Partnership joins fellow California business organizations in advocating for more housing, improved education in 2019
Irwindale, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership joined business organizations throughout the state in prioritizing housing, education, transportation and water as key objectives in the coming year, both locally and at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
"Housing is by far the single most important economic issue in California at the moment," said Bill Manis, Partnership President and CEO. "Governor Newsom has announced some bold housing and homelessness initiatives in his 2019 budget and there appears to be support for them in the State Legislature. We will work diligently this year to improve the housing supply and support new construction here in the San Gabriel Valley."
With a new governor, several new statewide officers, and a revamped super-majority in both chambers of the State Legislature, the table is set for several major new policy initiatives at the state level. Governor Newsom has announced his intention to prioritize debt reduction by paying down outstanding obligations while also contributing substantial funding to the state retirement systems of CalPERS and CalSTRS, easing the financial burdens on cities and school districts. Major new funding has also been announced to jump start housing in the state, especially affordable housing for low-income families as well as workforce housing for middle income earners.
Education will continue to be a major issue throughout the state in the wake of the LA Unified School District teachers strike, which led many advocates to call for a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools, which some say is diverting vital funding for public schools. Governor Newsom also intends to launch a major reform of the state student financial aid system - an endeavor with many stakeholders that could take at least a year to complete, if not more.
Transportation funding at the state and local level is much improved due to the voters' rejection of a 2018 ballot measure to repeal the gas tax increases passed by the State Legislature in 2017. That funding should provide some $600 million a year to the state for highway maintenance and repairs as well as funding to local governments to do their own important maintenance on streets and roads. Water remains a critical issue moving forward for the state as many agree that the current system of moving large quantities of water through the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta is simply not sustainable given the precarious state of conveyance infrastructure in that part of the state.
The Partnership discussed these items with our partners in the REAL Coalition in early January, which includes the LA Area Chamber, Orange County Business Council, San Francisco Chamber, Oakland Chamber, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, San Diego Chamber, Sacramento Chamber, Fresno Chamber, and many others. We plan to continue to work with our strategic allies on major legislation and regulatory initiatives in the coming year.