(Editor’s Note: Yesterday’s column contained some incorrect property tax data, updated numbers appear in the piece below) In John Wildermuth’s Fox and Hounds column last week (Prop. 13 and the Unintended Consequence), he unsuccessfully attempts to blame Prop. 13 for virtually all of California’s financial shortcomings. What Wildermuth misses in his drive-by analysis is the […]
In John Wildermuth’s Fox and Hounds column last week (Prop. 13 and the Unintended Consequence), he unsuccessfully attempts to blame Prop. 13 for virtually all of California’s financial shortcomings. What Wildermuth misses in his drive-by analysis is the fact that local revenues, like state revenues, have been increasing far past the rate of inflation for […]
As the President of California Business Properties Association (CBPA) I want to join with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) in recognizing Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week (LAAW), which runs from October 1 through October 5. Between the tens of thousands of CALA supporters and the CBPA membership which totals over 11,000, I can tell you that […]
Despite the announcement late last week that the Governor and Legislature had reached agreement on a budget deal, lawmakers are still hard at work negotiating over which small proposals will fill out the final budget package. These small proposals are often referred to affectionately as budget dust because they deal with relatively small amounts of […]
California is on the verge of adopting CALGREEN, the nation’s first set of mandatory green building standards. And oddly enough, the green building lobby is leading an effort to scuttle this proposal.
They are not opposed because they think CALGREEN standards are weak. Their materials show they are opposing this effort because it would challenge their bottom line and the monopoly they hold on labeling buildings.
When you follow the money and examine the actions of these advocates, led by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) – a private organization – it becomes obvious that the control of who can label a building has taken precedent over a broad statewide policy that would make every building in this state greener.
This provincial perspective and fight over handing out pretty plaques is at the expense of reducing emissions, saving energy and water, and easily applying cost-effective sustainable practices statewide.
Ending years and years of negotiations, countless start and stop efforts, and some of the longest most bitter committee hearings in the Capitol, today’s early morning light saw the California State Legislature finally come to agreement on a package of bills that contain sweeping changes in water policy and an $11 billion bond that must be approved by voters. Reaching resolution on a measure to fix our current system that was designed for 15million Californians so that it will meet the demands of the soon to be 50 million Californians while increasing storage and protecting the delta had proven in the past to be too great a load to lift – but this time it finally came to fruition.
Not wasting any time the Governor and legislative leaders held a press conference only hours after the package of bills were passed. Quick to point out that the legislature finally had reached a resolution of a critical issue the message was clear – all major interests were at the table – environmental, business, labor, agriculture, and water providers – sending a message that the voters of California need to ratify this effort at the polls. The bond package will create tens of thousands of jobs and protects hundreds of thousands more. Now comes the heavy lifting, passing the bond that is needed to fund the storage and conveyance pieces of this package that will assure water supply and delivery. The bond will be on the ballot in November of 2010.
The Legislature’s day-long hearing yesterday addressing California’s future – water, should be a wake up call for everyone that this issue needs to be done now but more importantly – it needs to be done correctly.
The last three years of water shortages have brought us all face to face with the consequences of continued inaction on the water front. Experts at the University of California estimate that cutting off water deliveries to agriculture have cost the state more than 35,000 jobs this year alone. The losses to California’s economy approach $1 billion, and that only counts the amount lost in the Central Valley. The losses statewide for all the businesses that depend upon an abundant, reliable and affordable source of water have been much greater.
When will government finally get it? At a time when California businesses are laying off thousands of people and struggling to keep the lights on, and local governments are having to do the same, here comes word of potentially new state regulations that not only would cost companies tens of thousands of dollars and jobs, but will also dramatically impact local governments — further exacerbating our economic crisis and adding to local governments overburdened responsibilities.
Right now the state is looking to adopt a new “Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance” to encourage greater water efficiency – something that is both needed and strongly supported by all who recognize the importance of conserving water.
In fact, many companies have come to recognize that water efficiency is vital in not only reducing their operating costs, but more importantly help them in reducing their carbon footprints – less water equals less energy, which equals less greenhouse gases.
Ramblings of a 4th of July. It was a beautiful day – sun shining, gentle breeze, clear blue skies, surrounded by family and friends, some I had known for 50 years and some for a few weeks. Lots of food and drink, kids running, swimming, yelling, chasing, and there I was trying to take it all in. Smiling, hugging, shaking hands, laughing, chatting it up –- about the kids, about the weather, about politics… Always back to politics.
Although many of us really do care about what is going on in the world our country and in our state, the sad fact is that not enough pay close attention –- and for politicians that is probably a good thing, because who knows where they would fall on the issues. Does their vote even matter anymore, anyway?
In case you haven’t been paying attention, California has just experienced one of the driest winters since we started keeping records – long before any of us were born. The environmental community and Al Gore have told us Global Warming is just around the corner and that means reduced snow pack in the Sierras – the largest part of our state water system storage.
Oh yes, we can’t forget that the endangered species act is doing what it is supposed to do and protecting the delta smelt resulting in a judge ruling that there has to be as much as a 35% reduction in the water pumped from the delta south to where the people are. 80% of the people are in southern California where only 20% of the rain falls and 20% of the folks are up north where 80% of the rain falls – and the only person in Sacramento paying attention to all of this is Governor Schwarzenegger.