at the Chamber
all upcoming events on our Web calendar.
TUE | June 10
Grow Your Business
WED | June 11
Small Business Owners Roundtable
Mid Year Check-up
FRI | June 13
Health Care Committee Meeting
MON-TUE | June 16-17
WED | June 18
THU | June 19
V.I.P. Reception for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
Circle Level and above
FRI | June 20
Accenture Pancakes & Politics Breakfast Speaker Series
Circle Level and above
TUE | June 24
TUE | June 24
Business After-Hours Mixer
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is
the voice 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
S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
It’s looking to be a long, hot summer in Sacramento - and not just because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently declared a statewide drought. The state budget deficit – now estimated at $17 billion – will force lawmakers and state agencies to make very difficult decisions that will affect nearly every Californian.
Next Tuesday, the Chamber and more than 100 business leaders from throughout Southern California will meet with legislative leaders, agency officials and lawmakers during our annual Access Sacramento advocacy trip. The delegation will communicate the business perspective on the state budget and other vital issues including health care, water, education, transportation, CEQA reform, business taxes and labor laws.
During our visit to Sacramento, one focus will be long-term state budget reform. The Legislature must permanently end this broken record of boom-bust budgeting that, like clockwork, cripples the state every few years. The business community typically ends up shouldering much of the burden during these crises through higher taxes and fees. That’s why all of us must weigh-in on these issues.
This week, Chamber members are busy weighing-in via a member-only survey on the various spending cuts and tax/fee increases currently being discussed in the Legislature. And when we meet with lawmakers next week, we will share the perspectives of the Southern California business community on solving our budget crisis.
Our agenda also includes a wide-range of policy areas and pending legislation that will impact the strength of our state’s economy, business climate and quality of life – the bottom line for businesses in Southern California. With the help of the business people joining the trip, we will communicate the real world impacts of legislative initiatives to our economic development. Too many legislative bills have a negative effect on businesses’ ability to create new jobs and invest new capital resources in California. Without a climate that fosters new job creation and builds an expanded tax base through our free market system, we will have a budget crisis every year.
For example, the half a trillion (yes, trillion) dollars of infrastructure improvements desperately needed in California can never be built with government funding alone. The business community must continue to fight for legislation that will make it easier for government to partner financially with the private sector to help build new roads, mass transit, bridges and other projects.
The state water crisis is much worse than just the current drought. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is one disaster away from collapse. Unless Northern, Central and Southern California lawmakers pursue initiatives to fix the Delta’s levees, the water supply for two-thirds of our state’s population is at risk.
And preparing our children for the global economy means changing the way we teach them in our public schools. The Chamber sponsored three bills that will make important strides in that area. The business community is playing a major role in advocating for these improvements that will provide more skilled workers for business and a lifetime of opportunities for young people.
We thank the Chamber members who are sharing their perspectives on these important issues and the business leaders who are traveling with us next week to make our voices heard in Sacramento. Your time and investment will help pay dividends for Southern California business and for California in the future.
And that’s The Business Perspective.
Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
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