News Blog

  • Fri, June 07, 2019 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership supports key community development bill, financial capability for utilities' disaster liability

    Irwindale - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership's Legislative Action Committee voted to support two important bills, one on community redevelopment and the other on the financial capability of utlities' disaster liability as well as opposing a cannabis licensing bill that would have placed strict mandates on local governments.

    The Partnership supports SB 5 (Beall), a bill that would allow local governments to collaborate on state-approved redevelopment plans, which would be funded by reduced contributions to the local Education Revenue Augmentations Funds (ERAFs), awarded to state-approved projects. This funding could be used for 1) affordably housing; 2) transit-oriented development; 3) infill development; 4) revitalizing and restoring neighborhoods, and 5) planning for sea-level rise. It is estimated that if passed, SB 5 will make $1-2 billion available for local governments to use for these purposes. SB 5 passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly awaiting assignment to a policy committee.

    "The dissolution of redevelopment left cities with virtually no resources to address revitalization and development problems," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "By restoring some funding and making it available to local governments, these issues of housing and community development can now be better addressed."

    The Partnership's Legislative Action Committee also voted to oppose AB 1356 (Ting), a bill that would have placed a mandate on cities that supported recreational cannabis legalization to issue a required number of cannabis business permits. Local permitting delays are widely viewed as one of the main reasons legal cannabis businesses are struggling to establish themselves. AB 1356 did not pass the Assembly and will not move forward this year.

    Finally, the Partnership's Committee also voted to support AB 235 (Mayes), which requires the Public Utilities Commission to use a financial "stress test" to determine how much a utility can afford to pay out in liability claims without affecting ratepayers and its own ability to provide power. The bill provides that authority to the Commission for wildfires that occur in 2019 or in coming years.

    For more information on these key bills, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy at the Partnership - (626) 856-3400 or bjensen@sgvpartnership.org

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  • Fri, May 31, 2019 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Caps on rent increases, Dynamex independent contractor bills passed by State Assembly, SGV Housing Trust Fund passes State Senate

    Irwindale - In a whirlwind of activity, each chamber of the State Legislature went through a full slate of bills these past two weeks as the deadline for legislation to clear their original house arrived today, May 31st. Major bills on the environment, energy, taxation, labor issues, regulations and housing came before lawmakers in Sacramento. While many passed to the opposite chamber, some bills stall and died on the floor. 

    Among the key bills the Partnership was watching was AB 5 (Gonzalez), a key bill that addresses the incredibly important Dynamex decision, which upended established state employment law and would require virtually all independent contractors to be reclassified as full employees. AB 5 has been substantially amended to carve out exemptions for particular occupations and industries but remains deeply flawed. Our thanks to Assemblymembers Blanca Rubio, Jim Frazier, Brian Dahle, Jim Cooper, Jay Obernolte, Susan Eggman, Bill Quirk, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove who spoke on the Assembly floor and called for additional amendments to address the deeply problematic elements of AB 5. 

    A significant housing bill that places caps on rent increases passed the Assembly on Wednesday. AB 1482 (Chiu) passed the Assembly 43-31 with 6 members not voting. The bill was amended to appease realtor groups, with the rent cap was raised to 7% a year plus inflation (which is typically 2.5% in California) until 2023, when the caps expire. The bill also does not apply to owners with less than ten single-family homes. AB 1481, a companion bill to AB 1482, would have made it illegal for landlords to evict tenants without just cause. AB 1481 did not come up for a floor vote in the Assembly - it is now dead for the year.

    The Partnership opposed AB 1482. While spikes in rent are deeply troubling for the state's housing crisis, and additional protections for tenants are needed, placing caps on rent increases - even at a higher rate of percentage - may end up hurting more tenants statewide than it protects. By capping rent increases, this now incentivizes landlords across the state to raise rents each year until the sunset date.

    How our SGV Assemblymembers voted on AB 1482:

    Yes - Calderon, Chau, Friedman, Holden, Rodriguez

    No - Chen, Rubio

    Not Voting - C. Garcia

    Another significant bill opposed by the Partnership was AB 764 (Bonta), which would have prohibited retailers from offering coupons for sugary beverages. This would have a detrimental effect on small businesses who would be competing with online retailers who would not be prohibited from offering coupons or discounts on sugary beverage purchases. Although this bill was expected to be voted on, it did not come up for a floor vote and is done for the year.

    For additional information about these and other bills, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy bjensen@sgvpartnership.org or (626_ 856-3400.

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  • Fri, May 24, 2019 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    SGV Lawmakers Cast Major Votes in Sacramento

    IRWINDALE - Major pieces of legislation are moving in Sacramento as bills move out of the Appropriations Committees and on to the floor for a full vote of the Assembly or Senate. SGV lawmakers have cast significant votes on key business bills ranging from biomethane incentives to sugary beverage warning labels and additional environmental reviews for infrastructure projects.

    "We are very appreciative of our SGV lawmakers who have been responsive to the Partnership and the local business community, especially Senators Susan Rubio, Bob Archuleta, and Ling Ling Chang, and Assemblymemembers Blanca Rubio, Freddie Rodriguez and Philip Chen," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "They're listening to their constituents here in the San Gabriel Valley and voting accordingly."

    Here's a rundown of key bills the Partnership has been engaged on in the past week along with the votes of our SGV state legislators:

    SB 307 (Roth): This bill adds another round of environmental review for the Cadiz Water Project, which has already completed the full environmental review process including litigating the results in several court cases. The Partnership opposes this bill which sets a terrible precedent of adding more environmental reviews for major or controversial infrastructure projects at the whim of the legislature rather than accepting the results of the established review process.

    SB 307 passed the Senate with 21 ayes, 11 noes, and 6 abstentions/not voting. It will now move to the Assembly.

    How our SGV Senators voted:

    Yes - Portantino, Leyva, Archuleta; No - Chang; Abstention - Rubio

    SB 347 (Monning): This bill would require businesses that sell beverages with added sugar to place warning labels about the health effects of too much sugar on their packaging or on the beverage dispensaries at a restaurant. Businesses in California offer thousands of beverages for sale from across the globe, imported from small and large companies alike. Placing the burden on business owners to affix warning labels on their products before the point of sale, as well as hang signs and label menus would be an expensive and onerous mandate. This exposes beverage manufacturers and food retailers to lawsuits, fines and penalties based on state-only labeling requirements for drinks with added sugar.

    SB 347 passed the Senate after a difficult vote with 21 ayes, 11 noes, and 6 abstentions/not voting. It will now move to the Assembly.

    How our SGV Senators voted:

    Yes - Portantino, Leyva; No - Archuleta, Chang; Abstention - Rubio

    AB 161 (Ting): This bill mandates that businesses in California switch to offering electronic receipts as the default transaction record between a consumer and a business. This mandate comes with high financial costs as well as major privacy concerns. Businesses, small and large, throughout the state use “point of sale” (POS) systems to manage a wide variety of financial information and document transactions by generating traditional receipts. Many of these POS systems are not currently equipped to generate electronic receipts. In order to comply with the requirements in AB 161, many businesses would have to replace their POS systems, disproportionately impacting smaller businesses and, depending on the number of registers, could impose massive costs on these businesses. By requiring electronic receipts, this bill requires businesses to collect more information from customers, such as email addresses or cell phone numbers, making these businesses liable if their data systems are hacked and this contact information is stolen.

    AB 161 passed the Assembly with 43 ayes, 24 noes, and 13 not voting/abstentions.

    How our SGV Assemblymembers voted:

    Yes - Calderon, Chau, Friedman, C. Garcia, Holden; No - Chen; Abstentions - Rodriguez, Rubio

    For more information, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy at the Partnership - bjensen@sgvpartnership.org or (626) 856-3400.

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  • Fri, May 10, 2019 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership opposes AQMD sales tax bill, supports new state Commission on the Future of Work

    IRWINDALE - As thousands of bills in the California State Legislature now await the decision of the Appropriations Committees to see if they will move forward, this week the Partnership decided to oppose a key tax bill, SB 732 by Senator Ben Allen, which authorizes the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to place a transition and use tax measure on the ballot in the four major urban counties of Southern California.

    The Partnership also supported if amended SB 730 (Stern), which creates a new state commission on the future of work as well as supporting SB 714 (Umberg), a bill which allows the continued development of innovative, low-risk value-based arrangements between large employers and healthcare systems, hospitals and providers.

    "Air quality is a critically important factor in the conditions of public health and the South Coast Air Quality Management District deserves credit for their ongoing efforts to improve our air," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "However, SB 732, if passed, would place a 0.25 percent transition and use tax on all sales in the four major SoCal counties.That tax, if approved by voters, would generate nearly half a billion dollars - three times the District's current operating budget - with no sunset on the tax and an option to incrementally increase it to 1 percent. That's a lot of cash - some $2 billion dollars at the full 1 percent tax - when the District has issued no spending plan, no list of projects, no analysis of the most effective technology incentive programs to pursue, and no clear administrative process for how the District will hold itself accountable for spending this immense pot of money let alone whether these funds will substantially improve our air quality in the region."

    The Partnership has joined with key allies like the California Business Roundtable, California Taxpayers Association, California Business Properties Association, California Food Producers, the California Building and Owners Association, and the California Manufacturing and Technology Association to oppose SB 732. The bill is scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, May 13th.

    For more information, contact Partnership Director of Public Policy, Brad Jensen at bjensen@sgvpartnership.org or (626) 856-3400.

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  • Fri, May 03, 2019 9:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Major Legislative Wins: Incentives Repeal, Gender Discrimination Bills Stopped, Key Housing Bill Passes Out of Committee

    IRWINDALE - This week, the Partnership scored major legislative victories as two bad bills were stopped and a key housing bill passed committee. The deadline for bills to clear policy committees and move to Appropriations in their respective chambers is fast approaching. Stopping bad legislation and making sure good legislation passes is a top Partnership priority in May.

    SB 320 would have increased the chances for businesses to be subjected to costly litigation. The bill would have allowed customers to assert that any price difference on “substantially similar” goods, even by a nominal amount, could be based on gender discrimination and therefore the customer is entitled to a private right of action as well as attorney's fees. In an effort to comply, businesses would have been forced to assign a gender to different products and thereby engage in gender stereotyping. SB 320 was stopped in the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-3-3 vote. 

    Another bad bill, SB 468 was substantially amended in Senate Governance and Finance Committee. As it was originally written, SB 468 would have repealed any "tax expenditure" that had reduced state revenues by more than $1 billion annually for each of the prior ten years. Under these provisions, six key state business incentives would have been repealed by 2023 including the retails sales and use tax law, food products, prescription drugs, and electricity, gas, and water utility services would become subject to state and local sales tax. Under the bank and corporation tax law, water's edge election treatment, exclusion of like-kind exchanges and the research and development tax credit would all be eliminated. The fiscal affect of these actions, as of 2020-21, according to the Department of Finance, would be a tax increase of more than $20 billion. Businesses throughout the state rely on the research and development incentives to offset the high cost of creating and researching new products. SB 468 was amended to create a state commission to review the fiscal effects of these state incentives.

    Finally, a key housing bill, SB 659 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 5-4 vote. SB 659 encourages more housing development in California by minimizing frivolous litigation that blocks infill housing projects by awarding reasonable attorney's fees to the winning party.

    For more information on each of these bills, please contact the Partnership's Director of Public Policy, Brad Jensen at bjensen@sgvpartnership.org or (626) 856-3400.

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  • Thu, April 25, 2019 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership Opposes Unfair Regulation of Heavy-Duty Trucks, Expansion of Hospital Workers' Comp

    Irwindale, CA - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership opposed two key state bills - one unfairly regulating medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the other expanding workers' comp presumptions of injury at hospital - while also supporting several key housing bills as well as two bills dealing with major local issues in the San Gabriel Valley. 

    On Wednesday, the Partnership's Legislative Action Committee voted to oppose SB 44 (Skinner) which requires the state Air Resources Board to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 - however, the strategy would require those reductions to come solely from medium- and heavy-duty trucks which comprise only a small share of the total motor vehicles used in the state. The Committee also voted to oppose SB 567 (Caballero), which would create a presumption that hospitals are responsible for blood-borne infectious diseases, that would be regarded as an injury, and that hospital workers could file claims up to 10 years after they leave employment.

    "These two bills hit the heart of our local economy here in the San Gabriel Valley," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "All of us depend on trucks to deliver our food to grocery stores, to stock all our stores, and get our goods to markets around the globe. Singling trucks out for emission reductions is a foolish, ineffective strategy that takes no account of how many jobs would be affected. Likewise, formally creating a presumption that hospitals are liable for workers' comp claims a full decade after someone leaves employment would raise health care prices precisely when the industry is trying to find ways to make health care cheaper."

    The Partnership's Legislative Action Committee also voted to support several key housing bills. The Partnership has backed SB 751 (Rubio), which would create a San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust, a joint powers authority that would strive to bring new funding for homelessness housing and services to the region. It also supports SB 450 (Umberg), which creates a CEQA exemption for motel conversion projects for homeless transitional and supportive housing as well as SB 744 (Caballero), which expedites judicial review of CEQA for Prop 1 & Prop 2 funded supportive housing projects.

    Finally, the Partnership supports SB 7 (Portantino), a bill that currently removes the 710 "stubs" in Pasadena and Alhambra from the state freeway system. Senator Portantino hopes to amend the bill later this year to allow the transfer of the "stub" properties back to their respective cities. This is a key priority for the Partnership, to allow the cities to use the stubs or to redevelop the property as they see fit.

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  • Fri, March 29, 2019 8:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership opposes AB 403, a whistle blower retaliation bill that incentivizes frivolous litigation

    IRWINDALE - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership opposed AB 403 (Kalra) this week, a bill that incentivizes frivolous litigation by undermining the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement whistle blower retaliation complaint process by requiring a one-sided attorney's fee provision.

    "The current process for investigating whistle blower retaliation complaints would be completely undermined by the passage of AB 403," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "Adding the ability to collect attorney's fees for only one-side of the complaint process provides incentives for more litigation to be filed against employers. At the least, attorney's fees should be add for both sides in the complaint review process."

    The complaint process in the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is typically a less contentious and litigious approach to resolving incidences of potential whistle blower retaliation. AB 403 undermines that process by allowing the collection of attorney's fees, thereby adding an incentive to the process. At the very least, attorney's fees should be able to be collected by both sides in a complaint process to provide a level playing field for everyone potentially involved.

  • Fri, March 22, 2019 8:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership opposes state ban on selling combustion-propelled vehicles, supports new clean energy clearinghouse

    IRWINDALE - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership opposed legislation that would result in foolishly banning the sale combustion-propelled vehicles by 2040. The Partnership also supported a key bill that would create a new state clean energy clearinghouse agency that would coordinate public and private investment and provide strategic leadership in that developing area.

    AB 40 (Ting) is a bill that requires the state Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy by January 1, 2021 to ensure all cars sold in the state are free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. 

    "The language of this bill is particularly troubling, as it is not entirely clear what it means to ensure that all cars are free of greenhouse gas emissions," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "Rather than simply setting a goal, this bill appears to be prescriptive in that it would empower the Air Resources Board to eliminate the sale of combustion-propelled vehicles entirely within the state."

    AB 40 has additional clarification issues, given that all vehicles - whether propelled by combustion engines or by electric motors - produce greenhouse gas emissions in their assembly. Much of our electricity today is still based on burning natural gas, which goes to charge electric vehicles. Moreover, if AB 40 were to pass, it does not preclude the purchase of combustion-propelled vehicles from out of state, leading to a worrisome policy which could drive Californians to buy their motor vehicles in neighboring states.

    The Partnership this week supported AB 383 (Mayes), a bill that would create a centralized Clean Energy Financing Office within the Office of the Treasurer to provide strategic leadership for coordinated public and private investment. As California strives to meet its ambitious goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by the year 2045, it will need to invest billions of dollars in clean energy and energy efficiency measures to meet the state's long-term greenhouse gas emissions targets. California has dozens of programs designed to support clean energy financing solutions across several agencies and offices, ranging from rebates for solar homes to tax credits for bus retrofits. While these programs may be successful on their own, the sheer number of programs and the variety of managing entities makes coordination difficult. By creating a centralized point of contact for interested parties, the state will be able to maximize its clean energy financing investments. 

  • Fri, March 15, 2019 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership backs two local SGV water bills in Sacramento

    IRWINDALE - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership supported two key water bills that address major water-related concerns here in the San Gabriel Valley. Water is a vital issue for all of southern California and the San Gabriel Valley has long been an innovative industry leader on water policy in the state.

    The first bill is AB 1093 carried by Asm. Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), which will help city and county governments who are struggling to comply with rigorous and expensive state and federal stormwater regulations. AB 1093 requires the State Water Resources Control Board to develop Financial Capability Assessment guidelines for local governments striving to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. The bill also requires the Los Angeles Regional Water Board to adjust the guidelines in light of the financial capability assessments.

    "AB 1093 is an extremely important bill that will help local cities that are struggling to obey very expensive stormwater regulations," said Bill Manis, Partnership President and CEO. "The State of California's water regulatory agencies need to provide some financial flexibility to cities to meet these regulations. You can't expect to capture more rainwater if a town goes bankrupt."

    The Partnership also supported SB 413 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and sponsored by the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, a Partnership member. With many cities moving their elections from odd-years to even years in order to coincide with midterm and presidential elections, the result is that seats on local water agencies may have to be filled by special elections because they now conflict with elections to the Water Quality Authority. SB 413 addresses this significant problem by moving the Water Quality Authority elections to odd-numbered years.

  • Thu, March 07, 2019 1:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Partnership supports federal Sites Reservoir bill, opposes business free speech restrictions of HR 1

    IRWINDALE, CA - This week, the Partnership joined a nationwide coalition of 317 business groups that opposed H.R. 1, which has the misleading title of the "For the People Act of 2019." Although its supporters focus on aspects of the bill that purport to bring more people into the political process, other parts of the legislation are clearly designed to have precisely the opposite effect – pushing certain voices, representing large segments of the electorate and our economy, out of the political process altogether.

    "HR 1 is being touted as a measure to chase dark money out of politics but in fact it is a blatant unconstitutional attempt to regulate our free speech," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "It unfairly targets business groups and would sharply restrict their political voice and activities."

    The bill would create an uneven playing field for business associations due to stringent reporting requirements. Organizations that have members that join for less than $10,000 will be exempted from the legislation’s proposed reporting requirements. This exclusion is designed to carve out labor organizations from disclosure requirements, leaving associations that represent the business community squarely in the cross-hairs.

    Many business groups believe the bill would dissuade a host of associations from trying to advocate on issues, essentially taking the business community and trade associations out of the political advocacy process. There is specific language in the bill that calls for using the so-called PASO standard when determining political activity. That could cover any communications from lobbying groups that “promote,” “attack,” “support” or “oppose” a candidate or elected official.

    Click here to read the full letter sent by the coalition opposing HR 1.

    The Partnership also supported H.R. 1453, the Sites Reservoir Project Act this week, a bill by Rep. John Garamendi (D-Davis). The bill would provide federal support for the construction of Sites Reservoir and related water infrastructure in Colusa and Glenn Counties. The construction of the Sites Reservoir would provide critically needed water supply reliability for the environment, farms and cities. The importance of expanding the capacity of water storage for the future of California cannot be estimated.

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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