For Immediate Release
Lee Ann Eager, Co-Chair CCVEDC, 559-476-2513
Mark Hendrickson, Co-Chair CCVEDC 209-385-7686
Jennifer Faughn, Executive Director, 661-366-0756
CCVEDC Conducts Annual Mission to State Capitol
Photo 1: Left to Right: Asm. Jim Patterson, Mike Ammann, Asm. Devon Mathis, John Lehn, Asm. Dr. Joaquin Arambula, Lee Ann Eager, Richard Chapman, Asm. Rudy Salas, Bobby Kahn, Asm. Vince Fong, Tyler Richardson.
Photo 2: CCVEDC External Affairs Chairman Lee Ann Eager with Governor Jerry Brown.
April 5, 2018– Representatives from EDC’s throughout the Valley met with more than 20 legislators and top government officials to bring the voice of Central Valley businesses to the Capital.
”This annual effort helps to keep the needs of the Valley forefront in the minds of legislators from throughout the state. Needed infrastructure, regulatory reform and assisting all of California’s communities were primary topic of discussion,” according to Lee Ann Eager, External Affairs Chairman for the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation, comprised of the eight EDC’s from San Joaquin to Kern.
Infrastructure Development for Business was the primary theme of the visit. The priorities list included Upstream Water Storage in Central Valley, Regulatory Reform, Workforce Development and Assistance for Disadvantaged Communities.
“The legislators from the San Joaquin Valley have a deep understanding of the need for upstream water storage, however, it is unfortunate that Sacramento politics are preventing the construction of this critical infrastructure. Water should be the number one concern of all Californians and we cannot conserve our way out of the situation we are in, we need to have additional storage. We were encouraged that the Temperance Flat upstream storage project seems to be a strong contender for Proposition 1A funding to help retain valuable water for use during California’s cycles of recent drought,” noted Bobby Kahn, CCVEDC Board Member and Treasurer.
The Central Valley is a prime location for advanced manufacturing, distribution, energy development, water technology and other industry sectors which support California’s identity as an innovation leader. With available land, buildings and the workforce to support industry, the CCVEDC members work daily to promote the Valley and all of California for business expansion and location.
“As Representatives from the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation, we were very pleased with the support received from local legislators. Discussions of common issues were extremely productive and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that the Central Valley is the best place to live, work and thrive,” stated Eager.
In addition to valley legislators, the group met with the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy; the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz), and California Manufacturing & Technology Association officials.
CCVEDC is a not-for-profit Corporation supported by the 8-county region in the Central Valley, PG&E and Central Calif/Central Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) Partnership, whose mission is to attract and retain jobs and investment in the Central San Joaquin Valley counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern.
2018 Legislative Priorities
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT for Business
Infrastructure is a foundational aspect of job creation. California’s most disadvantaged communities struggle to develop the public infrastructure needed to attract and grow jobs and private investment. Needs based funding and incentives are required for public infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. The Central Valley region will benefit from a ‘hand-up’, resulting in full participation in our state’s economic recovery.
a. Upstream Water Storage
Background: California will continue to struggle with drought conditions until additional upstream water storage is developed to support people and agriculture. The Water Bond of 2014 provided funding to develop upstream storage at Temperance Flat for agricultural and municipal water storage to serve the Central San Joaquin Valley and all of California.
- Support administrative and legislative efforts to develop water storage at Temperance Flat and other water infrastructure projects throughout the state.
b. Regulatory Reform
Background: Of California’s 4 million businesses, 3.1 million are sole proprietorships. 87% of companies have 20 or fewer employees. Environmental regulations in California are a burden on our small businesses, causing them to leave or expand outside of our state. Following are some areas that pose the greatest burden to business:
- California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): Litigation brought about under CEQA has resulted in delaying and killing projects that met all environmental protection requirements.
- AB 32 Cap and Trade costs are significant, and collected fees are ‘invested’ into programs with ‘modest’ ties to air quality improvements.
- California’s minimum wage and leave laws: The wage and leave costs placed on businesses is a competitive disadvantage, and renders a California location or expansion unsustainable for many.
- Reform CEQA to limit appeals and delays after the public review process.
- Review the AB 32 fees distributed over the past 24 months to determine whether they are having the intended effect to reduce pollution.
- Allow costs related to minimum wage, personal leave laws and wage and hour regulations to stabilize before adding new economic burdens.
- Evaluate California’s competitiveness with states such as Nevada, Arizona and Texas to determine how we can improve our attractiveness on major projects we have lost to these neighboring states.
c. Workforce Development
Background: The Central San Joaquin Valley counties are focused on the development of training and retraining in advanced manufacturing. Partnerships with business and education have been forged to develop a globally competitive workforce. We must raise the academic achievement of Central Valley students in STEM disciplines.
- Direct workforce development resources to disadvantaged regions and communities. Support the development and rollout of curriculum that supports advanced manufacturing, including tuition reduction for graduates who go on to teach these skills.
- Address the lack of qualified teachers in Fundamental Sciences in the Valley. Incentivize STEM graduates to pursue a career path in teaching.
d. Assistance for Disadvantaged Communities
Background: California’s most disadvantaged communities are in desperate need of tools and resources to develop the public infrastructure required to attract and expand business. Logistics firms locate out of state to avoid California transportation and fuel requirements and costs. These firms transport cargo from the Ports out of state, and then bring many of those goods back to California for sale.
- Grant full sales and use tax elimination on manufacturing equipment purchases in counties or regions with annual unemployment rates equal to or greater than 130% of the average statewide unemployment rate or other defined economic characteristics.
- Extend the applicability of the Sales & Use tax exemption to logistics and distribution centers (possibly through amendment of AB 398). This would incentivize the location of these facilities within impoverished communities in California and reduce pollution by reducing out of state truck miles and the utilization of cleaner diesel required by CA companies.