The California WaterFix took another step forward as Metropolitan Water District's (MWD) Board of Directors voted to support the project last Tuesday. Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben advocated for the project at the MWD meeting. "History will record this vote as a visionary action that will benefit future generations of residents and employers in Southern California and help the economy of the entire state," said Toebben following the Board's vote. While MWD's support is critical, the CA WaterFix still needs significantly more funding, and will be voted on by further water agencies in the coming weeks. Read the Chamber's SUPPORT LETTER or LEARN MORE.
Sacramento legislative wrap-up
Midnight last night was the deadline for Governor Brown to sign or veto legislation to wrap-up the 2017 legislative session. This year, the Governor had a total of 977 bills reach his desk, 859 of which he signed, 118 of which he vetoed. The Chamber was successful on nearly two dozen of the bills we were working on. Additionally, a number of Chamber priorities, including transportation funding and cap and trade reauthorization, were approved earlier in the session. See our final round-up HERE.
AB 132 - State support for Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games: SIGNED
AB 19 - California College Promise, which lays groundwork to waive fees for first year of community college for all first-time students: SIGNED
AB 1209 - New data collection mandate on employers: VETOED
Chamber supports housing projects
Last Thursday, Policy Manager Olivia Lee spoke in favor of the Lake on Wilshire project at the City's Community Planning Commission. The Commission approved the transit-oriented project, which will help address L.A.'s housing shortage with 478 new housing units, 11 percent of which are very low-income affordable housing units. In addition, Lake on Wilshire features a robust multi-cultural center for the surrounding community, retail space and a hotel. SEE the project.
Linkage fee moves forward
The Chamber opposed Affordable Housing Linkage Fee (AHLF) was approved by the City's Planning and Land Use Committee last week. The Chamber spoke against the proposed fee, which would charge a per square foot impact fee on all new residential, commercial and industrial construction in L.A. The proposed ordinance now heads to the City's Housing Committee before moving to the full Council for a final vote. Read more on why the AHLF is the wrong way to fund affordable housing HERE.
Municipal Lobbying Ordinance at L.A. City Ethics Commission tomorrow
The Chamber has been tracking proposed modifications to the City of L.A.'s lobbying ordinance, which will greatly impact anyone who engages with city officials on policy matters. After a constructive first hearing a couple months ago where the regulated community and nonprofits shared our concerns and suggestions, the ordinance has come back without incorporating any of that feedback. The Chamber will be at the hearing tomorrow morning to continue to express our concerns and the challenges some of these changes would create for our members. SEE the recommendations.
Congressional Republicans respond to SB 1 coalition letter
After a potential ballot measure to repeal SB 1 was filed with the California Attorney General's Office, the Chamber, along with a number of other organizations, sent a letter to the Congressional Republicans in the state. The letter from the Fix Our Roads coalition urged the members to rethink their strategy. Last week, Republicans responded. READ their letter and LEARN MORE.