L.A. Area Chamber Statement on Passage of the California State Budget


February 19, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the passage of the state budget, putting an end to the eight-month stalemate that has pushed California to the brink of insolvency.  The L.A. Area Chamber commends Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and former Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill for their determination in negotiating the agreement to address the state’s $42 billion deficit.

“While the budget compromise is far from perfect, it addresses many of the principals for reform advocated by the L.A. Area Chamber,” said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  “This is a hard, but necessary, pill for all of us to swallow to ensure the future fiscal health of our state.  With a budget now in place, it is time to move forward to create jobs and accelerate economic recovery.”

For the past nine months, the L.A. Area Chamber has advocated for state budget reform that addresses the long-term fiscal challenges facing California.  The Chamber is pleased with the $14.9 billion in targeted spending reductions which will roll back state spending to 2006 levels.  The Chamber is grateful for the preservation of funding for the statewide Cash for College program, which provides financial aid to students throughout California.

Recognizing that revenue increases are necessary to narrow the historic state deficit, the Chamber also agrees with the $12.5 billion in fee increases and revenue adjustments included in the package.  The Chamber particularly applauds the long-term structural reforms to bolster budget reserves, increase flexibilities to categorical education funding and employee workweeks, as well as placing open primary elections on the state ballot.

“Partisan politics nearly pushed our state into a fiscal disaster of unprecedented proportions,” said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  “For the sake of the businesses and residents of California, the L.A. Area Chamber urges all state lawmakers to work together in the months ahead to reform once and for all the budget process so that we never again repeat this harmful budget crisis.”

The Chamber’s guiding principles for budget reform can found at: http://www.lachamber.com/clientuploads/Access_Sac/Budget_Reform_Guiding_Principles_FINAL.pdf More information on the L.A. Area Chamber is available at www.lachamber.com.

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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.

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