News Blog

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  • Fri, July 03, 2020 10:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    November Ballot Measure List Released, Paid Family Leave Passes State Senate

    IRWINDALE - This week, a list of 12 initiatives that will appear on the November statewide ballot were released along with their assigned proposition numbers. These measures cover a host of issues and would enact sweeping changes in the state, for example Proposition 15, which if passed by voters would allow commercial properties to be exempted from the 1978 Prop 13 property tax limitations, thereby allowing significant tax increases on businesses and industries in the state. Also included in the list are measures to exempt Uber and Lyft drivers from the sweeping independent contractor law AB 5, statewide rent control, a major online privacy measure, and a constitutional amendment to allow parolees to vote.

    In other significant news, the State Senate passed SB 1383, which would enact 12 weeks of paid family leave for all businesses in the state with 5 or more employees. The bill now goes to the Assembly.

    "This was a significant week politically in the state, as lawmakers in the Senate chose to deliberately place a heavy burden on already struggling businesses across the state by passing paid family leave," said Bill Manis, President and CEO of the Partnership. "While we appreciate the efforts of Senator Susan Rubio, who pushed for exempting businesses with 4 or less employees, the bill will open businesses to more litigation and costly, challenging leaves for extended periods of time."

    Among San Gabriel Valley lawmakers, Senators Bob Archuleta, Connie Leyva, Anthony Portantino and Susan Rubio voted for SB 1383. Senator Ling Ling Chang voted no. Our thanks to Senators Galgiani, Roth, Caballero, Dodd, Hurtado, Glazer, Umberg, and Bradford who abstained or voted no on the bill.

    Here's the full list of November ballot measures with their newly assigned proposition numbers:

    Proposition 14: Authorizes stem cell bonds.

    Proposition 15: “Split roll” change to lift commercial property tax

    Proposition 16: Constitutional amendment to remove voter-passed prohibition on affirmative action in university admissions, public hiring and contracting.

    Proposition 17: Constitutional amendment to allow felony parolees to vote.

    Proposition 18: Constitutional amendment allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and special elections if they will be 18 for the general election.

    Proposition 19: Constitutional amendment allowing elderly and disabled Californians, and wildfire victims, to retain lower property tax rates when they change properties.

    Proposition 20: Rolls back sentencing and parole reforms enacted via Propositions 47 and 57.

    Proposition 21: Removes statewide constraint on local governments enacting rent control.

    Proposition 22: Allows gig tech companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash to continue classifying their drivers/delivery people as independent contractors.

    Proposition 23: Authorizes new regulation of kidney dialysis clinics.

    Proposition 24: Expands California’s online consumer privacy law.

    Proposition 25: Referendum to overturn California’s prohibition on cash bail.

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  • Fri, June 26, 2020 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership Backs Bill Expediting CEQA Review, Opposes Controversial New State Rent-Debt Assumption Program

    IRWINDALE - This week, the Legislative Action Committee of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership voted to support AB 3279 (Friedman), an important bill with bipartisan support that greatly expedites the court review process of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Committee also voted to oppose SB 1410 (Caballero), a controversial bill that would set up a new program that would issue tax credits to participating property owners and allow the state to assume the debt payments for tenants who are unable to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

    "It's indicative of this year's compressed legislative session that we have both an excellent bill that will expedite the complicated, often time-consuming CEQA process as well as a risky program that has good intentions but major financial implications," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "In times of crisis, we often get policy that has good intentions but the full effects are not fully vetted. That's the case with SB 1410."

    AB 3279 improves the CEQA process to allow more housing and other projects to be built with less delays. Specifically, the bill authorizes the courts to hear CEQA appeals sooner, reduces the time petitioners take to file briefs, expedites the preparation of the administrative record, and authorizes courts to issue interlocutory remand orders instead of setting aside project approvals and forcing applicants to start the process all over again. AB 3279 maintains the existing environmental safeguards while making meaningful changes to improve CEQA approval procedures.

    Senate Bill 1410 establishes a new temporary rental assistance program that would allow the state to assume unpaid rent debts accrued during the coronavirus pandemic from landlords and property owners in exchange for tax credits. Renters would then pay the state for unpaid rent as part of their taxes beginning in 2024. The Department of Housing and Community Development would administer this new program. Eligible renters for the program would include those who can demonstrate, as determined by the department, inability to pay rent due to COVID-19 or a government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rental housing providers who agree to participate in the program would receive at least 80 percent of the monthly rent the tenant owes for up to seven months, if they agree to:

    • Not increase rent for the unit for a specified period;
    • Not collect late fees for the past due rent paid by the program;
    • Not pursue any remaining rent owed for the months paid by the program.

    The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) is still developing its estimates of (1) the bill’s administrative costs, and (2) revenue losses to the General Fund. While subject to considerable uncertainty, General Fund revenues would likely decline by a minimum of hundreds of millions of dollars per year between 2024 and 2033.

    The immense and unknown financial implications of SB 1410 and its complicated participation process led to the Partnership's opposition. Given the murky financial outlook over the next two years in particular and the possibility of the coronavirus pandemic extending well into 2022 or beyond, there's no telling how long the emergency orders will last and therefore, how much rent the state would eventually assume to be paid back over the next 20 years.

    For information about these positions, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy at bjensen@sgvpartnership.org.

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  • Wed, June 17, 2020 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership Opposes Paid Family Leave Extension in Budget Trailer Bill, Vehicle Miles Traveled Implementation

    IRWINDALE - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership weighed in with lawmakers to oppose an onerous paid family leave trailer bill that was tied to the budget. The Partnership also sent a letter to Governor Newsom, asking him to delay the implementation of the Vehicle Miles Traveled provision of SB 743 as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

    "These two items are critical for the California economy moving forward," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "While the intentions of paid family leave may be well meaning, the result is a regulatory nightmare for small business owners, especially here in the San Gabriel Valley where roughly 93% of our businesses have less than 20 employees. Similarly a delay in the implementation of the Vehicle Miles Traveled regulation is only common sense given how the coronavirus has disrupted ordinary traffic and public transit ridership."

    Administering leaves of absence is extraordinarily difficult for small businesses who do not have a dedicated human resource person or an in-house attorney. Under the proposal in the budget trailer bill, an employee can take the 12-weeks of leave in as small an increment as two hours. An employer must track and document the leave as "CFRA" or it does not count against the 12 weeks. An employee could take two hours of leave on Monday and another two hours on Thursday, for essentially an entire year. The burden is on the employer to document the time, document the reason for leave, adjust work schedules to cover the time off in a moment's notice, and still run their business. Tracking leaves of absence is challenging for larger employers let alone a harried small business owner.

    The regulations to track Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) are due to go into effect on July 1st, as part of previously passed legislation in SB 743. The Partnership requested a year's delay in implementing the VMT due to the massive disruptions in traffic and public transit ridership caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which completely distorts the regular flow of traffic and congestion under ordinary circumstances. VMT would have a significant impact on local city governments as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a delay would allow the state to address the post-pandemic conditions throughout California. 

    For more information, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy at the Partnership, bjensen@sgvpartnership.org.

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  • Fri, June 12, 2020 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership Opposes One-sided Rent Relief Bill AB 1346, SB 939 Stopped in Committee

    IRWINDALE - It's been a busy week in Sacramento as a terribly one-sided rent relief bill, AB 1346 (Chiu), was introduced that would allow renters to skip out on paying rent so long as the emergency health orders for the COVID-19 crisis remain in place. Another key rent bill, SB 939 was stopped in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It would have allowed commercial tenants the option of walking away from their leases and other contractual obligations.

    "The coronavirus pandemic has hit renters across the state, including businesses and property owners," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "Many local governments and the state have enacted measures to allow renters leeway and flexibility on paying rent during the stay-at-home orders, however, there are many businesses that manage property that have bills, taxes, maintenance costs, and employees to pay, and these two bills allow renters to walk away from their obligations at the expense of others."

    AB 1436 is a proposal that would force landlords to defer rents for 15 months after a state or local state of emergency is lifted - which can translate to years of unpaid rent - if a tenant is unable - or unwilling - to pay rent due to COVID-19. In many cases, local governments don't lift their emergency orders for years which means an owner may never receive the rent they deferred during the pandemic. Landlords would not have incoming revenue under AB 1436 to pay their taxes, mortgages, utilities, or staff. AB 1436 only makes our housing crisis worse and will put hundreds of rental owners into default leading to mass foreclosures on rental housing.

    SB 939 (Weiner) was stopped in the Senate Appropriations Committee this week and put on the suspense file. The bill would have allowed small businesses to walk away from their rent obligations at the cost of property management businesses.

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  • Fri, June 05, 2020 10:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership surveys SGV businesses on curfews and civil unrest

    IRWINDALE - The Partnership issued a short survey this week of San Gabriel Valley businesses to see what effect the civil unrest and county-wide curfews have had on their operations. Protests have occurred across the country following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota last week, with looting and rioting hitting parts of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Long Beach. The San Gabriel Valley has been fortunate to see little violence in our region while many protests have been peaceful in cities such as Alhambra, Pasadena, West Covina, Pomona, Covina, Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Verne, Glendora, and Claremont. 

    Survey results show that nearly 75% of the businesses surveyed reported that the county-wide curfews had not impacted their operations. Nearly 80% were in favor of the curfews and 78% were hopeful that their businesses could reopen and restart under new health guidelines. Only three businesses said that the riots have hurt their businesses, however the damage to these businesses was severe. One comment made was that the curfews are hurting businesses, who have done nothing wrong, when law enforcement should concentrate on stopping looters and property damage.

    This short survey was available over four days this week and received 33 responses. It's a small snapshot of what has been a turbulent time for the country and Southern California. For more information, contact Paul Thomas, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Partnership - pthomas@sgvpartnership.org.

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  • Fri, June 05, 2020 10:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Rep. Norma Torres joins Partnership by Zoom, talks new stimulus and transportation bills

    IRWINDALE - Today, Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona) joined nearly 40 Partnership members for a video conference call to discuss a wide variety of important issues, including a new federal stimulus bill, a federal transportation bill, as well as ongoing efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic and the protests and civil unrest caused by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minnesota.

    "We were honored to have Congresswoman Torres with us today," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "The Partnership tries to hold individual events with each of our lawmakers every year and that's been challenging during the pandemic, so these video conference conversations are very helpful for our members to stay in touch while the stay-at-home orders remain in effect." 

    Rep. Torres held a community forum on Wednesday afternoon with local leaders from her district to discuss the protests across the country caused by the murder of George Floyd in police custody. The Congresswoman discussed how challenging it may be to enact substantive changes to police policy and procedures through Congress but that this is a critical tipping point in our society and how we view law enforcement.

    Rep. Torres also discussed a new federal transportation bill that has just been released by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Transportation has been one of the few areas with bipartisan support and may become a prime area of policy focus to aid in stimulating the economy towards recovery from the coronavirus recession. The Congresswoman also fielded a variety of questions dealing with water, job creation, higher education funding, and federal assistance with Ontario International Airport.

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  • Fri, May 29, 2020 11:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership opposes Job Killer bill, backs federal funding for cities

    Irwindale - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership voted to oppose AB 3075 (Gonzalez), a job killer bill, that would impose onerous new regulations on businesses regarding wage enforcement. The Partnership also voted to support new federal funding to assist local governments struggling with coronavirus-related budget deficits. 

    "Cities are struggling due to losses in sales tax revenue, which they depend on to fund critical services," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "A new federal stimulus bill should include billions in funding to help local governments continue to fund vital services for their residents."

    The Partnership's Legislative Action Committee voted to support the federal funding portion included in the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) which would bring some $950 million to the cities of the San Gabriel Valley. It also voted to support including federal funding for local governments in a new stimulus bill originating from the U.S. Senate.

    The Partnership also voted to oppose AB 3075, a job killer bill that imposes onerous new wage regulations in California and among local jurisdictions. AB 3075 would open the door to local enforcement of an unknown and potentially unlimited number of wage standards that meet or exceed the requirements of state law. This would appear to include things like the time for payment of wages, overtime standards, penalties for violations of wage standards, and a plethora of other issues currently covered by state law.

    This would dramatically exacerbate a problem that already exists at the local level – overlapping, inconsistent, and contradictory labor standards. These standards make it exceedingly difficult for employers to operate in jurisdictions that have different minimum wage, paid sick leave, “ban the box” and other standards – all of which differ from each other and differ from state law, resulting in confusion, chaos and inconsistent enforcement.

    AB 3075 would exponentially make that problem worse by extending such authority to unspecified local labor standards regarding “payment of wages.”  Under this proposal, a local jurisdiction could attempt to require an employer to pay wages daily, or to pay overtime wages after six hours in a day, or establish entirely new penalties for wage violations on top of penalties already imposed at the state level, as long as they are “at least as stringent” as state law.  This would make it extremely difficult for employers to operate in California, and would subject them to overlapping, duplicative and contradictory labor standards. 

    For more information, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy at the Partnership. bjensen@sgvpartnership.org

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  • Thu, May 21, 2020 4:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership Oppose Commercial Rent Relief Bill, 3 Key Telecommunications Bills

    IRWINDALE - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership waded into pending legislation in Sacramento, opposing an ill-conceived major commercial rent relief bill while also opposing three significant telecommunication regulation bills. With the State Legislature back in session, expect to see a large amount of legislation move as lawmakers try to address of a budget deficit, provide substantive assistance to drowning small businesses, weigh several tax increase proposals, and consider a package of housing bills.

    The Partnership strongly opposes SB 939 (Weiner), a bill with good intentions to aid small businesses, but ends up harming commercial real estate businesses. SB 939 allows commercial lessees wide latitude in postponing rent payments, even up to a year, but it denies commercial lessors critical income which will push many into foreclosure, staff layoffs, and will set a bad precedent that undermines contracts in the state. The bill also removes existing legal remedies and lessor rights for an extended period of time, giving only one party to a contract the right to walk away from a legal obligation with no responsibilities or penalties.

    "SB 939 may come with the best of intentions to help struggling small businesses across the state but it does so at the cost of many other small businesses," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "By giving businesses a year off of paying rent and the option to walkout on a long-term lease contract, SB 939 violates basic constitutional law and imperils many businesses that operate on the basis of receiving rental income."

    The Partnership also opposed three key telecommunications regulatory bills. SB 1058 (Hueso) adds redundant and unnecessary regulatory requirements for Internet service providers to report to the California Public Utilities Commission. Similarly, SB 1069 (Jackson) adds additional reporting requirements for Internet service providers during natural disasters or emergencies, including rules to disclose location and information about facilities and infrastructure. Finally, the Partnership opposes unless amended SB 1130 (Jackson), a bill that adds new requirements to the California Advanced Services Fund program that will result in an overbuild out and costly new broadband requirements to provide Internet to un-served areas of the state. 

    For more information on these political actions, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy, bjensen@sgvpartnership.org.

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  • Fri, May 08, 2020 10:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Gov. Newsom Expands Worker's Compensation with Executive Order, SCAG Extends Comment Period on Regional Transportation Plan

    IRWINDALE - In an eventful week, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order establishing a rebuttable presumption that any COVID-19 related illness of an employee who worked outside the home, not just those who are essential workers, was the result of employment for workers’ compensation purposes if certain requirements are met. The presumption dates back to March 19, 2020 and will continue for 60 days from the date of the order (May 6, 2020).

    "The concern with this order is that it covers any employee working outside the home," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "As the economy begins to open up, more workers will be working outside the home, thereby increasing the number of employees to whom this order applies. A reopened economy also increases the likelihood of contracting the virus in the community, not at work. This could cost California employers - who are not in great shape right now - billions."

    Recently, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau released a study which found the annual cost of COVID-19 claims on Essential Critical Infrastructure (ECI) workers under a conclusive presumption ranges from $2.2 billion to $33.6 billion with an approximate mid-range estimate of $11.2 billion, or 61% of the annual estimated cost of the total workers’ compensation system before the impact of the pandemic.

    SCAG Extends Comment Period and Postpones Final Vote on 2020 Regional Transportation Plan (Connect SoCal)

    In a significant win for the business community, the Southern California Association of Governments has agreed to extend the comment period and postpone the final vote on the 2020 Regional Transportation Plan for 120 days. The Partnership, along with many of our partners in the business community, testified yesterday at the SCAG Regional Council meeting in support of the extension.

    The Regional Transportation Plan is a key document that tries to integrate land use policy, housing goals, and transportation planning across Southern California. Extending the comment period allows for greater analysis and input from the businesses community on what is a very long, complicated document. This is a solid win for the public and the business community to be able to provide substantive feedback on a critical policy plan.

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  • Fri, May 01, 2020 11:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    LA County Supervisors Approve COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

    IRWINDALE - On Tuesday, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The ordinance applies to companies with over 500 employees nationwide as well as in the unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County. The County CEO Office said that there are 38 businesses that will be affected by this supplemental ordinance. Some of the provisions include:

    • Employers must provide full-time employees 80 hours of supplemental sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons
    • Requires a doctor's note to request leave.
    • Employer offset: If an employer provided additional paid leave, the obligation to provide leave may be reduced by every hour the employer allowed an employee to take leave.
    • Exempts emergency first responders and health care providers.
    • Exemption for collective bargaining agreements if there is a waiver in the agreement.
    • This was approved as an urgency ordinance.
    • The supplemental ordinance sunsets Dec. 31, 2020.

    The Partnership is working with our many business allies and partners to continue to advocate on the Right of Recall and Countywide Worker Retention ordinances which are expected to be considered by the Board of Supervisors on May 12, 2020.

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San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

4900 Rivergrade Road, Suite B130, Irwindale, CA 91706

Phone: (626) 856-3400    Fax: (626) 856-5115

Email: info@sgvpartnership.org

Office Hours: Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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