Tuesday, June 30, 2009
BizFed members, If we don't have a state budget tomorrow, on Thursday the State starts issuing IOUs. What does that mean in practical terms to all your business members? This may help decipher what's behind the headlines. Pass it along. But bottom line…our legislators need to get the budget DONE!
State IOUs Q&A Fact Sheet
Excerpts from the San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The state controller's office says it will begin issuing IOUs on Thursday for the first time since 1992 if the governor and Legislature haven't come up with a budget fix. If that happens, who will get them, how will they work and will you be able to use them to pay your bills? Here are some answers.
Q: What is an IOU?
A: Normally, the state pays its bills with "regular warrants," which are checks that can be cashed immediately. If the state doesn't reach a plan that will put cash in the Treasury by Thursday, the controller will begin issuing more than $3 billion in IOUs to pay some of its July bills, says Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman for Controller John Chiang. The state will pay off the IOUs on Oct. 1, assuming there is enough cash in the Treasury by then. The IOUs will pay tax-free interest at a rate that will be set on Thursday.
Q: How will they look?
A: The IOUs will look like regular state checks except they will be printed on darker green paper and bear the issue and maturity dates and the word "registered."
Q: Will the state pay everything with IOUs?
A: No. The state Constitution, federal laws or court orders prevent some IOU payments.
The state will continue making regular payments to schools (kindergarten through college) and to debt holders because the Constitution gives them priority. The state also must continue making regular payments to state employee and teacher pension plans, in-home supportive services and Medi-Cal providers. Without a budget fix, the controller expects to issue roughly $3 billion in IOUs and $11 billion worth of regular payments in July.
Q: Who will get IOUs?
A: The state would use IOUs to pay:
-- Businesses that contract with the state.
-- People and businesses getting income tax refunds.
-- The Student Aid Commission, which makes Cal Grants to college students.
-- Social service programs including CalWORKS, mental health, drug and alcohol programs.
-- The state's portion of Supplemental Security Income and State Supplementary Payment programs for blind, disabled and low-income seniors. However, the federal government will pick up the state's unpaid share and the state will reimburse the federal government.
Q: Can I cash in an IOU before Oct. 1?
A: The state will not redeem them before Oct. 1. However, the IOUs are negotiable, which means they can be sold or transferred to another party as a form of payment. In 1992, many banks in
Q: When would the state stop issuing IOUs?
A: "When there is enough money to pay all our bills," including any outstanding IOUs, Casaleggio says.
For more information, go to the state controller's Q&A at www.sco.ca.gov/5935.html.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Date Set, Prep Starts for Popular Park(ing) Day LA
By Stephen Box
Officials confirmed the date and prep has begun for the third annual … and increasingly popular … Park(ing) Day LA.
Park[ing] Day LA hits the streets of Los Angeles on Friday, September 18th, as community activists, neighborhood leaders and urban planners throughout the city step up to the curb, put a quarter in the meter, and proceed to transform curbside metered parking spots into temporary public parks.
Jane Jacobs, in "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" writes that in order to make a city safe, prosperous and worth living in, one must start with "lively and interesting streets."
To that end, Park[ing] Day LA is an opportunity for community members to engage passers-by, motorists, members of the press, city leadership and yes, even the authorities, in a rational and respectful dialogue of everything from our city's parks and public space to the environment and allocation of land to mobility issues and local beautification projects.
Park[ing] Day LA is an opportunity to create community, engage the public and create a dialogue, all while taking advantage of one of the best real estate deals in town, the public park(ing) space.
Park[ing] Day originated in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco based art and design collective, transformed a metered parking spot into a park-for-a-day in an effort to make a public comment on the lack of quality open space in American cities. Their goal was to reprogram the urban surface by reclaiming streets for people to rest, relax and play and their mission is to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play.
This is the third year that Los Angeles will be participating in Park[ing] Day and the call is out for individuals and organizations who want to work together to stir a discussion of LA's parks, open space and land use allocation.
Last year there were over 70 parks spread throughout Los Angeles, built and hosted by community activists, architectural and design firms, advocacy groups and neighborhood councils.
Cyclists loaded up trailers with sod, trees and park benches and then rode through Central LA until they found an empty park[ing] space. They would throw a quarter in the meter, unload, roll out a park, sit for a spell and engage the passers-by in a conversation and then after the meter had run out, they would load up and head off to another empty park[ing] space.
Architects and designers in Silver Lake created a Zen garden complete with babbling brook and flagstone walk that proved to be irresistible to those who wandered by.
East Hollywood, which is the "park-poorest" neighborhood council in the city, went all out and built the "East Hollywood Rec Center" complete with swimming pool and BBQ pit. Alfredo Hernandez hosted a party that earned him the title of Park Czar.
Mia Lehrer and Associates built a park inspired by the LA River and complete with willows and giant reeds. The beautiful and serene environment was complemented with shade from plastic bags and police line tape as a reminder of the impact of pollution on nature.
One park featured basketball, some created complicated political statements, others simply loaded up on basic park amenities and encouraged folks to sit a spell and relax.
As for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, well, they simply did it all. Not content with a simple parking space, they simply shut down the street and threw a block party. Organized by Gunner Hand and Ashley Zarella, the block party included bands, food, exhibits and, in keeping with the park theme, served as the driving force for a petition drive for a downtown dog park.
The 3rd annual Park[ing] DayLA is just 3 months away and now is the time for neighborhood councils to partner with community groups and to select a message, pick a location, assemble the team and go to work transforming LA's best real estate deal, the park[ing] space, into a park.
For a recap of last year's Park[ing] Day LA and ideas on how to build your own park visit www.ParkingDayLA.com
Park[ing] Day LA has a twitter page on www.twitter.com/ParkingDay_LA
For an overview of the origins of Park[ing] Day visit www.ParkingDay.org
(Stephen Box is a transportation and cyclist advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.net) ◘
Vol 7 Issue 51
Pub: June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Los Angeles County is committed to addressing the housing needs of individuals and families of all income levels. As part of this effort, the Department of Regional Planning is working on a report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Inclusionary Housing Feasibility Study, which analyzes whether a local policy tool known as inclusionary housing would be appropriate for the unincorporated communities. To learn more about the study and inclusionary housing, please visit our web-page.
In an effort to reach as many stakeholders as possible, the Department of Regional Planning has developed a brief survey on inclusionary housing. The results of the surveys will be summarized in the Inclusionary Housing Feasibility Study report to the Board of Supervisors. Please take a moment to participate in the survey, and encourage others to participate as well. The survey will be available until Friday, July 17, 2009. Please click here to take the survey. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Housing Section at (213) 974-6417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.