Associated General Contractors of California contractor and associate members descended on Sacramento last month for the association�s annual Legislative Day.
The activities started with a reception in honor of the legislators carrying legislation on behalf of AGC. Honorees included Senator Lou Correa for authoring SB 694, making changes in the Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act; Assemblyman Chuck Calderon, who is carrying AB 2060 to provide protection against any future sales tax increases if the contractor holds a fixed price contract; and Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, the author of AB 2216 to require that a claim against a contractor�s payment bond must be made at the time of, or prior to, the notice of completion.
The AGC Legislative Day continued with presentations from Senate Republican Leader (elect) Bob Dutton and Assembly Republican Whip Nathan Fletcher, who clearly stated their caucus� position against any new taxes concerning the current budget negotiations to close a $19 billion gap between revenues and expenditures.
The two legislative leaders discussed the various issues and political hurdles that must be overcome in order to adopt a state budget plan for 2010-2011.
The opening presentation was followed with two panels discussing the initiative line up expected for the November ballot, the upcoming legislative races and �top of the ticket� race for governor.
First, Assemblyman Dan Logue discussed the initiative that would postpone the implementation of AB 32, the greenhouse gas legislation signed into law in 2008 by Governor Schwarzenegger.
Assemblyman Logue was followed by top campaign consultant Rick Claussen, partner in Goddard-Claussen, who described the multitude of additional ballot measures that likely will appear on the November ballot, including elimination of business tax benefits, redistricting of congressional seats, majority vote to pass the state budget, additional protection of transportation funds and changes in term limits.
The second panel included Rob Lapsley, vice president of public affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce, and Dan Eaton, former chief of staff to the assembly speaker and president of his political consulting firm, Winning Moves. They provided an entertaining and informative give and take of the Republican and Democrat strategies as we approach the November elections. Of course, both think their candidates will be victorious and expect the Governor�s race to be one of the liveliest California has ever seen.
After lunch, Assembly Speaker John Perez provided insight as to how the state budget impasse might be resolved, though he indicated a lot of work was ahead for both the Senate and Assembly Democrat caucuses to resolve their differences before engaging the Governor and Republicans in serious discussions. Perez would not predict when we would have a state budget in place for 2010-2011.
AGC members spent the afternoon in meetings with their legislators discussing the current economic impact on construction employment and the need to be aware of legislative measures that would benefit or hurt the construction industry. Capping off the day was a final stop at Gallagher�s Irish Pub, giving everyone a chance to wind down and share their legislative stories and experiences.