Last week, I touched on a number of wins in the Legislature and several remaining priorities for the Chamber. Among the 789 bills sitting on Gov. Brown's desk to sign or veto, there are many items that would impact the business community. We are continuing to weigh in on these bills before the Sept. 30 deadline, and we urge you to join us in communicating with Gov. Brown.
The Chamber is advocating for the Governor's signature on nearly 20 bills that cover a range of issues in economic development, transportation, health care, water, energy, technology and education. Many of these bills were part of our ACCESS Sacramento agenda, others are good ideas that were developed later in the session. There are also six bills the Chamber is urging the Governor to veto because they would be harmful to the business community and job creation. You can see a full list here.
Unfortunately, one major piece of legislation is not on the Governor's desk. A proposal by the Governor that we strongly supported and would have made it easier to build homes failed to gain traction in the Legislature. Despite a Legislative Analyst Office report saying that California needs to double the rate of planned housing production in order to meet demand, not one State Senator or Assemblymember publicly led the charge on the Governor's proposal to streamline the construction of housing units if the project included a certain percentage of affordable housing. With L.A. County having the lowest housing vacancy rate in the nation, we are deeply disappointed in the lack of action on this proposal and the State's housing crisis. We will be urging this as a top priority in 2017.
There is one more priority where time is running short, but there is still possibility for major action. Senator Jim Beall and Assemblyman Jim Frazier have introduced companion bills - ABX1 26 and SBX1 1- as part of the 1st Extraordinary Session to address our state's transportation funding crisis. These bills would provide more than $7 billion in annual transportation investments and streamline the delivery process for projects. Every Californian feels the impacts of our deficient infrastructure in one way or another - whether it's the frustration of sitting in traffic to and from work or the additional car maintenance costs drivers pay. We must ensure that the condition of our streets, roads and highways can support a strong economy. It is time to stop kicking the can down the road.
To contact the Governor's office, click here.
And that's The Business Perspective.
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