Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A California bill that would make it possible for a college athlete to profit from the use of his or her name, images and likeness passed another subcommittee hurdle in the legislative process Tuesday afternoon.

The state assembly's Committee on Higher Education voted 9-0 to move the bill forward, and chairman Jose Medina called the NCAA's threats and requests to slow down the legislative process during the past couple months "akin to bullying."

"I don't take too fondly to threats to the state of California regardless of where they come from," Medina told ESPN on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A California assembly bill, if passed, would expand the Cal Grant system to cover nontuition expenses, increase access and create a Summer Cal Grant program.

Assembly Bill 1314 would phase in reforms to the Cal Grant programs to further expand and simplify them. AB 1314 was passed by the California state assembly on May 24 and is currently going through the legislative process in the California Senate.

Cal Grant Programs provide state-based financial aid to students in a postsecondary education program, including vocational training. Students must meet certain GPA and financial requirements in addition to general eligibility requirements to qualify for a Cal Grant.

Assemblyman Jose Medina, who represents the district containing the UC Riverside campus and co-authored the bill, said AB 1314 would increase funding for financial aid and potentially address rising student debt.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The logistics industry has anchored the Inland Empire economy in recent years, economists say, accounting for nearly one-fourth of all jobs created since the recession.

But there is sharp debate over whether those warehouse jobs are best for Riverside and San Bernardino counties — and whether city officials should press instead for other businesses that pay higher wages, provide better benefits and pollute less.

As that debate rages, Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, is pushing a bill he hopes will influence future decisions by local government leaders.

Medina’s Assembly Bill 485 would mandate that cities and counties disclose the amount of tax breaks they give to warehouse developers if those exceed $100,000.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A spectacular boom in warehouses and distribution centers moving in over the last decade helped lift the vast Inland Empire region out of the Great Recession, bringing an estimated 84,000 jobs, nearly a quarter of the region’s added employment. Amazon built 14 giant fulfillment centers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, becoming the area’s largest employer.


Friday, May 10, 2019

While student advocates praised that extra proposed funding, they also expressed disappointment that the governor did not try to use some of the state’s historic revenue surplus to dramatically expand state-financed Cal Grants beyond tuition expenses and provide housing and food grants for all eligible students. Those additional costs could be as much as $3 billion a year, according to some analysts.

“If we cannot invest in a widespread Cal Grant overhaul now, then when can we? We have to do more to meet the total costs of attendance,” said Jessie Ryan, executive vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a Los Angeles-based research and advocacy group.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Some experts frown on deals like those negotiated by Cendejas.

“Commissions really smell bad to us,” Greg LeRoy, executive director of nonprofit think tank Good Jobs First, said in an interview. “If a consultant can get a bigger commission in one place or another, that’s their incentive. It may not be best for the client.”

The group, which tracks tax subsidies around the country, is critical of site location consultants and views their activities more as lobbying than consulting, he said.

The state legislature wants more transparency. In addition to Glazer’s bill to ban them in the future, the California Labor Federation is pushing A.B. 485 by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D), to increase disclosures related to the tax-sharing deals

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Two state lawmakers have proposed to restrict or ban the agreements. 

California Assemblyman Jose Medina’s bill, A.B. 485, would require local governments to conduct public hearings before approving the agreements. Cities and retailers would have to provide more detailed information about expected tax revenue, jobs, and other state and federal subsidies the companies are getting.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a similar bill from Medina in 2018, saying he favored transparency with economic incentives but the measure would be too burdensome. New Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) hasn’t taken a position on this year’s bill.

The California Labor Federation backed last year’s bill and is trying again.