California’s ‘Score’ for Business Deteriorates

Joseph Vranich
The Irvine-based Principal of Spectrum Location Solutions helps companies plan and select ideal sites for new facilities across the U.S. and internationally.

Down again.

That’s what we can say about California’s “business attractiveness” as its lost is tenth place ranking in a survey of site consultants, published yesterday by Area Development Online. Here is what Editor Dale Buss had to say about the state losing the ranking it had in last year’s survey:

“The state’s reputation with site consultants keeps taking hits — witness Toyota’s announcement earlier this year that it plans to move its corporate headquarters and 4,000 jobs to suburban Dallas from southern California. And so this year, California placed in the top states in only three of the 18 sub-categories, notably ranking third for access to capital and project funding, no doubt a legacy of the continued success of Silicon Valley.”

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Governing the State’s Response to Climate Change

Loren Kaye and Pedro Nava
Loren Kaye is Vice Chairman of the Little Hoover Commission and Chaired the Subcommittee on Climate Change Adaptation. Pedro Nava is Chairman of the Commission and a Former State Assemblyman.

Southern California stands at the front lines of climate change adaptation. Los Angeles County alone is home to 10 million people in 88 cities — and has the state’s largest number of residents who will be exposed to the detrimental impacts of global warming.

Nowhere in California is a population so vulnerable: fronting a rising ocean, supplied by distant sources of water and power and annually fighting scourges of fires and floods.

But until recently, the state and many of our cities and counties have focused primarily on reducing earth-warming carbon emissions, not on what it will take to protect us from the effects of climate change.

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Bill Will Help California Patients with Chronic Conditions Better Manage Treatment

Todd Gillenwater and Jon Roth
Todd Gillenwater is President and CEO of the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) which helps advance public policies that foster medical innovation and promote scientific discovery. Jon Roth is the CEO of the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA,) the largest state pharmacy association in the country which helps promote the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy.

Most patients with chronic health conditions rely on prescription medications as the primary method for treating their disease.  In fact, eight out of ten of all health conditions are now treated with prescription medications.  An alarming number of patients, however, do not take their medications as prescribed, leading to deteriorating health and expensive hospital stays and urgent care visits, which costs the health care system nearly $300 billion dollars every year.

Successful efforts to improve “medication adherence” – taking your medication as prescribed – include increased interaction between patients and healthcare providers and ensuring patient-centered delivery of those medications.  A bill that recently passed the state Legislature with broad bipartisan support, Assembly Bill 2418, by Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), aims to improve medication adherence by promoting some of these same patient-centric strategies.

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Governor Brown – The Bailout King

Ed Ring
Executive Director, California Public Policy Center

“What a salesman,” he said, mockingly. “I guess that’s what you learned … selling that stock that went south.” – California Governor Brown, to challenger Kashkari, during televised debate Sept. 4th, 2014 (ref. SF Gate)

If anyone wants to know what the theme of Governor Brown’s attacks on GOP candidate Neel Kashkari is going to be over the coming weeks preceding the November 4th, election, his remarks in their debate last week would probably provide accurate clues. At least a half-dozen times, Governor Brown smeared Kashkari with accusations of being beholden to his banker friends on Wall Street. You know, those guys who shorted the investments of millions of small investors and turned America into a debtors prison? The sharks at Goldman Sachs? The banker bullies who took taxpayer funded bailouts and then collected billions in personal bonus checks? It will play well.

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Bill Would Push Unionizing Franchise Workers

Joseph Perkins
Political Columnist

The franchise market in California, a keystone of small business in the state, soon could change radically.

The California Legislature last Thursday sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would effectively supersede the contractual agreements between California-based franchises and such national franchisors as Subway, Supercuts, 7-Eleven, Jiffy Lube, RE/MAX, H&R Block, Holiday Inn and The UPS Store.

The measure, Senate Bill 610, was carried by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. It barely advanced beyond on the Assembly floor early last week before winning passage on the state Senate floor, when putative moderate Democrats backed the so-called California Franchise Relations Act after initially withholding their support.

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Last Week’s Gubernatorial Debate Should Have Been the Last

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Did we just watch the last California gubernatorial debate–ever?

Trick question. It appears very few of us bothered to watch last week’s debate between Governor Jerry Brown and challenger Neel Kashkari. If this proves to be the last such debate–a real possibility since there was almost no debate this year–most Californians wouldn’t notice the event’s demise.

We shouldn’t be proud of this state of affairs. Yes, it is perfectly fine for Californians not to follow state politics closely; the world is full of more important things, and there hasn’t been a close governor’s race in 24 years. But a gubernatorial debate ought to offer a moment that is an exception to our inattention. A well-designed public conversation between the candidates could offer our sprawling and splintered state a chance to think about itself as a whole. We’re missing a rare opportunity for California citizens to consider what is most important in our shared civic life, and in preparing for our future.

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A Preview of Six States Battle Running in Scotland, If – Big IF – Six States Qualifies

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Governor Jerry Brown is proud of saying that California stands as the eighth largest economy in the world. It could move up dramatically if Scotland votes in a September 18th referendum to split away from the United Kingdom, currently the world’s sixth largest economy as measured by Gross Domestic Product. Then again, California would drop in the economic standings if voters agree to split the state into six separate states under a proposed initiative.

We should know tomorrow if the Six States initiative has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. With the on-going random sample count of signatures, it certainly doesn’t look good for the initiative qualifying. A report on the Secretary of State’s website appears to indicate the signature count will fall short. However, as of this writing Los Angeles County has not yet reported. The largest number of signatures was turned in there and a strong validity rate of the L.A. random sample of signatures might push the sample signature count high enough to require a full count of every signature.

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What Explains the Decline in Entrepreneurship in California

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

The decision last week by Tesla Motors to locate its battery factory in Nevada attracted the most media attention among economics stories, and generated a new wave of articles about California’s economic competitiveness. But our real concern should be not Tesla (California government did everything possible) but the decline in entrepreneurship in California as elsewhere, and missed opportunities for future Teslas.

Data on the decline of entrepreneurship in California comes from several sources over the past six months. The most prominent have been the Brookings Institution studies by economists Robert Litan and Ian Hathaway: “Declining Business Dynamism in the United States”, and “The Other Aging of America: The Increasing Dominance of Older Firms”. Another major study on declining business start-ups, “The Role of Entrepreneurship in US Job Creation and Economic Dynamism”, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, reinforces the narrative.

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9/11: Our Nation’s Darkest Moment Galvanized Its People and Its Values

Michael D. Antonovich
Los Angeles County Supervisor

Having been in Washington, D.C. on that fateful September day, I personally witnessed the destruction of our Pentagon and the devastating impact that these brutal attacks had on our nation’s capital.

This was an unprovoked act of war designed and carried out by terrorists to weaken our nation and divide our people — they failed.  In the wake of the tragedy, the American people came together with resolve to strengthen their conviction to our core American values — family, faith and country.

On September 12, Congress led the nation in unity by singing “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol.  Here in Los Angeles County, a multi-faith crowd of more than 2,500 gathered for an ecumenical prayer service held at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

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California’s Next Governor

Richard Rubin
Writes about political issues and is President of a public affairs management firm

Neel Kashkari, a self-styled Republican with some impressive credentials, is not going to be elected California’s next governor, but give him credit for trying.

His recent debate with Governor Jerry Brown made for good theater even though neither scored any knockout punches. In the end, however, Kashkari will be looking back on a race that was Brown’s to lose from start to finish.

The last authentic GOP governor of California was Pete Wilson who served two terms in the 1990s.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the next to win carrying the Republican banner—sort of!

In what amounted to a run-up to the open non-partisan blanket primary now in place, after a majority voted for Gray Davis’s recall, all candidates appeared on the ballot under the rules of the special recall election. 

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