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  • Archive for February 15th, 2013

    Feb 15

    U.S. REQUIRES POSTER CHANGE FOR EMPLOYERS OF 50 OR MORE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Employers with 50 or more employees are required to display an updated federal family leave poster starting March 8. Click here for more information from our friends at the CalChamber.

    Feb 15

    ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS COMPLIANCE MANUALS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The 2013 Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Compliance Manuals are posted online and the Energy Commission is seeking comment. We are asking member companies that have the capacity to review the manuals to do so and submit any comments to CBPA for compilation and submission on behalf of the industry. For inclusion into this letter, comments are due by Close of Business, February 18, 2013. Click here for the full listing of Compliance Manuals.

    Feb 15

    CAP-AND-TRADE IMPACTS SEMINAR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Now that the state has implemented a cap-and-trade program one of the most common questions we get is “how will this impact commercial real estate?” The program is a critical piece of the state law curbing climate-changing greenhouse gases (AB 32) and impacts are predicted to be somewhere between reducing GHG’s and attracting more businesses to our clean and green state; to a mass-exodus by people that can’t afford the higher energy rates. But in general, nobody really knows how the real estate market and businesses will react.

    However, on Feb. 28, those that want to be ahead of the planning for Cap-and-Trade impacts and understand the complicated moving parts can join Capitol Weekly and the University of California, at the UC Sacramento Center for a detailed discussion.

    This meeting marks the seventh conference on major policy and political issues sponsored jointly by Capitol Weekly and the UC Center. The California Channel plans to record the event for later broadcast.
    There will be four panel discussions – two in the morning, two in the afternoon – and a keynote luncheon address by Sen. Fran Pavley, the original author of AB 32. If you are interested in participating in this discussion, click here. Space is limited.

    Feb 15

    DOE COMMERCIAL BUILDING ENERGY ASSET SCORE – INPUT SOUGHT

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Department of Energy is moving forward with a new rating system, “commercial building energy asset score,” and is seeking input on certain aspects of the program. The program will apply to a large variety of commercial building types.

    Last week, DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit input on key issues associated with this voluntary score. We are seeking input from members. If you are interested in providing input regarding the score, please submit your comments by replying to this email by March 4, 2013. If your company would like to submit comments on its own, please refer to instructions in this link.

    As background, the score provides information regarding the efficiency of a building’s major energy consumption systems and is intended to enable greater understanding of building performance and potential savings. Through the use of a free, on-line scoring tool, building owners and operators will be able to generate a score along with recommendations for how to improve the efficiency of their buildings.

    The scoring tool applies standard assumptions about a building’s operations (based on building type) in order to calculate a score that reflects the building’s energy efficiency, not the behavior of its occupants. More detailed information concerning the scoring methodology and other program features are outlined in a document entitled “Commercial Building Energy Asset Score: Program Overview and Technical Protocol Version 1.0.” For more information, click here.

    This score will impact your buildings and will most likely be used by California Regulatory Agencies in the future to guide data collections and building ratings in the future. Thank you for any input you may be able to provide on this important issue.

    Feb 15

    FEDERAL INTRODUCTION OF MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On February 13, the bipartisan Senate and House sponsors of “The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” (S. 336 and HR 684) held a press conference in the Capitol in conjunction with the introduction of their bill, which is aimed at leveling the playing field between online-only sellers and brick and mortar retailers. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), authors of the Senate bill in the previous Congress, were joined this time by freshman Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) as an original cosponsor. Heitkamp is the former Tax Commissioner for North Dakota, who nearly 20 years ago filed an action in state court to force the Quill Corporation – an out-of-state mail-order office equipment retailer – to charge a North Dakota use tax on Quill merchandise to be used within the state. Eventually the Quill case reached the U.S. Supreme Court where the high court ruled that the problem “is not only one that Congress may be better qualified to resolve, but also one that Congress has the ultimate power to resolve.”

    California has passed its own version of this policy and is currently collecting millions of dollars of these previously uncollected sales taxes for items purchased in our state. However, a federal solution that treats all states in the same manner is still sorely needed in order to maximize collection of sales taxes owed to the states and to provide market stability across the nation.

    Again, at the federal level, “The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” would require states to provide a minimum level of simplification, including the simplification called for by the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Some of the simplification requirements for a state include providing a single point of remittance, a more uniform sales and use tax base and free software for remote sellers that assists in calculating and filing sales and use taxes. Also included is a generous small seller exemption to businesses with $1 million in total remote sales per year. A group of 18 Senators and 35 Representatives have joined as sponsors in the reintroduction. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) particularly mentioned the strength of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, a business and retail group ICSC is leading. For more information on this issue, please visit www.21stcenturyretail.org.

    Feb 15

    CEQA REFORM HOT TOPIC IN SACRAMENTO AND STATEWIDE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    CBPA is part of a broad coalition of businesses, schools, hospitals, local governments, affordable housing advocates, transportation advocates, and many others who are pushing for modernization of the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.

    The CEQA Working Group is working to aggressively advocate the need for CEQA reform. In the past weeks, the coalition has generated dozens of positive newspaper editorials, articles and op-eds in support of CEQA reform. The coalition is also releasing weekly case studies, which highlight the frequent misuses of CEQA and the consequences of frivolous CEQA litigation on our economy and environment.

    Discussions in the legislature are ongoing, with Senate President Darrell Steinberg and Senator Michael Rubio currently working to introduce legislation that could potentially serve as the framework for CEQA reform. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.