Visalia Chamber’s Position on 2018 Ballot Measures

Go vote.jpg

The Visalia Chamber Supports:

Prop 1: AUTHORIZES BONDS TO FUND SPECIFIED HOUSING 1 ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. LEGISLATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill, and transit-oriented housing. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging about $170 million annually over the next 35 years.

Prop 2: AUTHORIZES BONDS TO FUND EXISTING HOUSING PROGRAM FOR 2 INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS. LEGISLATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Amends Mental Health Services Act to fund No Place Like Home Program, which finances housing for individuals with mental illness. Ratifies existing law establishing the No Place Like Home Program. Fiscal Impact: Allows the state to use up to $140 million per year of county mental health funds to repay up to $2 billion in bonds. These bonds would fund housing for those with mental illness who are homeless.

Prop 3: AUTHORIZES BONDS TO FUND PROJECTS FOR WATER SUPPLY AND QUALITY, WATERSHED, FISH, WILDLIFE, WATER CONVEYANCE, AND GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY 3 AND STORAGE. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Authorizes $8.877 billion in state general obligation bonds for various infrastructure projects. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging $430 million per year over 40 years. Local government savings for water-related projects, likely averaging a couple hundred million dollars annually over the next few decades. Prop

4:AUTHORIZES BONDS FUNDING CONSTRUCTION AT HOSPITALS 4 PROVIDING CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund grants for construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of qualifying children’s hospitals. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging about $80 million annually over the next 35 years.

Prop 5: CHANGES REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN PROPERTY OWNERS TO TRANSFER THEIR PROPERTY TAX BASE TO REPLACEMENT PROPERTY. INITIATIVE 5 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. Summary:Removes certain transferrequirementsfor homeowners over 55,severely disabled homeowners, and contaminated or disasterdestroyed property. Fiscal Impact: Schools and local governments each would lose over $100 million in annual property taxes early on, growing to about $1 billion per year. Similar increase in state costs to backfill school property tax losses.

Measure A: VISALIA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Summary: To protect quality education with funding that cannot be taken by the State, shall Visalia Unified School District: upgrade classrooms, labs and computersystemsto support science, technology, English, arts and math; prevent school/classroom overcrowding; and improve school safety/security; by issuing $105,300,000 in bonds at legal rates, repaying an annual average of $7,560,000 for 30 years, at approximately $36 per $100,000 of assessed value, with independent oversight, no money for administrators, and all funds staying local?

The Visalia Chamber Opposes:

Prop 8: REGULATES AMOUNTS OUTPATIENT KIDNEY DIALYSIS CLINICS 8 CHARGE FOR DIALYSIS TREATMENT. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Requires rebates and penalties if charges exceed limit. Requires annual reporting to the state. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source. Fiscal Impact: Overall annual effect on state and local governments ranging from net positive impact in the low tens of millions of dollars to net negative impact in the tens of millions of dollars.

Prop 10: EXPANDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ AUTHORITY TO ENACT RENT 10 CONTROL ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Repeals state law that currently restricts the scope of rent control policies that cities and other local jurisdictions may impose on residential property. Fiscal Impact: Potential net reduction in state and local revenues of tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or considerably more.

Prop 12: ESTABLISHES NEW STANDARDS FOR CONFINEMENT OF SPECIFIED FARM ANIMALS; BANS SALE OF NONCOMPLYING 12 PRODUCTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals. Prohibits sales of meat and egg products from animals confined in noncomplying manner. Fiscal Impact: Potential decrease in state income tax revenues from farm businesses, likely not more than several million dollars annually. State costs up to $10 million annually to enforce the measure.

The Visalia Chamber takes no position on:

Prop 6: ELIMINATES CERTAIN ROAD REPAIR AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING. REQUIRES CERTAIN FUEL TAXES AND VEHICLE FEES BE APPROVED BY THE ELECTORATE. 6 INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Summary: Repeals a 2017 transportation law’s taxes and fees designated for road repairs and public transportation. Fiscal Impact: Reduced ongoing revenues of $5.1 billion from state fuel and vehicle taxes that mainly would have paid for highway and road maintenance and repairs, as well as transit programs.

Prop 7: CONFORMS CALIFORNIA DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME TO FEDERAL LAW. ALLOWS LEGISLATURE TO CHANGE 7 DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME PERIOD. LEGISLATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Gives Legislature ability to change daylight saving time period by two-thirds vote, if changes are consistent with federal law. Fiscal Impact: This measure has no direct fiscal effect because changes to daylight saving time would depend on future actions by the Legislature and potentially the federal government.

Prop 11: REQUIRES PRIVATE-SECTOR EMERGENCY AMBULANCE EMPLOYEES TO REMAIN ON-CALL DURING WORK BREAKS. 11 ELIMINATES CERTAIN EMPLOYER LIABILITY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Summary: Law entitling hourly employees to breaks without being on-call would not apply to private-sector ambulance employees. Fiscal Impact: Likely fiscal benefit to local governments (in the form of lower costs and higher revenues), potentially in the tens of millions of dollars each year.

For additional information on each proposition Click Here

Chamber's Position on Proposed Bills

AB 150

The Visalia Chamber of Commerce has taken a position of SUPPORT for AB 150 - ADA Compliance Regulation: Protections of Good Actors. This bill creates a six month period where small businesses, which are found to be in violation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, can correct issues prior to litigation proceedings. Click here to review our letter of support.

AB 190

The Visalia Chamber of Commerce has taken an OPPOSE position for AB 199 - Prevailing Wage on Private Residential Construction. This bill mandates the payment of prevailing wages on new privately constructed residential housing. This would lead to substantial increases in the cost to build, and therefore purchase a home, which would impact hundreds of thousands of Californians ability to attain homes. Click here to review our letter opposing AB 190.

Chamber's Policy Positions

As part of our advocacy efforts, the Chamber's Board of Directors has adopted official policy statements related to areas we believe are critical and, therefore, require active monitoring and engagement on behalf of our members.

Official Policy Statement

Growth in local employment, along with increases in personal and business income is essential to the economic well-being of the community. The Chamber is committed to ensuring that local employers remain strong and competitive, and that new businesses are attracted to, and created within, our community. The Chamber is also committed to the improvement of community attributes that materially influence decisions by employers and employees to locate and remain in the community, including the quality of health care, educational achievement, school district test scores, public safety and other factors. These efforts should be focused on the goal of ensuring Visalia is the regional retail, office, medical and industrial hub of Tulare and Kings Counties. The Chamber serves as the voice of business in advocating for policies and programs which create an environment in which business can thrive and expand. As part of our advocacy efforts, the Chamber has identified the following areas that we believe are critical to that environment and, therefore, require active monitoring and engagement on behalf of our members.

The Chamber supports efforts to enhance the regional, national, and international competitiveness of the local agricultural industry. We advocate for …

  • efforts to ensure that necessary resources, e.g. water, power, labor, are available to meet the needs of local agriculture industries

  • land use planning policies and growth boundaries that provide reliable and predictable growth patterns which conserve viable agricultural lands and allow farm owners to anticipate changes in surrounding land uses

  • implementation of the Valley Blueprint

  • ensuring that new regulations or legislation are required to demonstrate measurable benefits which outweigh increased costs of production

The Chamber supports comprehensive, broad-based efforts to address poor air quality and ever shrinking water availability, while ensuring that regulations and protections are not misused, duplicative, or burdensome. We advocate for …

  • reasonable implementation and streamlining of environmental regulations, particularly those that incentivize voluntary compliance

  • efforts to ensure that regulations are effective and do not prohibit job creation or slow economic growth

  • comprehensive, statewide solutions that ensure adequate water supplies, through a combined strategy of conservation, reuse, groundwater recharge, and new/expanded surface storage

  • expansion of existing efforts to monitor groundwater to maintain a good quality groundwater resource, with a focus on prevention of contamination rather than reactive clean-up programs

  • aggressive efforts to responsibly reduce air pollution in the Valley

The Chamber …. We advocate for …

  • an adopted long-term General Plan for the city and county, with appropriate ongoing updates

  • an adequate supply of sites for new employers which are serviced by the infrastructure and support facilities necessary for them to thrive and that are consistent with General Plan, Industrial Park Master Plan, and the community’s economic development strategy; phasing of these properties for actual development should be handled through land use and growth management policies, as has been the practice over the last 35 years

  • the evolution of the Mooney corridor, and other major commercial zones when and if appropriate, to include mixed use projects featuring increased housing and a broader range of permitted goods and services

  • creation of a “College District” centered around College of the Seqouias that ensures development supports the continued functioning of the College and, specifically ensures the Visalia Campus remains COS’s primary campus and home to its district leadership

  • removing infrastructure constraints to facilitate future development in the downtown and the core area, including issues such as inadequacy of water supply, fireflow, electrical capacity, and the existence of derelict improvements.

  • ensuring that planning, zoning, and land use issues remain local decisions with little to no regional, state, or federal interference

  • ensuring that processes important to business establishment are streamlined, efficient, and supported to ensure they do not become roadblocks to new economic activity

  • requirements that all new regulations and/or fees be reviewed to ensure that costs are outweighed by measurable benefits

The Chamber supports collaborative, solution-oriented efforts to deal with crime, violence, and property damage, and believes that business leaders need to take more of a leadership role in these efforts. We advocate for …

  • collaborative, community-wide efforts that address gang-related violence, with increased participation by business leaders

  • efforts aimed at graffiti suppression and prevention programs in the industrial park, downtown, and other commercial districts

  • establishment of Improvement Districts in the Industrial Park and Mooney Boulevard zones

  • vigilant monitoring of the impacts of the state’s prison realignment program and securing resources adequate to mitigate those impacts

  • coordinated community-wide efforts to address homeless problem, with a particular emphasis on impacts to business (e.g. vandalism, cleanliness of property, etc.)

The Chamber believes that arts and cultural activities are important elements in business attraction and retention. We advocate for... 

  • coordinated efforts by local and regional visitor and arts organizations to expand and enhance cultural assets in the community and to promote visits to the community and surrounding region

The Chamber endorses an economic development strategy that emphasizes increasing the number of wealth-producing jobs in the community and the expansion of the number of businesses and residents paying taxes and fees into the system. We advocate for... 

  • the recruitment of new businesses, the creation of new businesses, and the encouragement of existing business expansion

  • incentives that promote the use of local labor and materials

  • a strategy to aggressively promote the Visalia Industrial Park and the Municipal Airport as sites for job-creating business locations

  • adoption of the MarketPlace Fairness Act, which would allow states to collect sales taxes from all retailers, thereby creating a level field of competition

The Chamber endorses strategies that develop local talent and keep that talent local. We advocate for …

  • efforts to develop a wide range of educational options for the business community, including classes, workshops, incubators, and e-centers; pilot programs such as the Building Industry & Community Services (BICS) program at College of the Sequoias which develop alternative models for instructional delivery designed specifically to meet employer needs with regard to rigor, specificity, and timeliness should be encouraged and supported

  • opportunities to complete four-year college degrees within our community

  • programs, including career and technical education and internships, that provide a foundation for local businesses to hire students and meet future workforce demands

  • increased educational support for entrepreneurial activities and for business start-ups.

The Chamber believes that job creation and job preparation should be the core focus of all community leaders. We also believe in balancing the rights of employees to “fair play,” with employers’ rights to operate their business successfully. We advocate for... 

  • revisions to restrictive wage/hour laws and regulations that prevent mutually agreed upon flexible work weeks or other alternative schedules

  • efforts to reduce workers’ compensation costs

  • protections for businesses from new or expanded costs in the form of mandated wages, employee benefits, or “protected class” designations

  • comprehensive immigration reform based on principles including strong and effective border security, protection of legitimate cross-border commerce and travel, temporary worker programs that meet the needs of business for both high and low skilled workers, strict enforcement of employment verification, and an earned pathway to legal status for existing undocumented workers

The Chamber believes that government agencies should perform their roles with as minimal an impact on business as possible. We advocate for …

  • streamlining of oversight agencies and protocols to simplify and avoid duplication and/or inconsistent regulations

  • requirements for cost-benefit analysis ensuring economic impacts are weighed before imposition of new cost mandates on employers

  • public pension reform that reduces government cost, eliminates unfunded liabilities, and brings public pensions in line with those offered in the private sector

  • regular review of government imposed impact fees to ensure that fees reflect current and accurate costs, needed projects, and accurate growth projections, with a goal of ensuring new development pays its fair share of infrastructure costs while preventing fees from becoming impediments to economic growth

  • increased emphasis on maintenance and upkeep of community assets such as roads, buildings, etc.; longterm maintenance costs should be built into the planning of new projects, ensuring that long-term maintenance funding is available when needed

  • aggressive reviews of all public sector expenses to find ways of reducing and eliminating costs where possible; options such as outsourcing, consolidation within and across agencies, and reorganization of existing operations should all be examined regularly to seek increased efficiencies and return on investment

  • processes which actively seek as much input as possible from impacted stakeholders prior to making decisions regarding fees or regulations

  • ensuring that taxes and fees are broad-based and not targeted at specific industries or businesses

The Chamber believes a healthy community is a productive and profitable community, but that efforts to ensure healthy citizens should respect the rights of business owners to operate their business successfully. We advocate for …

  • legislation that leads to reforms in tort and malpractice law

  • opportunities for small businesses to obtain group coverage and cost advantages through association plans and other tools currently available to large groups

  • attracting new general and specialty providers to the community in order to stem the leakage of medical service expenditures

  • business and community support for initiatives that will increase the quality and quantity of providers in our community, improve and expand local medical education/training programs, and to reverse the significant economic leakage of health care dollars from our community

The Chamber believes that an appropriate role for government is to ensure that infrastructure investments meet the needs of commuters and commerce. We advocate for …

  • appropriate investments (Measure R, local resources, grants, etc.) in road and rail systems to better expand and improve commute and commerce corridors

  • appropriate impact fees developed based on real-world costs, and appropriate, adopted growth projections

  • appropriate usage of Measure R funds to upgrade commute and commerce transport corridors

  • timely and appropriate investments in infrastructure such that these elements do not become barriers to businesses operating successfully