DEMOCRATS’ JOBS PACKAGE ADVANCES IN STATE SENATE
May 9, 2010 (Sacramento) – “The Senate continues to make progress to restore California's economy and put people back to work,” Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) announced. In April, Senate committees passed several bills as part of “Agenda 2010”, Democrats’ plan that aspires to create 140,000 jobs without raising taxes or dismantling workplace and environmental protections.
The jobs package put forward by the Democratic majority focuses on improving infrastructure, training people for new jobs in wind and solar energy, keeping families in their homes, and stabilizing college costs. According to the California Research Bureau, the jobs package would generate at least $6.7 billion in economic activity.
The following bills cleared Senate committees in April:
Career Training: SB 974, the “Jobs of the Future” bill by Senate Pro Tem President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would provide tax incentives for businesses to invest in "career pathways" that encourage students to stay in school and train for the careers of the future.
College Fee Stability: SB 969 by Carol Liu (D-Glendale) would establish a long-term, predictable and affordable fee policy for students in California community colleges, and the California State University and University of California systems. For charts showing the dramatic spike in cost to attend UC and CSU schools, see http://senweb03.senate.ca.gov/focus/agenda2010/pdf/SenFlorezPressCharts2....
Streamlined Permitting: SB 959, authored by Senator Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego), would help cities and counties develop "one-stop" agencies that allow businesses to more easily navigate the environmental permitting process.
High-Speed Rail Jobs: SB 964 by Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) would spend $25 million of voter-approved bonds for the first phase of a workforce training program to construct, maintain, and operate a high-speed rail system in California.
Transportation Infrastructure: SB 1371 by Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) would create a formula for disbursing federal transportation funds to local government, especially for "shovel ready" projects.
For details on the Democrats' Agenda 2010, see: http://senweb03.sen.ca.gov/focus/agenda2010/
The Senate Republican Caucus webpage has no listings regarding jobs bills, instead focusing on other legislative priorities such as pension reform and rolling back healthcare reforms.
Assembly Republicans have put forward their own package of jobs bills to address the state's 12% unemployment rate. The GOP package focuses on cutting taxes and fees for businesses, streamlining regulations, and tort reforms to limit lawsuit awards. The Republican package does not specify any measures in green jobs training, transportation or infrastructure project job creation, or college affordability. http://republican.assembly.ca.gov/
Neither party has put forward proposals to directly increase revenues short-term for California, which faces a $20 billion budget deficit and the prospect of more budget cuts this year, though both contend their plans will improve the economy and thus improve the state's financial situation in the long term.