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California’s Plastic Bag Ban Will Cost Hundreds Of Good Manufacturing Jobs

Gino DiCaro
Vice President of Communications for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association

The California Manufacturers & Technology Association clarified that California’s proposed plastic bag ban and paper bag tax contained in SB 270 will cost the state good paying manufacturing jobs.

There are close to 60 plastic-bag and 100 paper-bag manufacturing establishments in California, according to the Labor Market Information Department. These companies employ 5,000 workers and provide upward mobility and livelihoods for many hard working middle class families.

SB 270 threatens at least hundreds, if not thousands of these jobs at the same time the state is spending taxpayer dollars to save other jobs. California needs to send consistent signals that we are open for all manufacturing business. Banning and taxing consumer products does not create the reliability that employers need to make long term manufacturing decisions.

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L.A. Hanging on as a Top Global City

Joel Kotkin
Editor of and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

For more than a century, Southern Californians have dreamed of their region becoming host to a great global city. At the turn of the 20th century Henry Huntington, who built much of the area’s first mass-transit system, proclaimed that “Los Angeles is destined to become the most important city in the world.”

Of course, builders of other cities – St. Louis, New Orleans, Chicago and even Cincinnati, Ohio – have made similar predictions. But L.A.’s claim, unlike the others, had a significant resonance. Not only was the region growing rapidly throughout the previous century, and now stands as North America’s second-largest population center, but it dominated a host of fields, notably entertainment and aerospace, and was highly influential in energy, fashion and manufacturing.

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Happy Labor Day

Lan Nguyen
Managing Editor of Fox & Hounds

Fox & Hounds will resume posting Tuesday, September 2nd.

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Intervenor Fees — The Hidden Secret of ConsumerWatchdog’s Prop 45

Steven Maviglio
Principal of Forza Communications, a Sacramento-based public affairs/campaign firm

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has awarded $2.3 million in state “intervenor” fees in 2013 to ConsumerWatchdog, the Santa Monica-based group that is sponsoring Proposition 45, a measure on the November ballot to give Jones sweeping new powers to regulate health insurance.

But wait. That information — posted on the Department of Insurance’s website a few weeks ago — no longer is available for the public nor media to see. Jones has removed from the California Department of Insurance website after a Public Records Act request was sent to his office requesting detailed information on the awards.

It’s easy to see why he would. It’s an embarrassment that underscores the cozy relationship between Jones and the bomb-throwing advocacy group.

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Tesla Incentives Debate: Hit the Brakes or Step on the Accelerator?

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

Tesla Motors’ desire to build a “gigafactory” that would employee 6500 people has set off a competition among a handful of states, including California, with state officials considering incentives to benefit the electric car producer and convince Tesla to choose their state.

This week two Open Letters were produced that took different positions on addressing the competition and the debate on incentives.

The California Budget Project joined forces with similar progressive-leaning groups in other states considered by Tesla for the factory to suggest, rather than competition, there should be cooperation among the states while discouraging the use of big money incentives to lure the company.

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The Forced Union Sales Pitch Bill

Amanda Fulkerson
Spokeswoman for the Assembly Republican Caucus

Language was amended into SB 878 Wednesday night. That’s nothing new. What’s interesting about SB 878 is that the new amendments amount to one of the worst examples of closed door, last minute favor giveaways to political allies that I’ve seen in my decade-long career under the dome.

The Governor’s office took an budget committee trailer bill and is using it to push a new law requiring In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers to attend an “in-person onsite orientation” given by members of the “recognized union in the each county” for “up to 30 minutes.”

So, new IHSS workers will be required to listen to a union sales pitch. Not shocking. 

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Uber, Lyft Compromise on Ridesharing Regulations

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Uber and Lyft, two of the country’s leading ride-sharing companies, reached a compromise with state lawmakers on Wednesday over new regulations of the industry that is changing how people get around town.

Assembly Bill 2293, which had been strongly opposed by the ridesharing companies, requires drivers to carry minimum levels of insurance and be covered, at times, by their parent company’s $1 million commercial-grade insurance policy. That $1 million insurance coverage level means ridesharing companies will be required — by law — to carry more insurance than is required of many taxis throughout California.

The amended bill passed the state Senate on a 30-4 vote and now heads to the Assembly for final approval.

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There They Go Again

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

I wish I could say I was surprised. I wish I could say that this is a new frustration. In reality it is just the same old song we keep hearing from public employee unions. More than a year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature showed leadership by making some moderate changes to the State’s pension systems. It was not everything that taxpayers wanted or hoped for; but it was a significant step in the right direction to limit pension spiking and try to bring some common sense to a system that was ignoring economic realities and running away from financial responsibility.

Two week ago, the CalPERS Board ignored the action by the Governor and the legislature last year and again spiked pension benefits for public employees by approving 99 new types of extra pay that will count in pension calculations. Examples of the 99 new ways to bolster pensions included things like bonuses paid for marksmanship, longevity, physical fitness and obtaining a new license.

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The Looming Bipartisan Backlash Against Unionized Government

Ed Ring
Executive Director, California Public Policy Center

Whenever discussing politically viable policy proposals to improve the quality of life in California, the imperative is to come up with ideas that strongly appeal to moderate centrists, since that is how most Californians would describe themselves. And there are two compelling issues that offer that appeal: making California’s system of K-12 education the best in the world, and restoring financial sustainability to California’s state and local governments.

While these two objectives have broad conceptual appeal, there is a clear choice between two very different sets of policies that claim to accomplish them. The first choice, promoted by public sector unions, is to spend more money. And to do that, their solution is to raise taxes, especially on corporations and wealthy individuals. The problem with that option, of course, is that California already has the highest taxes and most inhospitable business climate in the U.S.

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Los Angeles Enhances its Anti-Business Reputation

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

On Tuesday the Los Angeles City Council voted 14 to 1 to pass a resolution supporting increased property taxes on business on a regular basis. Little surprise as the city continues to build an anti-business reputation. For years the city has held on to a gross receipts tax system for business that neighboring communities use as a talisman to lure business out of the city. The last three Los Angeles mayors have vowed to change the business tax system but nothing happens. Now the council wants to punish business more with a split property tax roll.

The city’s own sanctioned 2020 Commission identified Los Angeles as a “city in decline.” The Commission’s report, “A Time for Truth,” noted, “A city’s ability to maintain a competitive edge in today’s evolving global economy depends largely on how well it attracts – and retains – business, investment, and a talented workforce.”

Los Angeles has been pathetic in creating job growth.

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