Sherman Oaks, CA – The United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley and Region Government Affairs Committee passed motions on several issues at their meeting on Monday, March 19th, 2018. The motions were approved by the Executive Board of Directors on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018.
Prop 69 and SB 1
In 2017, the California State Legislature passed the SB-1, which created or increased a series of transportation-related taxes and fees. The revenue was intended to be used to fund road maintenance, rehabilitation, and related transportation projects.
The California State Legislature has previously raised revenue for road maintenance and rehabilitation; however, the funds have not always been spent for their originally intended purpose. They have either been allocated to the general fund and spent on a range of programs, or “borrowed against” to fund non-road related initiatives.
Prop 69 seeks to protect the revenue collected under SB-1, by adding an amendment to the California State Constitution requiring the funds be spent for their originally intended purpose. There are still ways the funds could be diverted to other projects, but Prop 69 is designed to make that more difficult, and to require a specific action on behalf of the State Legislature to do so.
The counterargument to Prop 69 is that, because there are still mechanisms by which the money can be diverted, the proposition offers no real reform. Further, it was argued that SB-1 itself was an unnecessary revenue measure, and that the State Government could meet road repair funding requirements through existing revenue sources, given a more responsible approach to overall spending.
Following presentations from representatives for and against Prop 69 and SB-1, the Government Affairs Committee made and passed two motions:
- A motion to oppose Prop 69 passed by a vote of 11 ayes, 2 nays, and 2 abstentions
- A motion to support the repeal of SB-1 passed by a vote of 12 ayes, 1 nay, and 2 abstentions
Ballot Initiative: Limits on charges for dialysis services
The Government Affairs Committee was briefed on an upcoming initiative that would limit what dialysis providers are allowed to charge for their services. Proponents for the initiative are currently collecting signatures for the initiative, which is expected to receive a formal number in June, and to appear on the November ballot.
The initiative would place a cap on what dialysis centers are allowed to charge patients (and their insurance companies) for their services. It would also prohibit centers for charging for several services that are relevant to the business and client services operations of a dialysis center, but not directly related to the medical procedure, itself.
The Government Affairs Committee heard a presentation from a representative of the Patients & Caregivers to Protect Dialysis Patients, who oppose the initiative. A proponent for the initiative did not attend the meeting. Following the presentation and discussion, the committee unanimously passed a motion opposing the initiative to limit charges for dialysis services (7 ayes, 0 nays, 6 abstentions).
The United Chambers of the San Fernando Valley and Region is a coalition of 32 business organizations including 18 Member Chambers, representing over 21,000 businesses that provide over 387,000 jobs. United Chambers deals with Valley-wide, County-wide and Regional issues and promotes the San Fernando Valley’s overall welfare, progress and economic prosperity.