What Do We Want? Homes! When Do We Want Them? Now!

Stuart Waldman
President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association

Last week, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association released its list of 2019 Legislative Priorities, which are developed by our board of directors and then voted on by our members. Once again, housing is at the top of our members’ list of concerns. VICA’s top legislative priority for 2019 is to “support the development of housing at all economic levels to address homelessness and the workforce housing crisis in Los Angeles.”

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Cautious Paddling on the First Budget

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

In looking at Governor Gavin Newsom’s first budget and the reaction to it, it appears that former Gov. Jerry Brown’s famous canoe has not been retired. There was a little paddling on the left (more money for education, homelessness, and health issues) and paddling on the right (boosting the rainy day fund and one-time funds to pay down debt and pension obligations).

One-time payments won’t fix the debt and pension problems but it’s a start.

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California’s Budget Surplus Ignores Crushing Debt Burden

Edward Ring
Edward Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, delivered an inaugural addressearlier this week that accurately reflected the mentality of his supporters. Triumphalist, defiant, and filled with grand plans. But are these plans grand, or grandiose? Will Governor Newsom try to deliver everything he promised during his campaign, and if so, can California’s state government really deliver to 40 million residents universal preschool, free community college, and single payer health care for everyone? It’s reasonable to assume that to execute all of these projects would cost hundreds – plural – of billions per year. Where will this money come from?

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California’s Reliance on International Trade

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

In 2011, then Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, in his Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda, recognized the important role of international trade to the state of California, stating:

“…the state must become a better partner in preserving and enhancing California’s position as a preeminent hub in the global economy. At the simplest level, it must make promoting both trade and its international presence an economic priority undergirded by a plan and performance metrics, bringing scale and efficiency to existing international efforts by regions.”

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Legislature Shouldn’t Tax Innovation

Carl Guardino
President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

When it comes to innovation and job creation, let’s keep the gold in the Golden State.

The role of private equity in funding the growth of many bread-and-butter, consumer-based firms that call California home – companies such as Peet’s Coffee and El Pollo Loco – is in serious jeopardy due to the possible re-emergence of faulty legislation in 2019.

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The Trump Factor in California’s Republican Disaster

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

California Republicans remain in denial about the role of President Trump in their worst shellacking in history. The party’s national committeeman Shawn Steel blames Democratic money, organization, mobilization, demographics, registration, but specifically “not President Trump.” But an actual look at the final results shows that this disaster was Trump, all Trump and nothing but Trump.

This is apparent by examining one of the most interesting factoids about this election. Had Republican Congressional candidates ran as well as their party’s candidate for governor, John Cox, they would have saved four of the seven seats they lost.
That is because Cox actually carried the districts of defeated Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Modesto), GOP candidate Young Kim, (Northern Orange County), Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach). Cox also outran two of the other three Republicans who lost Rep. Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) and Diane Harkey (Orange-San Diego counties).

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If Kamala Runs, She Should Resign

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)

The United States, bitter and angry, needs more of the California spirit. It’d be terrific if that included electing a California president.

But California also needs a full-time U.S. Senator.

Which is why Kamala Harris should resign her seat as soon as she launches her run for president.

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Legislative Intent and California Courts

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

In determining the intent of the Legislature in enacting state laws, California courts have historically taken a limited view of legislative materials that can be used to determine intent. The courts generally rely upon certain types of legislative history documents to gain an understanding of the meaning of a statute and, ultimately, to apply the Legislature’s intent when interpreting a statute.

The determination of legislative intent is important because there are instances in which there are legitimate legal disputes between parties as to what statutory language may mean or what was intended by the language. In these cases, both parties will attempt to argue that their interpretation is the correct one that should be adopted by the court. Obviously, it is up to the judiciary to determine whose view is the correct one.

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Climate Goal Should Include Gas

Bret Lane
Chief Executive Officer Southern California Gas Co.

I recently had the opportunity to address the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s Business Forecast Conference to discuss the challenges we face as we continue to clean our air and address climate change. For more than 30 years, I have proudly called the San Fernando Valley my home. Spanning nearly 350 square miles, the Valley has more than 1.8 million residents and is the epicenter of the multi-billion-dollar motion picture and television production industry. As part of the greater Los Angeles region, it is also a part of the largest manufacturing region within the United States. This fact comes as a surprise to many, including policy makers and elected officials in Sacramento. But it is an important fact for all of us to know and remember.

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It’s the Picket Line Versus the Bottom Line in the Coming LA School Strike

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Barring a last minute deal or court decision, there will be a teacher’s strike tomorrow in Los Angeles. Each side has their own view of the school district’s fiscal health and its ability to raise salaries and hire new teachers, nurses and counselors. But the teachers have the upper hand in an effort to rally citizen and parent support.

Television news reporters interview grade school students volunteering to walk the picket line and show them making signs in support of their teachers. What can the school board offer in response, a green shaded accountant with a spreadsheet?

Yet, it’s the bottom line rather than the picket line that is determinative in this dispute.

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