SACRAMENTO-CRE executives both gave accolades and had concerns after listening to Governor Jerry Brown‘s State of the State Address last week. Brown praised the citizens of California for passing Proposition 30, a piece of legislature that assures greater resources for the state but does nothing to stop it from being one of the three highest-taxed states in the nation.
The governor also said the budget is balanced, but “great risks and uncertainties lie ahead” due to the federal government and the nation’s economy. This air of caution is causing CRE executives to take a “wait and see” attitude toward Brown’s remarks.
“If you look at the bigger themes coming out of the governor’s address, there were big things that were not addressed, and CRE folks are waiting to see what’s the detail that’s going to support that,” Peter Belisle, market director- Southwest region for Jones Lang LaSalle, tells GlobeSt.com. “We don’t want to come across like we’re bashing California, but we’re seeing best practices from states like Arizona, and we see where it would be beneficial to the state to be more proactive in linkages with companies to see what those incentives are.”
Belisle says that for companies that are growing here—big companies that are here and that the state wants to stay here—what are the right programs that need to be instituted to support that? “With the state getting back on its financial footing, it’s a good opportunity to look at what programs could be offered to produce the best bang for the buck.”
Belisle adds that tech is an important component for many of these companies, particularly in Northern California, and not much in Brown’s speech addressed incentives for keeping tech companies here or attracting and keeping talent here. “A lot comes down to talent and recruiting—not just young talent, but also senior and mid-level talent. There’s a big bullet point around talent and proximity to talent.”
Education was another area where Belisle says CRE executives feel the state fails, particularly regarding its lack of support for higher education. “There’s a real concern and a lot of question marks about the level of support for the UC and State systems on a move-ahead basis.”
On the other hand, Paul Meyer, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of California, tells GlobeSt.com that Brown should be praised. “ACEC California applauds Governor Brown for his tireless efforts to balance the state budget. We are very pleased that in his State of the State speech Governor Brown stressed California’s urgent need for regulatory streamlining, particularly of the California Environmental Quality Act, a secure and stable water supply, an improved and expanded transportation system and more job creation.”
For the complete State of the State address, click here.
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