CALED Provides Input on Funding for Pilot Economic Development Projects
The California Labor Agency, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development recently launched the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) program, a $600 million initiative supporting innovative plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries.
$50 million of that funding is currently being considered to support economic development pilot projects that meet CERF objectives. The State team recently shared and solicited public input on the framework for these pilots. CALED provided key input in these areas:
- Ensure regional and geographic equity in funding allocation
- Clarify grant scoring emphasis
- Clarify variety of local plans and emphasis on “shovel-ready” projects
- Remove premature requirement for HRTC letter for enhanced point scoring
- Anticipate potential of economic recession
Click here to read full letter.
CALED’s Economic Development Analysis on Key Issues
- Surplus Land (Ting) Opposed – Thanks to quick action by CALED and its members, Assembly Member Ting pulled AB 2357 from committee prior to the hearing. This legislation would have expanded HCD’s role in the implementation of the Surplus Lands Act (SLA) and undermined local governments and their ability to do what is best for their communities in order to create economic development opportunities. CALED would like to thank the leadership of Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced), Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, for her determined opposition to provisions of the legislation which sought to further expand the SLA in ways that undercut local community flexibility. Critical to this favorable outcome was the engagement of many communities and economic development corporations that sent letters of opposition. This bill is inactive and died October 2022.
- Surplus Disposal (Umberg) Opposed – This bill is inactive and died October 2022 (status information – SB 361). The Surplus Land Disposal would have created costs and delays for jurisdictions in Orange County. See opposition letter here.
- California Environmental Quality Act: Transportation Impacts (Caballero) –This bill is inactive and died October 2022 (status information – SB 1410.) CALED supported this bill that would have narrowed the application of existing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) developed by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to only apply to development projects within transit priority areas. Development projects such as housing and economic development uses located outside of transit priority areas would be subject to traditional level of service criteria. See support letter here.
- Dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies: Enhanced infrastructure financing districts – On September 27, 2022 Governor Newsom signed AB 2780 to allow local jurisdictions that have resolved their past redevelopment dissolution issues to form an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD).
- Climate resilience districts: formation: funding mechanisms – On September 27, 2022 Governor Newsom signed SB 852 (Dodd) to authorize the creation of climate resilience districts equipped with various financing tools and powers.
- Governor Signs SB 780 (Cortese) CALED’s Bill Improving Economic Development Financing Tools – On September 28, 2021 Governor Newsom signed SB 780 (Cortese) into law. CALED sponsored this bill based on input from economic development practitioners on how to improve California’s economic development financing tools.
- EIFD Requirement Removed for Voter Approval Before Issuing Bonds – On Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Governor Newsom signed AB 116, Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, AB 116 removes the requirement for Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) to receive voter approval prior to issuing bonds. CALED championed this under SB 128 (Beall), and we were glad to see it picked up in this budget trailer bill.
- CALED Releases Recommendations to Accelerate Recovery – The coronavirus health crisis caused massive disruption to California’s economy and threatens to plunge the state into an extended recession. We offered the following recommendations as a framework to re-energize local economies and hasten California’s economic recovery. Read More Here
- A Win for Small Manufacturers – On Friday, September 21, 2018, Governor Brown signed AB 1547. Authored by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, AB 1547 eliminates the California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission (CIDFAC) and, as a result, removes a barrier for small-to-medium size manufacturers trying to access low-cost financing.
- EIFD’s Expanded to Cover Maintenance – On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, Governor Brown signed SB 1145, a sponsored bill with CALED. This bill aimed to protect local economic development investments by allowing Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) finance ongoing maintenance costs for public projects in their districts.
- Keep Private Activity Bonds – Tax-exempt private activity bonds (PABs) are fully preserved under the updated tax code, which includes 501(c)(3) bonds, exempt facility bonds, student loan bonds, small issue bonds, and mortgage bonds. While the code fully preserves PABs, the new tax laws would have reduced the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 21 percent; a factor that may lower demand for PABs. As a result, CALED and other partners wrote letters to key Congress members to preserve PABs. After multiple letters and calls, PABs were reinstated into the budget bill and preserved.
- AB 1250 Stopped – CALED participated in an effort, under the leadership of CSAC and a large coalition of stakeholders, to oppose AB 1250, a de facto prohibition on contracted services. The measure would have hindered services provided to the most vulnerable Californians by non-profit organizations in our 58 counties.
- CDBG For Economic Development Is Preserved – CALED, The League of CA Cities, and partners opposed a trailer budget bill that tried to eliminate the economic development set-aside for state non-entitlement CDBG funds. This is a huge win for non-entitlement communities and economic development!
- Governor Signs Hertzberg Bill (SB 820) That Helps State Continue Pushing Redevelopment of Blighted Properties – Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, that extended the California Land Reuse & Revitalization Act, a vital legal tool enacted in 2004 that has helped propel the cleanup and development of vacant hazardous waste sites across the state. SB 820 renews the California Land Reuse & Revitalization Act (CLRRA), which was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2017, for another 10 years.
- CALED Supported AB 2605 That Makes It Easier on Economic Developers & Small Businesses (March) – AB 2605 sought to resolve several out-of-date references to the Office of Permit Assistance which previously existed within the Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency. Specifically, this bill deletes completely and updates several sections in law, in reference to the Office of Permit Assistance, to reflect the duties of the Permit Assistance Unit within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control.