Gov. Brown Budget Cuts Jeopardize State Open Meeting Law
By Dan Oney, Public CEO
In certain ways, Governor Brown’s budget offers as many questions as solutions. The latest question results from the state’s suspension of all mandates that aren’t related to public safety or property tax.
This broad-stroke cut has put in doubt the future of California’s open meeting laws, passed by voters under Proposition 59. Without funding, the Brown Act is widely considered suspended.
The League of Cities hasn’t heard of anyone trying to take advantage of the suspension. CSAC considers the open-meeting mandate suspended.
The cut would save the state more than $170 million in the coming year, including millions in savings resulting from claims filed in previous years.
But the savings doesn’t seem to justify the cut to open-government advocates, who are worried that the lack of funding will set back the state’s fifty-plus year progress on open meetings.
Constitutional amendments are already being proposed to ensure the continuation of open meetings, even if the budget ceases to fund them.
(Read full Associated Press story)
LAEDC Reports Finds LA Economy Stabilized, Slow Recovery
By LA Economic Development Corp.
The economic recovery is under way led by increased international
trade and growth in the high-tech sector, entertainment and tourism,
according to the 2011-2012 Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook report
released today by the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the Los
Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).
The Los Angeles economy “appears to be past the bottom of the
recession and is starting up the recovery path during 2011 and 2012,”
said LAEDC Chief Economist Nancy D. Sidhu, Ph.D. “Many industries are
back in the black and employment is rising in some areas.”
Imports and exports have rebounded around the world. Increased
international trade activity in 2011 will benefit the ports of Los
Angeles and Long Beach, which both posted strong years in 2010. Hiring
is also expected to grow as well for the region’s tourism and
entertainment sectors as a result of increased filming and more visitors
to the region, helped by the new convention center hotel at L.A. LIVE.
However, there is little likelihood the housing sector will escape
another difficult year, even though 2011 is expected to bring some
improvement. Housing activity will only see incremental improvement even
though it has improved from the 2009 lows.
California, which had the second highest unemployment rate in the
country in 2010 at 12.5 percent, will see employment growth in 2011.
However, much like the national picture, California’s jobless rate will
remain relatively high, with the LAEDC forecasting an average
unemployment rate of 12.1 percent this year and the rate coming down to
11.5 percent by next year.
“We project that the California and U.S. economies will grow
moderately in 2011 and 2012,” said Sidhu. “But the recession was so
deep, 2011 won’t feel all that good despite improvements in most
industries. However, the state is headed in the right direction, and the
economy will seem even better by 2012.”
(READ FULL REPORT