In today’s Daily Journal:
A bill intended to close a loophole in existing law that lets companies relocate to another city within the state to gain lucrative tax credits failed to pass out of a legislative committee yesterday.
Assembly Bill 1278, authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, was inspired by a company, VWR International, that is ditching Brisbane to relocate to an enterprise zone in the city of Visalia.
But Hill failed to get the four votes needed to move the bill past the committee stage.
“The bill was not supported by the chair. I thought I could do it now and was looking for one Republican to support it,” Hill said.
The state Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy is chaired by Manuel Perez, D-Coachella. Perez’s Assembly District includes Imperial County, which officially opposed Hill’s legislation.
Perez’s 80th Assembly District covers all of Imperial County and parts of Riverside County and the area’s high jobless figures prompted him to vote against Hill’s bill.
“Coming from a community with unemployment over 20 percent and that has historically suffered from a lack of private investment and jobs, I’m always concerned about the impacts of business closures on families and communities. My vote today does not reflect my lack of concern about this issue but rather the importance of pushing for a broader enterprise zone reform agenda,” Perez wrote to the Daily Journal in an email.
AB 1278 represented a piecemeal approach, which Perez believes would undermine efforts to reform the enterprise zone program.
“I initiated the reform conversation more than a year ago and the negotiation includes a number of issues such as business relocation and the tighter targeting of business incentives. Some of the reform proposals are in my bills, AB 231 and AB 1411. I hope my actions today will induce labor and business to come back to the table,” he continued in the email.