Senate dems announce job bill package

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 12, 2010

Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) revealed a 27-bill package on February 10th. He estimated that it would create 140,660 jobs.

Some bills will use federal funds for transportation (SBx8 36 Correa), high speed rail (SB 965 DeSaulnier), school (SB 205 Hancock) and multi-family housing construction (SB 958 Lowenthal).  Some bills target unspent state bond funds for new programs such as workforce training for high speed rail (SB 964 Alquist), “green school” energy efficiency projects (SBx8 35 Lowenthal) and redirecting funds from ineffective housing projects (SBx8 28 Yee).

The package calls for an expansion of energy efficiency and renewable projects such as a 33 percent renewable portfolio standard (SB 722 Simitian), mandating that a certain level of renewable energy is purchased in California, expedited permitting for large scale renewable projects (SBx8 34 Padilla), using existing Public Interest Energy Research funds for the construction or reconfiguring of facilities or schools for career technical education that prepares students for employment related to clean technology, renewable energy or energy efficiency (SB 675 Steinberg). There are also bills on environmental restoration; recycling, litter reduction, water supply, flood protection (SB 991 Wolk), and clean air (SBx8 37 Cedillo). SB 959 (Ducheny) would have Cal-EPA re-establish the Permit Assistance Centers, One-Stop Shops, to streamline the process for new businesses needing multiple permits.

Workforce Development is another issue in the package. Senator Leno will have a bill to expand the “Work Share” program at the Employee Development Department so more employees can maintain employment and receive partial UI benefits.  SBx8 29 (Steinberg) would exempt certain State employees from being furloughed. SB 974 (Steinberg) would swap out Enterprise Zone tax credits with new credits to encourage businesses to invest resources, time and expertise in middle and high school “career pathways”.

Not all proposals have numbers. The package has until the bill introduction deadline of February 19.

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