Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

California awakening

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Nov. 19, 2009

State policymakers are beginning to understand -- or at least face the realities of -- a fundamental reason for California's job loss and now a 3-year $81 billion budget deficit.  Basically we pass laws and move on to new ones and call it success.  Texas on the other hand -- a state that congregates its legislature in only odd years and requires a 2/3rds majority on every bill -- created 70% of the new jobs in the United States in 2008 and has a $2 billion budget surplus this year. 

I offer the following 3-week timeline of completely independent events and tidbits -- a syllogism if you will -- as a picture of evolving realizations of California's problem, as well as some minimal-cost concepts that are gaining traction. 

October 22

    » Treasurer Bill Lockyer testifies that two thirds of California bills shouldn't see the light of day and begs the Legislature to recognize the severe degree of dysfunction as it pertains to California's dire situation.

October 30

    » Trends magazine contrasts California vs. Texas and predicts whirlwind backlash and decline in the Golden State

November 1

    » The Milken Institute 2009 index shows California is 42 percent more costly than Texas in business taxes (TX is actually 27 percent below national average).  There is also a large disparity between wage and electricity costs, and their index does not even take into account regulatory costs.

    » The Milken Institute also comes out with top-performing cities index that shows four Texas metropolitan areas in top 10.  California had none in Milken's top 25.

November 4 (blog date)

    » SMA solar manufacturing locates in Colorado.  (another lost "green" opportunity to help back-fill 590,000 lost manufacturing jobs in California).

November 12

    » Attorney General Jerry Brown pronounces that California is over-regulated.

November 16

    » Harvard Business School blogs that manufacturing drives innovation (important for a state intent on innovating and leading the "green" economy).

November 17 (Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee)

    » Cal Portland Cement CEO, Jim Repman, testifies on closing a 100-employee facility this Friday, November 20, as a result of regulations, costs and uncertainty.  Invites Sen. Mark DeSaulnier to come see one of the Cal Portland facilities.  Key Repman quote:  "A cement plant cannot be picked up and moved, but the next new plant probably won’t be built in California meaning more good, high paying manufacturing jobs will be lost to Nevada or China or somewhere." (download testimony)

    » Vulcan materials' Angela Driscoll testifies that duplicative regulations and uncertain future costs are hurting their ability to compete. (download testimony)

    » NFIB's Michael Shaw testifies on dire situation for small businesses and the importance of streamlining regulations so they can return to creating jobs and growing the California economy.

    » CMTA's Dorothy Rothrock testifies on opportunity lost for $5 billion in income tax revenue as a result of declining manufacturing base.   Then provides minimal-cost oversight options to address California problems.  Basically analyze existing regulations for economic impact along with some other thoughts.  (download testimony)

    » Rothrock also floats "80/20" concept.   80 percent of our time should be focused on existing law impacts on the economy and jobs.  20 percent on new laws.   (I bet Lockyer loves it! See video link in Oct. 22 item)

    » State Senator Mark DeSaulnier supports oversight concepts, promises to continue to address our dire job situation and tries to find time to join Repman this Friday when he has to close his Colton facility.

November 18

    » LAO says California is in another gaping $21 billion hole.

    » Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg released the following statement in response to the Legislative Analyst Office’s fiscal outlook report: "The numbers cry loudly for California to focus on rebuilding our tax base. The only tried and true way to do so is to use our fiscal levers to increase the number of high wage jobs (editorial note: insert manufacturing). Putting more people to work earning decent wages will help overcome our deficit. We need to protect our schools and universities, so as we create high wage jobs (editorial note: insert manufacturing) we produce a workforce able to fill them."


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$20 billion budget abyss should trigger pause in bold, California-only policy

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 29, 2008

California State Senate Republicans today announced an economic recovery package to reduce costs on consumers and businesses to help dampen the burden on the State's $20 billion deficit.  Among the recovery measures was a request to delay the greenhouse gas implementation for one year.  AB 32 will impose new costs -- estimated at $511 billion by the EPRI -- on the California economy and worsen the budget crisis.  We are already 23% more expensive than the national average in business costs. The one year additional time for implementation would delay those new costs, and also allow more time for the federal government to act.  Delaying implementation by this modest timeframe also gives the Air Resources Board time to develop rational regulations and work toward a market to keep compliance costs low for California companies.

All of the proposed measures work within existing law.  In AB 32, there is specific language that allows for a temporary adjustment by the Governor during extraordinary economic times:
    "38599.  (a) In the event of extraordinary circumstances, catastrophic events, or threat of significant economic harm, the Governor may adjust the applicable deadlines for individual regulations, or for the state in the aggregate, to the earliest feasible date after that deadline.     (b) The adjustment period may not exceed one year unless the Governor makes an additional adjustment pursuant to subdivision (a)."

The California-only greenhouse gas undertaking has been lauded as one of the biggest and boldest policy decisions this Sate has made in the last 20 years ... for a reason.   It will cost consumers more money, negate even more competitive balance for California employers and, with a dismal budget, threaten our State's finances.  A momentary pause is almost meaningless to the bill's goal and, in fact, provides more time to understand the effects of the myriad of future regulations.

Video footage:
Watch CMTA Dorothy Rothrock on the AB 32 proposal
Watch State Senate Republican Leader David Cogdill and Sen. Bob Dutton introduce Economic Recovery package
Watch Sen. George Runner responding to questions
Watch Sen. Cogdill responding to questions

Press Release

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A lobbying community gem gets noticed

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Dec. 10, 2007

This profile ("She's Geared up for manufacturing"), written by Marc Lifsher,  ran in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend on the California Manufacturers & Technology Association's Chief Lobbyist, Dorothy Rothrock.  After raising children, shouldering an energy crisis, defending the economy and jobs during the nation's first statewide greenhouse gas reduction bill, and meeting other Sacramento challenges, Rothrock is ready for the "second half of her career" at CMTA.  That half includes making AB 32 work for the economy and manufacturers, doggedly pursuing opportunities to provide career and technical education for California's students, reducing the cost burdens on our state's high wage providers, and other worthy causes.

A special thanks to V. John White for commenting in the article on the positive experience of being on the other side of Rothrock's positions and advocacy efforts.  It's engaging dialogue like the one between Rothrock and White that raise the bar on policies coming out of Sacramento.  As the Communications VP working with "Dot", I can also vouch for her unfettered determination, class and sincerity in all of her professional endeavors.  On another note, her very cool and bright children, Annie and Tommy, tell me she really does do upside down yoga at home.  She's going to need it.

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