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  • Archive for July, 2014

    Jul 11

    SUMMER RECESS HIATUS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Legislature has shuttered the Capitol to protect it from the 108 degree Sacramento Summer Days and gone home for break.  We hope that they and you get to spend some quality time with loved ones over the next few weeks for vacation.

    Because of the lull in activity, the eWeekly will also take a little siesta until August 8, they Friday when they come back.  But don’t worry, we will be here keeping an eye on the place and preparing for the final push of Session.  And we will definitely alert you of any major breaking news.

    Jul 11

    UNFAIR LIEN AND LABOR BILLS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Two labor-backed bills that could place pull your business into labor disputes that you have nothing to do with, Will be considered when the Legislature comes back in August.  We oppose both bills and are strongly urging all of our members to get engaged locally on these measures.  Make sure your members know about them and reach out to local legislative offices to explain how they would impact your operations.

    AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens.  This bill creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

    AB 1897 (Hernandez; D-West Covina) Labor Contracting; Client Liability.  This bill would force one company to essentially insure the wage and hour obligations, workers’ compensation coverage, and occupational health and safety duties of a separate employer’s employees, which will discourage the use of contractors and their employees.

    The CalChamber has identified both bills as “Job Killers,” and a large coalition of business groups are marshalling forces in Sacramento to educate legislators about negative impacts of these bills.  But we need your help locally.

    Jul 11

    PROPERTY RIGHTS IN AMERICA’S COURTS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    If you value property rights, you should know about Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF).   A non-profit, public interest legal organization, PLF is the nation’s leading litigator for property rights.  PLF is donor-supported and represents all clients without charging attorneys’ fees.  Our cases are typically “David v. Goliath” stories, where we’re going up against overreaching bureaucracies.

    PLF attorneys recently scored their seventh precedent-setting victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District.  This ruling held that land-use permits can’t impose unjustified conditions, including excessive demands for cash.

    A few of the property rights cases that PLF is litigating in California right now:

    • In San Jose, they are challenging the “inclusionary housing” mandate that forces builders to set aside some residential units at below-market prices or pay into an affordable housing fund.
    • In San Ramon, they are challenging a “community facilities” tax on construction, designed to help pay not for new facilities, but for spiraling pension costs.
    • In the nine-county Bay Area, they are challenging “Plan Bay Area,” a zoning scheme that would squeeze most new development into just five percent of the region’s surface area.

    For more information, Click here.

    Jul 8

    HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    What started out as a celebration to mark our young nation’s independence from England more than 200 years ago, has evolved into a national holiday that celebrates the American spirit and our nation’s independent and powerful leadership in the world. Our nation was founded by recognizing a person’s inherent rights and responsibilities. We were founded on the principles of equality, religious tolerance, and opportunity. These beliefs have been challenged many times over the years, but have always been defended by men and women willing to protect these principles, sometimes by risking the ultimate sacrifice.

    As you celebrate this year take a moment to reflect on the unique and great nature of this country and to thank those who have given their lives to defend our way of life, as well as the current men and women in uniform in harm’s way. Because we have the freedom to do so, we sometimes get lost in the details of whatever societal argument we are currently in and a day like the 4th of July provides a good opportunity to spend time with family and friends, enjoy our freedoms, and reflect on what a truly great nation we live in.

    Jul 8

    ON TIME STATE BUDGET – HURRAY!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Let’s take a moment to celebrate the State of California passing another on time budget.  Hurray! Whether or not you like everything in the budget, the fact that we went from years of chronic inability to perform this most basic function of government in a timely manner is something that should be noted.

     

    Jul 8

    UNFAIR LIEN AND LABOR BILLS PASS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Two labor-backed bills that could place pull your business into labor disputes that you have nothing to do with, passed two Senate committees in the past week.  We oppose both bills.

    AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens.  This bill creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

    AB 1897 (Hernandez; D-West Covina) Labor Contracting; Client Liability.  This bill would force one company to essentially insure the wage and hour obligations, workers’ compensation coverage, and occupational health and safety duties of a separate employer’s employees, which will discourage the use of contractors and their employees.

    The CalChamber has identified both bills as “Job Killers,” and a large coalition of business groups are marshalling our forces in Sacramento to educate legislators about negative impacts of this measure.  Both bills move to the Senate Appropriations Committee where we will continue the battle and ask that all of our members get involved.

    Jul 8

    CEQA LAWSUIT USES AFFORDABLE HOUSING AGAINST ARENA PLAN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A CEQA lawsuit has been filed by a group calling itself the Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity against the planned redevelopment of Sacramento’s downtown mall an new arena.  The group states it supports the project but has filed the lawsuit to force more affordable housing out of the deal.  Click here for more detail on the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit has left many people scratching their heads and pointing to the lawsuit as just the most recent example of CEQA lawsuit abuse over issues that have nothing to do with the environment.  Local columnist, Marco Breton, has gone so far as to call the lawsuit a “shakedown,” and states that the group isn’t “even trying to hide the mockery they are making out of CEQA to pursue what they want.”  Click here to read Mr. Breton’s full article.

    Jul 8

    STATE BOE BUILDING WILL TAKE FIVE YEARS TO FIX

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Sacramento Bee reports that an iconic State Building in Downtown Sacramento is so riddled with problems that it will take a minimum of five years before issues are addressed.  It is reported that the state-required paperwork, will take two years to complete.  Click here for the story.

    Jul 8

    TITLE 24 – NON-RESIDENTIAL LIGHTING

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California Energy Commission newsletter from October has some good, plain English, information about the new Non-Residential lighting Standards.  Check out the “What’s new for Non-Res” stuff relating to lighting is on Page 3 & 4.

    For those who want to get “more into the weeds.” Here is a ling to the full standards.  Many of the summary points above reference the specific section of the standards which can be accessed by Clicking here.

    This is information you need to know!

    Jul 8

    GOV’S ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP AWARDS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Below is information regard the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards.  The GEELA program recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy. Applications are due Friday, July 11, 2014.

    If you have given similar awards locally, we highly encourage you to move those projects forward for  statewide recognition.  In years past several commercial properties have participated in this program. If you are at a local association, we encourage you to look at member companies that have recently been recognized, as the same nominating materials can easily be adapted to this recognition.  If you have a potential nomination, please strongly consider submitting!

    2014 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA) program are available by Clicking here.

    Jul 1

    SPLIT-ROLL PARCEL TAX BILL – DEFEATED!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    THANK YOU!  Thank you, to all of our members that engaged in advocacy on the split roll property tax bill.  Because of your contacts with members of legislative leadership and members of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, this bill was “held in committee” and is effectively dead for the year.

    SB 1021 (Wolk; D-Davis) Split Roll Parcel Tax.  This bill sought to authorize a split roll parcel tax practice that was found illegal last year in what is referred to as the “Borikas” case. Effectively the bill would have allow local school districts to discriminates against commercial property owners by allowing a higher parcel tax than what is imposed on residential property.

    After two weeks constantly working on the measure and educating legislators on the negative impacts, the bill was soundly defeated on a bipartisan vote of 1 “aye,” 3 “not voting,” and 5 “nays.”

    SB 1021 was identified as one of the biggest threats to property owners and was tagged as a “Job Killer” bill.  Over fifty companies and organizations helped with opposition and worked along-side with us to defeat this measure.

    However, we would like to express a special “thank you” to our primary coalition partners who walked the halls of the Capitol on a daily basis, California Taxpayers AssociationCalifornia Chamber of CommerceNational Federation of Independent Business.  This good news would not be possible without these groups working to protect your interests on a daily basis in Sacramento.

    Jul 1

    JOB KILLER BILL RIGHTLY REJECTED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our friend Allan Zaremberg from the CalChamber has penned an op/ed about the demise of SB 1021.  This is an interesting read:

    The Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee did the right thing by rejecting an unfair, discriminatory split roll bill that would have raised rents and costs for all businesses, especially small businesses.

    SB 1021 (Wolk) sought to allow a school district to impose a parcel tax on property used for commercial purposes as opposed to residential properties.  Similarly, the bill would have allowed a school district to impose a parcel tax solely on properties that exceed a certain square footage so as to only include commercial property and exclude residential property for higher tax rates.

    SB 1021 sought to re-define the term “special taxes that apply uniformly” to mean special taxes that may be applied discriminatorily and unfairly.

    The committee turned back an assault on California’s historic commitment to uniformity and fairness in property taxation.

    Policy makers understood the flaws in this proposal and its potential to kill jobs. The increased costs faced by commercial property owners under SB 1021 would have been passed along to consumers or resulted in hiring reductions or cuts to benefits for workers in local communities.

    Click here to read the story at Fox & Hounds.