The Leading Voice of Business in Orange County Tuesday, January 12, 2016
OCBC'S DR. WALROD HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR HIGH-WAGE JOBS AT SCAG SUMMIT
Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Adviser to OCBC, served as the representing Orange County economist at the Sixth Annual Southern California Economic Summit Thursday, which drew more than 400 business and government leaders from around the region. The summit highlighted a report outlining that while Southern California's six-county region is surpassing pre-recession employment levels, there are significant challenges remaining - such as lagging wages, low education rates and on-going transportation needs.
Dr. Walrod highlighted that while unemployment levels are declining, wage growth lags - especially when you compare Southern California's household income at a 2.1 percent growth to $58,455; to the Bay Area's 6.4 percent growth to $80,317. In addition to the need for higher paying jobs, Fmr. Gov. Pete Wison discussed the negative impacts that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has had on the economy, lamenting that has become more an instrument of obstruction than improving the environment.
He called on Gov. Brown to follow through with his message two years ago to reform CEQA. CLICK HERE
to read a story from the San Gabriel Tribune. For more information, contact Jocelin Jimenez
, Economic Development Specialist.
IT WILL BE GREAT! REGISTER TODAY: OCBC'S 2016 ANNUAL DINNER - FEB. 18
Don't miss OCBC's 2016 Annual Dinner on February 18 at Hotel Irvine under the theme "The Nation of California: Pursuit of the Ideal Climate."
During the gala event, OCBC will recognize outgoing 2015 Chair Laura DeSoto, Experian, and install the 2016 Board of Directors, led by incoming Chair RJ Mayer, The Mayer Corporation
. More details coming soon!
Date: February 18, 2016 Time: 5:30 Registration I 9:00 p.m Adjourn Place: Hotel Irvine
For more information, contact Sabra Ritter, Director of Events.
UPDATE: ALISO CANYON GAS LEAK
Today, the Infrastructure committee welcomed Tina Javid of SoCal Gas Company, to give an update on a single gas well leak in the Aliso Canyon/Porter Ranch gas storage facility, which serves 5/5 million So Cal customers. While the leak started in October, the utility has since been working diligently to try and identify the leak location, seal it and shut down the well. SoCal Gas, along with multiple regulatory agencies have run numerous tests to be sure there are no health impacts to the area or residents. The leaking natural gas is not toxic, nor is there any source of ignition at the site. Additionally, numerous regulatory agencies concluded that the well was up to regulatory standards required by state and federal law. However, due to the nature and odor of the chemical mercaptan - added as a safety measure to natural gas to allow for detection by smell - many residents have required assistance in the form of air filtration systems, relocation and temporary housing. OCBC applauds SoCal Gas for their excellent response to customers during the entire process. SoCal Gas continues to work on solutions to capture any gas that is leaked at the source and to ultimately stop the leak altogether. This includes the current plan of building a state of the art relief well that will intercept the leak at the underground source and ultimately kill the well function completely. CLICK HERE for updates. For more information, contact Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
GOV. BROWN'S BUDGET PAYS DOWN DEBT, INCREASES EDUCATION FUNDING
On Jan. 7, Gov. Brown proposed a $122.6 billion General Fund balanced state budget. The proposal comes with no new general taxes and $2 billion toward the rainy day reserve, bringing it to $8 billion.
While fiscal prudence is seen throughout the budget, education is one of Gov. Brown's priorities that will see increased spending, with $2.4 billion in additional revenues to keep college tuition flat, as well as increased spending per K-12 student to $10,591. Infrastructure spending will also see an increase, as the budget includes the governor's transportation package, first outlined this summer, that would provide $36 billion over the next decade toward maintaining highways, roads, and expanding public transit. While OCBC applauds the governor for including a modest transportation funding plan, more funding is needed to address the shortfall facing California's infrastructure system. OCBC commends the Governor's commitment to fiscal prudence as 69.5 percent of the state's General Fund revenues come from the volatile personal income tax, which can drop suddenly in times of recession.
Preparing for even slight economic downturn during times of fiscal strength protects the state's solvency. CLICK HERE
for an OCBC press release on the Governor's transportation plan. CLICK HERE
for more information about the proposed 2016-17 budget. For more information, contact Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
ONT-LA SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT SEES IMPORTANT MILESTONE
The Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) gave the final approval of the Settlement Agreement for local control of Ontario International Airport (ONT) from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). The action came following approvals earlier by the Ontario City Council, LA Board of Airport Commissioners and the LA City Council. The agreement must now be signed by all parties. OCBC President and CEO Lucy Dunn has served on OIAA since 2012, long advocating for the transfer of local control of ONT from LAWA
. ONT is an integral part of Southern California's infrastructure and saw major revenue loss and decline in passenger traffic under LAWA control. The OIAA will now take steps to ensure that Southern California has the airport capacity needed to make the long-term demand for air travel. For more information, contact Bryan Starr
, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
WILL CA LEGISLATURE FINALLY TAKE UP OVERDUE CEQA REFORMS?
In August, OCBC member Holland & Knight
released the first comprehensive study of lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), titled "In The Name of the Environment." Holland & Knight partner Jennifer Hernandez summarized the study, which identifies widespread litigation abuse, and proposed three moderate reforms to help curtail these practices: 1.) Require those filing CEQA lawsuits to disclose their identity and environmental (or non-environmental) interests; 2.) Eliminate duplicative lawsuits aimed at derailing plans and projects that have already completed the CEQA process; 3.) Reform CEQA's judicial remedies by
preserving CEQA's existing environmental review and public comment requirements, as well as access to litigation remedies for environmental purposes-but restrict judicial invalidation of project approvals to those projects that would harm public health, destroy irreplaceable tribal resources, or cause significant damage to the natural ecology. CLICK HERE
to read more. OCBC will ask the California legislature to finally take up these common sense solutions that preserve the fundamentals of environmental protection while allowing for reasonable projects to move forward.
For more information, contact Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
EPA'S NEW OZONE REGULATION TO HIT CA THE HARDEST
The Environmental Protection Agency finalized new regulation on ozone that is set to be among the most costly environmental regulations in California's history, positioning it as one of the hardest hit states. In Southern California alone, local officials estimate the rule could impact 299 congestion-reducing projects worth over $32 billion
. California's air regulators and local officials have done an excellent job controlling emissions during a time of rapid growth, but EPA's tightened standards effectively "moves the goal post" on this this successful effort. The regulation lowers the current standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. Numerous cities throughout California will exceed this new standard, triggering red tape and regulatory restrictions that will cripple business investment and job growth - essentially creating "no growth zones."CLICK HERE
to learn more and raise awareness about his new standard. For more information, contact Bryan Starr,
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
OCBC MEMBERS ON OC'S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE FOR 2015
Congratulations to the many OCBC members recognized on Orange County Register's list of OC's 100 Most Influential People for 2015. For a second year, the Register complied a list of people who have a significant impact on the county; ranging from the arts to politics to the nonprofit world, and picked from the year's top news stories and reader submissions. CLICK HERE to view to the full list. For more information, contact Delaine Moore, Director of Communications.
CA ECONOMIC SUMMIT LAUNCHES ONE MILLION CHALLENGES IN 2016 ROADMAP TO SHARED PROSPERITY
The California Economic Summit released its 2016 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity
today, highlighting a set of ambitious goals - One Million Challenges - that will be vital to expanding sustainable economic growth in every part of California. The Summit also welcomed U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein as honorary chair of this multi-year effort to advance the priorities of the state's regional economies. The summit's goals include one million skilled workers; one million new homes; and one million acre feet of water each year. For more information, contact Jocelin Jimenez
, Economic Development Specialist.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME AIMS TO FIGHT WIDESPREAD HOMELESSNESS IN CALIFORNIA
Yesterday, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon announced a "first-of-its-kind" initiative to address the wide-spread and growing issue of homelessness in California. The "No Place Like Home" initiative aims to repurpose Prop 63 (Mental Health Services Act) bond funds and leverage billions of additional local, state and federal funding to combat homelessness. It allocates $2 billion to build permanent, supportive housing for people with mental illness experiencing chronic homelessness, and allots $200 million to provide supportive short-term housing options while long-term housing is built. It also supports two family housing assistance programs, "Bringing Families Home," to help reunite families due to homelessness, and the CALWORKs Housing Support Program, which provides assistance to prevent homelessness situations. California has more than one third of the nation's chronically homeless - those with mental illness or other significant problems, and an even higher percentage among homeless women. Of the 28,200 chronically homeless in California, nearly 85 percent are unsheltered with this group absorbing the greatest amount of taxpayers' resources, often toping $100,000 annually per person in public costs for emergency room visits, hospital stays, law enforcement, and other social services. For more information, contact Larry Brose, Vice President, Investor Relations and Business Development.
GO-BIZ OFFERS $75 MILLION IN TAX CREDITS TO BUSINESSES
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced that it is now accepting applications for the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC). There are $75 million in tax credits available during this application period for businesses that expanding and adding jobs in the state. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, January 25, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) and the online application website
will automatically close once this deadline has passed. Businesses interested in learning more about the CCTC can participate in free webinars on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, CLICK HERE for details and registration. For more information, contact Jocelin Jimenez, Economic Development Specialist.
SIGN UP TODAY TO PARTICIPATE FOR CA ROAD CHARGE PILOT PROGRAM
As cars become more fuel efficient by using less gas to drive the same distance, less gas tax is collected to pay for needed roadwork, and drives with electric and other non-gas cars pay no gas tax at all. California is one of numerous states exploring new ways to pay for roads, including charging motorists for the miles they drive instead of the gas they purchase. OCBC and The Auto Club are involved in this effort to ensure member interests are represented and that the issues of information collection, administrative costs, privacy protection, and system fairness are addressed
. Currently, 5,000 drivers are needed to participate in a one-year pilot project, at no cost to volunteers. CLICK HERE
to volunteer today, as well as find out more information about the program. OCBC's Lucy Dunn has already signed up! Come join her in the research.
Coast Colleges Job Opportunities - Present
The Coast Community College District Board of Trustees are now accepting applications for part-time/temporary faculty members for all disciplines. Part-time teaching opportunities offer flexible hours and the opportunity to assist a diverse group of adult students in achieving their educational goals. CLICK HERE for more information.
Dealing with China - Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Don't miss a luncheon and talk with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the Richard Nixon Foundation in Yorba Linda, which will focus on Dealing with China: An insider unmasks the new economic superpower. CLICK HERE
for event and sponsorship information.
Free Grant Writing Workshop with Assm. Matthew Harper - Friday, January 15, 2016
Learn about grant opportunities for federal, state, and private foundation funding for your city, school district, water district, or non-profit agency from experts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 15 at the Neighborhood Community Center in Costa Mesa. Contact Assemblymember Harper's District Office for more info at 714.668.2100.
Help Plan The Future of Southern California Public Hearings - January 19, 2016
The Southern California Association of Governments is holding briefings for the public and elected officials until, with the first taking place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at OCTA in order to brief and accept comment on the draft Regional Transportation Plan. CLICK HERE for more info.
Elite OC January Schmoozer - Thursday, January 21, 2016
Join Elite OC for the first schmoozer of the year from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 21 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. Mingle with other leading young professionals in the area who are looking to network and give back to the local community. CLICK HERE
for more information.
Irvine Chamber's 2016 Business Outlook - Friday, January 22, 2016
The Irvine Chamber invites you to the 2016 Business Outlook from 7:30 to 9 a.m. January 22, 2016 at the Irvine Marriott. The event features keynote speaker Stuart Varney, Host of Varney & Company on FOX News Channell, CLICK HERE for more information.
Bank of America's Student Leaders Program Accepting Applications - Friday, January 29, 2016
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation's Student Leaders® Program is accepting applications for the 2016 Student Leaders® program. Since its inception in 2005, the Bank of America Student Leaders Program has recognized more than 2,200 exemplary high school juniors and seniors who have a passion for improving their communities. The application period will end Friday, January 29, 2016. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Cox Cares 2016 Scholarship Applications Open - Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Cox is excited to launch its 2016 Cox Scholars program. Each year, The Cox Cares Foundation awards college scholarships to graduating high school seniors looking to pursue their dreams of a college education. This year, they're awarding up to $110,000 in scholarships to students across our Southern California service area. Deadline to apply is February 3, 2016. CLICK HERE for more info.
Nominations Open for Cal State Fullerton 2016 Annual Leadership Awards - present to Friday, February 5, 2015
Nominations are now open for the 2016 Annual Leadership Awards with individual and company honorees recognized in two categories: "Excellence in Executive Leadership," and "Excellence in Leadership Development." CLICK HERE
for more information.
UPCOMING OCBC COMMITTEE MEETINGS: JANUARY
Latino Educational Attainment
Thursday, January 14, 2016 I 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Workforce Development Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 I 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
NOTE NEW LOCATION: - 3 Park, Conference Center, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614
Cybersecurity Task Force
Wednesday, January 27 I 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Committee meetings are open to OCBC members and invited guests only. All committee meetings are held at the OCBC offices unless otherwise specified. For more information on upcoming committee meetings for 2015 check out OCBC's Committees. For more information, contact Larry Brose, Vice President, Investor Relations and Business Development.
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