SACRAMENTO – As Californians prepare to honor the state’s working men and women on Labor Day, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today released a compilation of key bills passed during the 2010 Legislative Session to help keep Californians working.
“As I have said consistently, our absolute number one priority at every level of government must be getting Californians working again,” Pérez said. “I am proud the Assembly has been responsible for passing a significant number of jobs bills this session, and I am committed to ensuring jobs remain the priority as we work to finalize a budget agreement.”
Speaker Pérez noted that the legislature’s jobs efforts covered a variety of sectors, from emerging green technologies, to health care, to small business, to education.
“Our approach to jobs has been multifaceted,” Pérez said. “In some cases, we looked where we could maximize federal draw down funds for the state’s benefit, in other instances, we looked to which sectors were suffering the most, and actively identified solutions that could revive these industries—like the tax credits for new home buyers that helped boost housing construction.”
Highlights of jobs-related bills passed in the 2010 legislative session are attached.
Key Job Legislation of 2010
AB 177 (Ruskin) increases the penalties for those who fraudulently claim to qualify as a disabled veteran-owned enterprise or small business, when applying for state contracts. At a time when veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and jobs are scarce, we must protect the rights of our servicemen and women. The bill also ensures that small businesses, in general, can compete for state contracts on a level playing field with larger enterprises.
AB 183 (Caballero) provides a $10,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, anyone buying a new home—whether or not they are first time buyers, or existing homeowners looking to purchase in a new development, to be paid out over three years. This legislation especially reinvigorates the stalled building industry that had stagnated due to the drop in home buying over the last several years.
AB 231 (Huber) creates jobs by expediting construction projects by eliminating duplication and reducing time in the CEQA process. AB 231 streamlines CEQA by eliminating duplication and reducing time in the CEQA process without undermining any of its environmental protections. The bill is an ongoing demonstration of the Legislature’s interest in making CEQA as workable and as protective as possible.
SB 847 (Steinberg, J. Pérez) ensures teachers and school employees can star on the job by appropriating $1.2 billion to the state Department of Education as soon as California receives the funds from the federal government pursuant to the federal Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. The federal legislation provides that these funds can only be used “for compensation and benefits.... necessary to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees, and to hire new employees, in order to provide early childhood, elementary, or secondary educational and related services, and may not be used for general administrative expenses.”
AB 1830 (Jones) boosts California manufacturing jobs by requiring the California High Speed Rail Authority to make every effort to purchase high speed rail trains and related equipment that are built in California. With more than $11.25 billion in state and federal funding being invested in high speed rail, this bill aims to keep these funds within the state, fostering growth in the manufacturing sector and producing thousands of secure, good paying jobs for Californians. As high-speed rail expands nationally, California could become the national leader in train manufacturing.
AB 1846 (V.M. Pérez) is a regulatory reform bill that benefits business and job creation while assuring environmental integrity. The bill expedites the environmental review process for projects that involve upgrades or retrofits to bring businesses into compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). Specifically, it empowers state water and air agencies with the discretion to use a focused environmental impact report for projects that install pollution control equipment or change to a more sustainable product.
AB 1873 (Huffman) boosts green jobs by making Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs more attractive to local governments by reducing the cost of the loans made through contractual assessments to property owners to finance energy and water efficiency improvements.
AB 1954 (Skinner/Pérez) helps California achieve its long-term renewable energy goals and supports jobs and infrastructure investment. It addresses technical issues that present impediments to renewable energy transmission financing and which could limit the efficient production of renewable energy. Specifically, it authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission to provide administrative pre-approval of utility costs for transmission lines that facilitate achieving the Renewables Portfolio Standard.
AB 2058 (Block) brings more Californians back into the workforce by allowing unemployed workers receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to continue their coverage while enrolled in job training or education courses to develop the skills necessary for our state’s changing workforce. As it stands, some recipients of UI lose their coverage when they seek training, causing an unfair hardship for many Californians in need and discouraging the expansion of job training.
AB 2293 (Torres) boosts home construction jobs by directing the Department of Housing and Community Development to begin to move over $50 million available to fund affordable housing that is held up due to the reluctance of banks to issue construction loans.
AB 2385 (John A. Pérez) creates a pilot program at five community college campuses throughout the state aimed at accelerating the training of healthcare workers from two years or more to 18 months or less. California’s community colleges train 70 percent of nurses statewide but cannot keep up with the growing demand for nurses and allied health professionals.
AB 2398 (John A. Pérez) would boost California’s carpet recycling industry by implementing a carpet stewardship program that will ensure more carpets in California are recycled rather than being a major contributor to filling up landfills in the state.
AB 2437 (V.M. Pérez) implements the California Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which establishes a loan and loan guarantee program that will enable the state to draw down federal dollars to support the retooling and expansion of manufacturing in California. The bill establishes the structure and process for the operation of the loan fund, intended to attract, retain, and grow the state’s manufacturing sector.
AB 2446 (Furutani) promotes career technical education (CTE) in the state’s high schools. Many students will benefit from CTE courses that will prepare them for college and careers that offer a strong living wage. This legislation is a solid step forward in providing a highly trained workforce that can keep the state competitive in many industry sectors.
AB 2581 (Bradford) seeks to bring vital financial services to underdeveloped and low income communities by creating a Banking Development District Program to encourage banks to establish branches in specific locations where there is a demonstrated need for banking services.
AB 2696 (Bass) empowers the state’s Green Collar Jobs Council to take full advantage of federal stimulus funding to promote jobs and boost green technologies in our state. This bill is the second part of an effort started in the previous session with AB 3018 (Bass and Núñez), a bill to create an agency that would exclusively serve as a catalyst for the creation of green jobs. AB 2696 makes it the responsibility of the GCJC to work with a number of organizations to align workforce development services with green economy efforts.
AB 2734 (John A. Pérez) creates the Office of Economic Development within the Governor’s office that will establish long-term economic goals and strategies as well as specific and effective services to assist California’s businesses both large and small. California’s businesses—especially small, family owned businesses—are the workhorses of our economy. This bill makes sure there is an advocate at the state level that will keep the job creating capacity of these businesses at the forefront of the discussion on the state’s economy.
CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408
Website of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker