CALED has led the way in teaching economic developers, local elected officials, and state representatives the value of economic development and how it is used to grow businesses, generate revenue to support community development programs, and retain and create quality jobs. CALED provides tools and resources to enrich and empower their communities to build, wealthy, healthy, viable economies. One of the many ways we accomplish this is through legislative action.
As CALED drives further into this legislative session, we are looking to advance our priorities and will continue to work with partners on issues impacting economic development.
CALED’s Current Positions:
- AB 2357 (Ting) Oppose–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. When the bill was pulled, CALED’s CEO, Gurbax Sahota, was at the hearing prepared to provide lead opposition testimony.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. We would not have been able to stop this bill without their voices.
- AB 2780 (Arambula) Support– As Amended March 24, 2022, allows local jurisdictions that have resolved their past redevelopment dissolution issues to form an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD). See support letter here.
- SB 1410 (Caballero) Support– Narrows 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.
CALED’s Economic Development Analysis on Key Issues:
The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act Analysis
Economic Development is the creation of wealth from which community benefits are realized. It is more than a jobs program, it’s an investment in growing your economy and enhancing the prosperity and quality of life for all residents. As such, economic development implementation is rooted in maintaining a thriving local economy which also benefits the prosperity and quality of life of residents.
Given the multiple provisions in this measure, the sponsors are obviously frustrated by actions of the Legislature, state and local tax levels, regulatory activities, a series of Court decisions, and recent voter actions they disagree with. At the same time, local leaders are elected and accountable to voters, and need to retain the flexibility to govern, which includes raising revenues for services and adopting and enforcing regulations.
CALED members should consider whether this measure effectively furthers their community’s economic development goals.
CALED’s Economic Development Highlights on Governor Newsom’s May Revise for FY2022-23 Budget Plan
To read the summary, click here.
CALED’s In-Depth Economic Development Summary on Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2022 Budget
To read the summary, click here.
CALED Responds to CERF Program Request for Information on January 18, 2022 (click to see letter)
CALED Gives Input on CERF Proposed Regions (click to see letter)
SB 162 – $600 Million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) Program
Download CALED’s Analysis here
SB 162 Analysis Note from CALED CEO Gurbax Sahota
Governor Newsom signed SB 162 creating a $600 million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) Program. While this program will have a regional approach, we hope to reinforce that regional solutions require local voices and engagement to ensure long-term success.
State officials are working now on an accelerated rollout of the CERF Program, with a timeline to launch the program as soon as January 2022 with more information to be released this fall for public comment. The funds will be put out by the California Labor Agency through the Workforce Services Branch at EDD. Local agencies and EDCs seeking to participate in this program should review CALED’s detailed summary of the bill and begin organizing local collaboratives now to be better positioned to compete for funding. With such a significant allocation of funds, we know several groups are already looking at the CERF for potential funding and even providing influence in program design. That said, we believe that a city or county could take the lead as a “skilled and impartial convener” for initial collaborative stakeholder discussions, so that a structure is in place as the program comes together.
As you plan for your role in this program, whether that is as an applicant or participant, here are a few points to consider:
- While not detailed specifically in the legislation, we understand that there will be an effort by the state to align, to the extent possible, with the US EDA’s Build Back Better Challenge, which is absolutely an economic development program focused on long-term, transformative outcomes tied to metrics such as income levels, job creation, and business creation through the lens of equity and inclusion.
- If economic development is part of the solution to the problems CERF applicants plan to address, economic developers should be heavily engaged in the implementation of this program– as in other economic development programs at the local levels.
- Local governments are key/instrumental partners in regional solutions and should assume leadership roles in the collaboratives formed under CERF.
- It looks like, the initial focus for the CERF will be the identification of regions and the establishment of collaboratives. That said, we believe that will shift quickly to identification and implementation of significant projects with long-term economic development outcomes. All the more reason for local governments and local economic developers to assume leading roles in these collaboratives.
CALED-Sponsored SB 780 (Cortese) signed by Governor Newsom with no opposition and bipartisan support
Download fact sheet here; read bill text here.
CALED’s In-Depth Economic Development Summary on the 2021 California Signed Budget
To read the summary, click here.