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League-Supported Infrastructure Finance District Bill, SB 33 Passes Committee

SB 1 Sustainable Communities Investment Authority Also Moves Forward

March 13, 2013
Today, the Senate Governance and Finance Committee heard several bills, including two economic development bills the League has been carefully tracking, SB 33 (Wolk) and SB 1 (Steinberg).
 
Both bills were passed out of the committee. SB 33 will next be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee, while SB 1 will next be sent to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

SB 33 (Wolk)
 
The League supports SB 33 (Wolk), which is a reintroduction of last year’s SB 214 and would make crucial updates to current Infrastructure Financing District Law. For more background on SB 33, please also see the CA Cities Advocate story “Sen. Lois Wolk Reintroduces Legislation on Infrastructure Financing Districts.” 
 
Benicia City Manager and League City Managers’ Department President Brad Kilger testified as the lead witness in support of the bill.
 
Kilger shared his experience as Benicia city manager as well as the city’s economic challenges in recent years in his  testimony. He highlighted the Benicia Industrial Park that encompasses approximately 8 million square feet of industrial manufacturing space, houses more than 600 businesses and 6,500 employees. Kilger characterized the industrial park as a “regional job generator” and noted that 29 percent of the total annual sales tax revenues in the county is generated within the industrial park.
 
However, Kilger stated that without critical infrastructure updates to sustain the industrial park the businesses, jobs and tax revenues would be in jeopardy. He noted that SB 33 would assist the city with its infrastructure challenges and recognized provisions in the bill that increase transparency, and accountability while allowing the city to promote new growth and maintain existing jobs. He closed his testimony by urging the committee to support the bill, so that Benicia could begin to address critical issues that support economic development.
 
The League’s analysis of SB 33 is also available on the League's website.
 
Take Action
 
More support letters from cities are needed as SB 33 proceeds in the Legislature. City officials are encouraged to send support letters on SB 33 as soon as possible. The League’s support letter and a sample support letter are available on the League’s website by typing “SB 33” into the search box.
 
SB 1 (Steinberg)
 
SB 1 is an identical reintroduction of last year’s SB 1156 (Steinberg), which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed. The bill  would authorize tax increment and former redevelopment authority to be used in areas adjacent to commuter rail and high volume transit corridors. It  moved out of committee with support from environmental groups, transit authorities, counties and special districts. The League, which has a Watch position on the SB 1, did not testify on the measure because  it is still considered as a work in progress. The League has been working with city attorneys to develop a set of amendments to address various technical and implementation concerns that would make the proposed tool more helpful for cities.
 
During today’s hearing, Sen. Steinberg’s staff presented the bill and the author’s office committed to various amendments listed in the committee analysis. While these amendments are helpful clarifications the League anticipates presenting a more comprehensive list of proposed changes The League anticipates presenting a set of proposed amendments to the author’s office in several weeks.


 
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