisted more than 5,000 companies this past year.

    One of those companies was Samsung Semiconductor Inc. headquartered in Korea. Working with the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County, GoBiz persuaded Samsung to locate their only research and development facility in the world here in California. The new facility in San Jose will place at least 2,500 people in high skill, high wage jobs. We also leveled the field on internet sales taxes, paving the way for over 1,000 new jobs at new Amazon distribution centers in Patterson and San Bernardino and now Tracy.

    This year, we should change both the Enterprise Zone Program and the Jobs Hiring Credit. They aren’t working. We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act. Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.

    California’s exports are booming and our place in the world economy has never been stronger. Our ties with The People’s Republic of China in particular are deep—from the Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific in 1848 to hosting China’s next President in Los Angeles last February. This year we will take another step to strengthen the ties between the world’s second and ninth largest economies. In April, I will lead a trade and investment mission to China with help from the Bay Area Council and officially open California’s new trade and investment office in Shanghai.

    Feb 1

    GOVERNOR DELIVERS STATE OF THE STATE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    This week Governor Jerry Brown gave a very upbeat “State of the State” speech in which he declared that “California is back,” after suffering through years of cuts and out of balance budgets. “California has once again confounded our critics,” said the Governor. “We’ve wrought in just two years a solid and enduring budget. And by God, we’re going to preserve and keep it that way for years to come.” Addressing the added tax revenues brought about by the recently passed Proposition 30, Brown stated, “guard jealously the money temporarily made available.”

    Click here to read a full transcript of the speech.

    Feb 1

    OVERHAUL OF ACCESSIBILITY REGULATIONS ADOPTED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In an action strongly supported by industry and local government, the Building Standards Commission has adopted a regulatory package that overhauls the disabled accessibility standards for commercial and government buildings and for public housing.

    For over twenty years, California has maintained and enforced its own set of disabled accessibility standards, separate of those enforced at the federal level by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The subtle differences between the state and federal standards have led to costly litigation and prompted the Legislature to take action last year in the form of SB 1186 (Steinberg and Dutton). Among other things, the industry-supported SB 1186 established a prohibition on “demand for money letters” from plaintiffs alleging violations of the federal or state access regulations. The legislation also requires plaintiffs to specify which provision(s) of the code are in question and how the alleged non-compliance prevented their access to the building.

    In a regulatory effort that compliments SB 1186, the Division of the State Architect (DSA) has reformatted California’s regulations, using the federal DOJ ADA regulations as the basis for California’s code while at the same time maintaining those state provisions which were more stringent (as required by statute).

    After two days of extensive debate, DSA’s regulatory package was adopted unanimously by the BSC. The updated standards will take effect on January 1, 2014 and for the first time, local building departments will be required to plan, check and inspect for compliance with both federal and state provisions.

    CBPA/CBIA led the coalition of 19 industry and governmental organizations who strongly supported the Building Standards Commission’s adoption of DSA’s regulatory package.