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The Leading Voice of Business in Orange County
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Money It's been over a year since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was enacted. Where does OC stand compared to the rest of the state? Once again, it doesn't look pretty.

OCBC supported ARRA in 2009 as a direct response to the economic crisis, particularly due to its focus on job creation and investment in long-term growth.
With California facing serious budget shortfalls, there is founded concern that another round of state and local government budget cuts could push the nation back into recession or, at a minimum, delay what is already anticipated to be a weak recovery.  As Orange County is the economic driver for California, and California's economy drives the US, there is concern that the ARRA dollars are not being driven to areas where investment can provide the best long-term return.

As of March 2010, the U.S. allocated $312.8 billion of Recovery Act funding, or about $1,028 per capita nationwide.

Here's how the rest of the state did:
  • California as a whole received $36.3 billion, or $987 per capita
  • Los Angeles County received $6.78 billion, or $687 per capita

  • San Diego County received $1.68 billion, or $558 per capita

  • Orange County received $1.29 billion, or $429 per capita
  • Sacramento received $11.18 billion, or $8,021 per capita

Clearly--to use the vernacular--Orange County got shafted. Orange County tax dollars, and now debt, are reallocated to others. OCBC calls on all Congressional representatives to bring money back to Orange County!  As Orange County is an economic driver for this state, and California's economy drives the U.S., ARRA dollars are not being driven to areas where investment can provide the best long-term return. For more info, contact Dr. Wallace Walrod.
If you read Lucy Dunn's latest Dunn and Done Blog: SQUIRREL!, you know OCBC is calling out all legislation not focused on the issues needed now, jobs creation!

With a state budget crises and lingering economic malaise, legislators must focus on the critical issues facing the state. However, in the four days prior to deadline, lawmakers introduced an impressive 1,321 bills in the Assembly and Senate of questionable benefit to the job at hand.


That's 330.3 bills a day, 13.8 bills an hour, or about one every five minutes. New proposed laws and regulations to add to the state's infamous status as "worse place to do business." The last-days' flurry brought the total of bills for the 2009-2010 session to 4,245. That doesn't include the 806 resolutions, proposed constitutional amendments or measures introduced in the eight concurrent "extraordinary" sessions held so far. Only slightly off the average (over the last five sessions) of 5,028 regular session bills, plus the hundreds of other kinds of measures.


A 2001-02 estimate, based on a study from the 1990s, reckoned the average cost of a bill--drafting of the measure by the legislative counsel, printing it, shepherding it through the committee process--was $17,890.  Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $20,900 in 2010 dollars.   


Which means, the introduction of 1,321 new bills in February could potentially cost the state $27,608,900 .  That's $27 million dollars.

  • Is a "Cuss Free Week" necessary when California need two million jobs created NOW?--Squirrel!
  • Do we need a mandate to have all school spirit squad coaches take spirit training?--Squirrel!
  • An added provision to prohibit bicyclists from texting while behind the handle bars?--Squirrel!
Help keep our legislation accountable. Visit www.CaliforniaSquirrel.com and post your own squirrel

OCBC will be tracking key pieces of legislation that could affect Orange County's quality of life and business community interests, as well as highlighting those bills that should have been left on the drafting table. For more info, contact Kate Klimow.


On Thursday, March 4, the U.S. Secretary of Education announced the first round of state finalists for the federal "Race to the Top" grant program.  Race to the Top is the US Department of Education's $4.35 billion effort to dramatically re-shape America's educational system to better engage and prepare students for success in a competitive 21st century economy and workplace. Unfortunately, California was nowhere to be found.  Of the 41 states that applied, California was not selected as one of the 15 states and the District of Columbia to advance as finalists for phase 1. 

OCBC was, and continues to be, a key supporter of "Race to the Top" competition as this federal grant program would assist on four core initiatives:

  • Improve approval process provisions and oversight for new and existing charters.
  • Embrace and adopt the national common core standards.
  • Develop a linkage between pre-K-12 higher education systems and workforce data.
  • Improvement of state performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.).

States competing for Race to the Top funds were asked to document past education reform successes, as well as outline plans to: extend reforms using college and career-ready standards and assessments; build a workforce of highly effective educators; create educational data systems to support student achievement; and turn around their lowest-performing schools.  Frustrating as it is that California's bipartisan effort to improve our lowest performing and under-funded schools in the state didn't result in first-round funding, we should give ourselves an "A" for effort in making great strides towards education reform. California can apply for phase 2 funding and hopefully our state leaders and the education community can continue to work towards improving, not only California's chances for federal funding, but also the opportunities for our children to receive a stellar education.

Secretary Arne Duncan made a point of saying that everyone that applied for Race to the Top is charting a path for education reform.  California still has time to adjust our path and make a competitive run for phase 2 funding.  At a time when the recession is still holding a firm grip on California's economy, and the business community continues to struggle with an unprepared workforce, we cannot let the opportunity for federal funding pass us by.  In the vernacular of the school yard, we have a shot at a do-over. Here's hoping we can make the most of it. For more info, contact Alicia Berhow.

one voice OCBC is less than a week away from sending a distinguished delegation of business leaders and public officials to Washington, D.C. to advocate for the county's highest priorities affecting the economy.  OCBC will brief congressional leaders and members of the Obama administration on The Council's efforts to stimulate economic development and preserve a high quality of life throughout Southern California. 

"As the leading voice of business in Orange County, it's our job to ensure America's fifth largest county receives increased federal investment," said Linda Martin, OCBC Board of Directors Chair.  "Orange County is an economic engine for the region and state, by taking a strong delegation to the nation's capitol today-we're ensuring the economic prosperity of the county tomorrow."

OCBC joins with Southern California on the Hill and more than 20 business organizations with over 200 business leaders and elected officials to speak with one voice for the Southern California region.  

The annual OCBC Washington, D.C. advocacy trip is half of its "One Voice, Two Capitols" initiative--the second half being a trip to the state's capitol May 17 - 19, 2010. "It is vital that the business community engage the state and federal governments on the issues that matter to this region's economic vitality," added Lucy Dunn, President and CEO of the Orange County Business Council. "Orange County has a greater population than 22 states in the nation-it's necessary that we make our presence known and our faces familiar."

For more information on OCBC's "One Voice, Two Capitols" trips, or how to get involved, please contact Kate Klimow.
57 Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation (AB 11 X8) sponsored by Assembly Member Jose Solorio, allowing the California Transportation Commission to sign agreements with local transportation agencies to advance projects using local funds creating 6,000 new Orange County transportation jobs.

"The Governor understands that nothing should delay funding for transportation projects ready and waiting to get started," Assemblyman Solorio says. "We appreciate the Governor's swift action to fast-track this legislation."

The State's current inability to sell bonds has delayed construction of several Orange County Transportation Authority
(OCTA) "shovel-ready" transportation projects. While OCTA has local funding to advance these projects, California law prevented them from proceeding without the State committing to pay its share. Now, if OCTA wishes to front the funding, the California Transportation Commission will have legal authority to issue a "letter of no prejudice," which will allow OCTA to be eligible for reimbursement later, once bonds are sold.

Orange County Business Council applauds Assembly Member Solorio, Governor Schwarzenegger and OCTA for focusing on California's top priority, JOBS CREATION.
For more information on OCBC's "One Voice, Two Capitols" trips, or how to get involved, please contact Kate Klimow.
water A blue ribbon committee of more than 20 of Southern California's corporate, community and academic leaders was appointed by Metropolitan Water District's Board of Directors last week including OCBC's Lucy Dunn. The committee will identify and recommend new business models and strategies that will help the region meet its long-range water needs.
"This broad-based and diverse mix of leaders will give us a fresh perspective on developing approaches to reliable and sustainable imported water supplies over the next 50 years," said Metropolitan board Chairman Timothy F. Brick. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
The six key areas targeted by the Metropolitan board for committee review and study are: developing new water options for Southern California; energy for the future; economic development and new technologies; financial stability; workforce; and communications.
"The committee's charge is to focus on the main areas to identify the best strategies and practices that can be applied to foster environmental stewardship, water reliability and new sources of competitive advantage for Southern California," says Brick. For more information, contact Lucy Dunn or Kate Klimow.
healthcare Last week the health care reform bill reached a crucial milestone in which President Obama indicated he would implement four Republican Party ideas to ensure the latest package would pass.  They include:
  • Greater investment in medical malpractice tort reform.
  • Increasing Medicaid reimbursements for physicians.
  • Combating fraud in the health-care system.
  • Allowing those who buy insurance on "insurance exchanges" could participate in health savings accounts.
Despite the concessions, the Republicans have indicated that the reforms do not go far enough and still plan to vote no on the final proposal; however, the Democratic plans to move forward, with or without Republican reform compromises.
For more info, please contact Alicia Berhow.
ios As Orange County's Haworth Preferred contract furniture dealership, Interior Office Solutions specializes in developing functional, productive, and beautiful workplace environments tailored to each client's unique requirements. IOS focuses on delivering the best product solutions and the highest levels of service.

Interior Office Solutions has quickly and steadily grown since being founded in early 2000.
For over 50 years, Haworth has been dedicated to providing the broadest array of products and services. Haworth has a passion for serving customers, embracing change and continually pursuing greater effectiveness and excellence in quality. This has earned Haworth awards for business and design practices, such as environmental sustainability, leadership, community service and member job satisfaction.

The IOS + Haworth team of highly experienced, talented professionals is dedicated to exceeding your expectations and delivering successful projects, each and every time! For more information on Interior Office Solutions, visit their website at www.interiorofficesolutions.com.

AAC The Business Council now makes it easier to take action and get involved on the issues that matter most to businesses in Orange County. With the new Advocacy Action Center you can:

1. Track key legislation that OCBC is following.
2. Gain access to the most up-to-date legislative directory.
3. TAKE ACTION! As issues unfold, OCBC's Advocacy Action Center is your one stop shop to send letters to your legislators.

Click here to tour the new Advocacy Action Center! For more info, please contact Kate Klimow.
March 2010

ADV Full LogoEconomic Development Committee
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 from 9 - 10:30 a.m.

Workforce Development Committee
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 from 7:30 - 9 a.m.

Community Colleges Working Group
Thursday, March 25, 2010 from 3 - 4:30 p.m.

NOW FORMING: OCBC's 2010 Golf Committee!
If you are interested in participating in this year's Executive Invitational Golf Tournament planning committee, please contact Leslie Dods.

Committee meetings are open to OCBC members and invited guests only. All committee meetings are held at the OCBC offices unless otherwise specified. For more information on upcoming committee meetings for 2009 check out OCBC's Committees.

Looking to get more involved? Click below to receive specific committee notices.
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Orange County Water Forum - Friday, March 12, 2010
Join the State of California, Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), California Latino Water Coalition, Orange County Water District and Municipal Water District of Orange County for an informational forum that will discuss the comprehensive water package which was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor last year. Click here for more event information.

Segerstrom High School Aquatic Center Ground Breaking - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
On behalf of YMCA of Orange County, Santa Ana Unified School District and the Santa Ana YMCA Board Members, you are cordially invited to a ground breaking to celebrate the start of construction of the Segerstrom High School Aquatic Center and First Phase of development for the Santa Ana YMCA. For more info please contact Yolanda Origel at 714.508.7661.

Orange County Public Company Forum: The New Normal - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Hear Dr. Mickey D. Levy, chief economist for Bank of America, on "2010:  The New Normal." It's a different world of "new normals," following one of the worst financial crises in history and the ensuing restructuring of the economic order. Be sure to attend this year's Orange County Public Company Forum for timely, thought-provoking insight and discussion covering all aspects of today's businesses. Click here to register or for more info.

Orange County Forum 2010 State of the County - March 18, 2010
Will Orange County remain the high tech and innovation hub over the next 10 years? The release of the 2010 Orange County Community Indicators Report will serve as a catalyst for discussion and an assessment of Orange County's future economic growth in this increasingly important sector of our economy. This in-depth report includes a 10-year retrospective that can guide the discussion of what is necessary for Orange County to continue its growth in this vital business sector. The Orange County Forum is pleased to feature representatives from OCTANe, Orange County's premiere
innovation network, as part of this year's panel. We also are excited to welcome back Lucy Dunn, President of the Orange County Business Council who will serve as the moderator for what has historically been a lively discussion of the report and what it means for the future of Orange County. Click here for more info and to register.

Saddleback Memorial Medical Center Golf Classic 2010 - Thursday, March 18, 2010
Saddleback Memorial Foundation proudly presents the Saddleback Memorial Foundation Golf Classic benefiting cardiovascular services at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. Talega Golf Club's challenging course meanders through natural canyons, rugged marshes, and undulating terrain. This tournament offers players an afternoon on the links as well as professional networking opportunities galore! For more info contact Wende Ludas  949.452.3965 or wludas@memorialcare.org.

Allied Healthcare Workforce Forum - Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Join Allied Healthcare professionals, businesses, educators, and others to review current data and develop real time healthcare solutions. There is no charge for this event, however seating is limited! A continental breakfast and parking is provided. For more information, or to register visit www.ocbc.org.

Education Solutions for California 2010 - Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapman University, YMCA and KCOMM present the Education Solutions for California 2010 event that will focus on the importance of workforce development for the state and Orange County. Click here for more event details, and a complete list of speakers including U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. To RSVP please contact Alicia Berhow at 949.794.7215.

indicator Have an event coming up? Was your company just highlighted in the news? Are you doing something great in Orange County? The Business Council wants to know about it. Now OCBC members can submit news stories for OCBC's E-Update Indicator Newsletter.

Click here and fill out the submission form for one of Orange County's premier business news source. Not a member? Click here for more information on how to get involved and join the leading voice of business in Orange County.

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