Politics, government and public life for Southern California

CA Legislature approves Governor’s plan to dismantle enterprise zones (Updated)

Jerry Brown Delivers California State Of The State Address

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Assembly Speaker John Pérez (L) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (R) rustled up enough votes to enact changes that Gov. Jerry Brown wanted in the state's enterprise zone program.

The California Assembly voted Thursday to scrap the state’s 40 enterprise zones, including several in Southern California.

AB93 phased out a tax credit for businesses that invest and hire in areas designated as economically depressed, and replaces it with broader tax credits for businesses that hire people who’ve have a tough time finding or keeping a job, including former inmates. There’s also a tax credit for manufacturing and technology purchases.

In a statement, Governor Jerry Brown called the vote "a big, bipartisan win for California businesses and working people."

Brown has been pushing to eliminate the enterprise zones as part of this year’s budget. He says the $750 million dollar annual tax credit the program enjoys has been squandered on beneficiaries that include strip clubs and casinos.  

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State Assembly kills so-called Wal-Mart bill

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The so-called "Wal-Mart bill," which would have fined large employers whose workers end up on Medi-Cal, failed to pass the state Assembly.

The California Assembly voted down a bill Thursday that would have fined large employers whose workers end up on Medi-Cal — the state subsidized health care program for low-income residents.

AB880, better known as “the Wal-Mart bill,” fell nine votes short of passage. Democrats in the Assembly were hoping to pass the bill while they still have a super-majority, which ends July 1 when Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) resigns on July 1 to take his seat on the L.A. City Council.

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-LA), warned without it there would be nothing to deter companies from cutting workers hours in order to sidestep the Affordable Care Act requirements to provide insurance to full-time workers. 

“If their employees in the inverse end up on Medi-Cal, and we don’t recoup some of those costs, it is a de-facto subsidy for those companies,” Gomez said.

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Update: Senate passes immigration bill; House says 'not so fast'

Senate Immigration Bill Passes

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"Dreamers" celebrate the passage of the Senate's immigration reform bill on Thursday.

Senate Immigration Bill Passes

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Sen. John McCain after the Senate passed its immigration reform bill on Thursday.

Senate Immigration Bill Passes

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"Dreamer" Francis Madi after the Senate immigration reform bill passed on Thursday.

Senate Votes On Immigration Reform Bill

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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) heads for the Senate floor for the vote on a comprehensive immigration bill.


The Senate has passed historic immigration legislation offering the hope of American citizenship to millions, while promising a military-style surge to secure the border.

The vote was 68-32, eight more than needed to send the measure to the House. Prospects there are not nearly as good and many conservatives are opposed.

Related: If Senate path to citizenship becomes law, how many immigrants will take advantage?

Vice President Joe Biden presided, and senators cast their votes from their desks, rising to announce their position, both steps reserved for momentous votes. There was one moment of levity: freshman Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas first voted "yes" and then quickly said "no!" as Senators chuckled. He asked again to make sure his nay vote was recorded in the no column.

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Assembly tackles Wal-Mart bill for workers' health care

Bob Blumenfield

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield's website

The Assembly is taking up a controversial bill before it loses its super-majority when Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) resigns July 1 to take his seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

The California Assembly is slated to take up a bill Thursday that fines large employers whose workers qualify for Medi-Cal.

AB880, better known as the “Wal-Mart” bill, applies to any business in California with more than 500 employees, but critics say it’s clearly crafted to force the nation’s largest company to pay a bigger share of California’s health care costs.

Here’s how it works: 

If a large company gives California workers less than full-time work that results in less than full healthcare benefits, or pays so little that those workers end up on state-subsidized healthcare, that company would pay a fee to the state: 110 percent of the average cost of health insurance provided by large employers — roughly $6,000 per an employee by one estimate.

Physicians, labor and consumer groups that sponsored the measure say it’s only fair that these companies pay a fine because the state would otherwise have to pick up the costs for their employees.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Eric Garcetti's style, LA's bicycle share program, DWP settlement in Owens Valley

MAYORALDEBATE - 9

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Is LA's next mayor as good as a Boy Scout? The LA Weekly contrasts Eric Garcetti's style with that of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Thursday, June 27, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The LA Weekly predicts Eric Garcetti will be the "Boy Scout Mayor." "The transition team seems obsessed with trying to show an uninterested L.A. — only 21 percent of residents voted in the May 21 mayoral election — that City Hall is not a vapid PR machine," according to the piece.

Los Angeles' contracts with two "street furniture" companies have created some speed bumps for bicycle sharing in the city, reports the Los Angeles Times. "To make money, the company planned to sell advertising on the 400 sleek, silver rental kiosks that it would place around Los Angeles. But a contract between the city and two media firms will almost certainly prevent that from happening, the company recently learned," per The Times.

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