Appropriations Committees Clear Suspense Files; One Job Killer, One Job Creator Move to Floor

Yesterday was the deadline for fiscal committees to send bills in their second house to the floor. One job killer bill passed to the Assembly Floor, while one job creator continued to the Senate Floor.

Job Killer Moves to Assembly Floor

SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills), which passed the Assembly Appropriations  Committee, has been identified as a job killer by the California Chamber of Commerce because it seeks to mandate a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 without consideration of the economic side effects or ongoing oversight for the Legislature. Joining the CalChamber in opposing SB 32 is a coalition of employer associations and local chambers of commerce.

Unlimited Authority to ARB. SB 32 provides the California Air Resources Board (ARB) with unfettered authority in pursuit of a GHG reduction goal. This bill does not require an analysis of whether current regulations have exacerbated or prevented emissions or driven jobs to other states. Nor does it consider how California’s regulations have influenced other state or national governments to emulate our approach.

AB 32 has been in place now for nearly 10 years with little to no oversight or analysis.

Analysis Is Key. Although the CalChamber and coalition opposing SB 32 appreciate the need to address climate change, it is imperative that a cost benefit analysis be used to guide climate policies. The Legislature deserves a robust, meaningful analysis and to be informed before giving the ARB carte blanche authority to move forward.

Before any additional GHG emission reduction targets are set, there must be a credible and independent marginal cost analysis on the strategies adopted thus far in order to educate and guide GHG emission reductions after 2020. This will allow the Legislature to make educated decisions, provide appropriate guidance to regulatory agencies, and effectively oversee agency implementation to ensure that the costs and benefits of policy choices are realized.

Will Drive Up Housing Costs. SB 32 could create significant uncertainty for residential construction and all types of development by prematurely enacting increasingly speculative GHG reduction targets without first acknowledging the technological feasibility, the cost implications for housing, and the significant California Environmental Quality Act litigation risks that would be presented for development projects and plans adopted today.

Before extending GHG reduction mandates beyond 2020, the Legislature should independently evaluate the cost and benefit of the state’s current climate change programs to better understand what has and has not worked.

For more information on the remaining job killer bills, visit www.CAJobKillers.com

Job Creator Bill Moves to Senate Floor

AB 2664 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be considered next by the entire Senate. The bill makes it easier to establish a business by requiring the University of California (UC) and Berkeley National Laboratory to expand their capacity and increase access to their innovation and entrepreneurship centers, which provide incubator space, legal services, entrepreneur training and more for researchers and other individuals looking to develop innovative solutions.

The CalChamber identified AB 2664 as a job creator because the innovation and entrepreneurship centers have a proven track record for helping to turn ideas into companies that provide jobs for Californians and help drive the state’s economy. AB 2664 would help them expand to keep up with the growing need for workspace and training for start-ups, and help attract private sector investors. In exchange, the state will benefit from increased economic activity and job growth, as well as from the innovative solutions new companies are able to bring to market due to the help they receive from the UC system.

For more information on the remaining job creator bills, visit www.CalChamber.com/JobCreators

The Legislature has a couple more weeks to finish conducting their business. August 31 is the last day for each house to send bills to the Governor.