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  • Archive for June 30th, 2017

    Jun 30

    HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” — President Ronald Reagan

    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.

    Jun 30

    ASSEMBLYMEMBER COOPER STATEMENT ON SINGLE PAYER THREATS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The following is a press release by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) on recent threats of violence aimed at legislators.  The irony of the Reagan quote above and the fact that our politics has taken such a violent turn recently is not lost on us.  We are running the statement in full as we believe its importance cannot be understated:

    Assemblymember Jim Cooper Issues Statement on Adverse Reactions on Single Payer Healthcare Legislation

    Sacramento – Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) released the following statement in response to recent provocations surrounding SB 562 and single payer healthcare:

    “I would like to express my deepest condemnation of the cowardly acts being provoked by the proponents of single payer healthcare. As a 33-year law enforcement officer, I have seen first-hand how threats impact victims and their families. It is never justifiable to incite violence and threaten the lives of an elected official, their family, or any person.

    No matter how just the cause, any person that condones violence, stands in complete disdain of our democracy and the principles that we as Americans and Californians will soon be celebrating on our nation’s day of Independence.

    I am extremely disappointed and saddened that those who support an admirable cause have resorted to reckless, irresponsible and completely inexcusable actions to voice their opposition to a decision made by a leader in our state. I stand in strong solidarity with my colleague, Speaker Rendon’s decision to hold the single payer healthcare bill pending further work and discussion. He did so to address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, and the realities that the bill was immensely incomplete.

    I call on the proponents of single payer healthcare to immediately denounce the violence and threats to members of the Legislature and their families.”

    Assemblymember Cooper represents the Cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi.

    Jun 30

    THE GRAVE ISSUE OF INCREASING PROPERTY TAX REVENUE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our good friend Joel Fox, Editor of Fox and Hounds Daily, has penned another great article about Proposition 13 and the political dynamics of property taxes.

     “My fellow Baby Boomers and I can help raise tax revenue for schools and local governments—all we have to do is die. That’s the message I got from this Bloomberg News headline: Boomers Nearing End of Life Seen Helping California Tax Revenue.

    The news story reports on a brief issued by the Legislative Analyst’s Office that examines how aging baby boomers die or move to smaller quarters freeing homes around the state for new buyers. Under the Proposition 13 tax system, the property tax cap comes off when a home is sold and taxes are set at one-percent of the new market value established by the purchase price. Given the increase in home values over the years, the LAO predicts such activity would provide a significant boost to property tax revenue.”

    Click here to read the rest of the op/ed.

    Jun 30

    VACANCIES AND RENTS UP AT MALLS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our friends at ICSC report that “the national retail vacancy rate rose to 10 percent in the second quarter, from 9.9 percent in the first quarter, according to real estate research firm Reis. The mall vacancy rate grew slightly, by 0.2 percent, to 8.1 percent in the quarter from the previous quarter, Reis said in its quarterly report. Net absorption, which is measured in terms of available retail space sold in the market during a certain time period, fell to 421,000 square feet in the quarter, from 2 million square feet in the first quarter, the lowest level since 2011. A spate of store closings by chains such as Payless Shoe Source and Macy’s drove the trend. Meanwhile, national asking rents grew by 0.4 percent to $20.64 per square foot, and effective rents increased by 0.4 percent from the first quarter, according to the report.”

    Jun 30

    AB 1553 WILL PROVIDE HELP WITH ADA UPGRADES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We are in support of AB 1553 (Cervantes; D-Riverside) a bill that makes changes to the Capital Access Program for Small Business to enable more businesses can access funding to make their properties into compliance with ADA codes. This bill authorizes the use of moneys in the California Americans with Disabilities Act Small Business Capital Access Loan Program (ADA program) fund for payments to borrowers to provide incentives to participate in the ADA program, which will enable more properties to make upgrades.

    AB 1553 would also expand the definition of eligible applicants for this program to include those with less than $5 million in total gross annual income, assuring that more small businesses will benefit and even more properties will become compliant.

    This bill will be heard next week and we will keep you posted on its progress.

    Jun 30

    SB 700 ENERGY STORAGE INITIATIVE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We are in support of SB 700 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) a bill that will establish a statewide system of rebate programs to subsidize the cost of installation of customer-sited energy storage.

    SB 700 would authorize the Investor Owned Utilities to collect revenue for the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for the ten-year period (2018-2027) to incentivize the installation of small-scale energy storage which will complement the increasing amount of renewable energy coming on-line.

    The power output of standard rooftop solar energy systems is the greatest between the hours of 10am to 3pm.  However, as the state moves towards Time-of-Use utility rates, the renewable energy produced during the middle of the day will be at the cheapest rate when demand for power is low while power used during the late-afternoon and early-evening will be at the highest rate when demand for power surges.

    Complementing the installation of distributed renewable energy systems with on-site or near-site energy storage systems will provide significant cost savings to the utility customer while offering the added benefit of providing for improved grid harmonization.

    SB 700 will help provide incentive funding to encourage the installation of these much needed energy storage systems.

    This bill will be heard next week and we will keep you posted on its progress.