California Institute LogoThe California Institute for Federal Policy Research
419 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
voice: 202-546-3700   fax: 202-546-2390 ransdell@calinst.org http://www.calinst.org
California Capitol Hill Bulletin



Volume 6, Bulletin 26 -- August 5, 1999

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:
Californians Rally Behind Medicaid DSH Payment Provision
48 Californians Sign Letter Sent To Secretary Of The Interior
House Passes Patent Reform Bill
Ways and Means Holds Hearing on Upcoming WTO Ministerial
Immigration Subcommittee Examines H-1B Visa Issues; Bills Introduced to Deal with the Issue
Internet Alcohol Sales Limitation Passes House
Five Year Extension of R&D Credit Included in Tax Bill, with other Extenders
Institute Provides VA-HUD Appropriations Roundup
Californians Briefed on Joint Strike Fighter
Transportation Considers Cost-Effectiveness of Disaster Mitigation Spending
National Science Board Releases Interim Report
House Committee Holds hearing On H.R. 21, Disaster Insurance Bill
Water Resources Development Conference Agreement Approved
Superfund Legislation Considered in House and Senate
Meth Lab Mark-Up
Senate Resolution on MTBE
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Drug Free Schools
Senate Oversight of HUD Restructuring Office
LAEDC Releases Mid-Year Update



To expand communications between Washington and California, the California Institute provides periodic faxed bulletins regarding current activity on Capitol Hill which directly impacts our state. Bulletins are published weekly during sessions of Congress, and occasionally during other periods. The e-mail edition is made possible in part by in kind donations from Sun Microsystems and QUALCOMM, Inc.

Californians Rally Behind Medicaid DSH Payment Provision

Nearly all California Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, both Senators, and the State Administration are all rallying to ensure that California can continue to adequately reimbursed those hospitals which serve a disproportionately large percentage of poor and uninsured patients.

In July and August, nearly every California Member of Congress signed letters to House Commerce Committee leaders urging them to extend an expiring provision included in the 1993 Omnibus Reconciliation Act (OBRA 93). The provision allows California's public hospitals to calculate their caps at 175% of unreimbursed costs associated with Medicaid and uninsured patient costs. The exemption is needed because California's unique Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment program is financed solely via intergovernmental transfer payments from public entities (counties, the University of California and hospital districts). The House letters emphasized that there is no additional federal cost associated with the waiver, nor will it increase California's share or decrease any other states' share of Medicaid or DSH funds.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer wrote a similar letter in late July to Finance Chair William Roth noting that California has the fourth highest uninsured rate in the country, has high immigration and poverty percentages, and heavy usage of public hospitals -- 40% of uninsured patients were treated at public hospitals in 1998. State Health and Human Services Secretary Grantland Johnson also wrote supporting the delegation's efforts.
 

48 Californians Sign Letter Sent To Secretary Of The Interior

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and 46 members of the California House Congressional delegation sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt this week urging that the Department of the Interior consider changing the Minerals Management Services (MMS) geothermal valuation regulations.

With the passage of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act in 1978, according to the letter, there has been a decrease in free-market or "arms-length" contracts and an increase in electrical sales contracts. Due to this change, the MMS developed a method to determine a geothermal value, the "netback" procedure, which leads to public geothermal resources being under-valued. It is estimated that from 50% to over 95% of royalty revenue has been lost by State and County agencies over the last two years, which can be attributed to the failure of the netback procedure. The letter urges the Secretary to update the regulations to respond to today's market, and to ensure that any new valuation method developed reduces the accounting burden on the industry.
 

House Passes Patent Reform Bill

On Wednesday, August 4, the House passed H.R. 1907 under suspension of the rules by a vote of 376-43. The bill, the American Inventors Protection Act, is the culmination of many years of debate and negotiation to bring U.S. patent laws in line with other nations. The compromise that passed the floor this week calls for a patent term of 20 years from initial filing, as opposed to the standard U.S. term of 17 years. However, the bill ensures that any delays in issuing a patent that are not attributable to dilatory practices on the part of the applicant will not count against the 20-year term.

Another major provision in the bill ensures that U.S. patent applications will be published 18 months after filing only in cases where a patent application has also been filed and published abroad. If an applicant only files domestically, he or she will have the right to opt for total confidentiality of the patent application.

California Members Dana Rohrabacher (Huntington Beach), Howard Berman (Valley Village), Tom Campbell (Campbell), Zoe Lofgren (San Jose), and Duncan Hunter (Alpine) were involved in negotiating the compromise. Proponents of the bill hope the Senate will take it up on the floor soon after the August recess.
 

Ways and Means Holds Hearing on Upcoming WTO Ministerial

On Thursday, the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee held a hearing on the U.S. negotiating objectives for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial meeting to be held in Seattle in December. The subcommittee heard from a number of private sector groups, including: the Information Technology Industry (ITI) Council; the American Farm Bureau Federation; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; AFLAC Japan representing several U.S. insurance organizations; and the AFL-CIO. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) also submitted testimony for the record.

Rhett Dawson of ITI stressed the benefits that have resulted from increased markets in the information technology industry, especially as a result of the successfully negotiated 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA). He called on the WTO Ministers to make several specific commitments to keep electronic commerce barrier-free, including the continuation of the May 20, 1998 Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Commerce.

Dean Kleckner, President of the American Farm Bureau, testified that AFB strongly supports expediting action on the next round of negotiations for agriculture in the WTO, and has set a goal of concluding negotiations by the end of 2002. He also laid out several goals for the December meeting, including the elimination of export subsidies by all WTO member countries, and a recommitment to binding agreements on sanitary and phytosanitary issues.

In his statement for the record, Daryl Hatano, Vice President of SIA, urged any new multilateral negotiations to make participation in the ITA mandatory for all WTO member countries, and that WTO members should commit to tax-free treatment of electronic transmissions. In related news, SIA reported that worldwide sales of semiconductors hit $11.22 billion in June 1999, up 13.6% from 1998's June totals, signaling the continuation of the market's recovery since mid-1998.

Testimony of these and other witnesses can be obtained through the committee's website at: http://www.house.gov/ways_means .

Immigration Subcommittee Examines H-1B Visa Issues; Bills Introduced to Deal with the Issue

The Immigration and Claims Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing on Thursday, August 5 on issues related to the issuance of H-1B visas for skilled workers. The subcommittee heard from several private sector witnesses, including: Crystal Neiswonger, Immigration Specialist for TRW, Inc. on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers; and, Alison Cleveland, Associate Manager of Labor Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Neiswonger testified that although TRW uses H-1B visas only selectively --36 in 1998, and 29 through July 1999 -- it is finding it increasingly difficult to find U.S. workers with degrees in electrical, mechanical, industrial, and software engineering. She noted that TRW received only three resumes for an ad that ran in the New York Times for a chemical engineer with expertise in injection molding. In terms of the implementation of the H-1B program itself, Ms. Neiswonger cited several areas where the Department of Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service could reform their processing system to make the application and issuance program more efficient.

Ms. Cleveland estimated that there currently may be as many as 43,000 H-1B petitions pending the beginning of FY2000 and its new cap. This backlog may result in next year's 115,000 visa cap being reached as early as March 2000. Citing the difficulty in finding qualified Americans for highly-skilled positions, Ms. Cleveland testified that the Chamber will continue to support expansion and streamlining of the H-1B program.

Testimony for these and other witnesses can be obtained through the Committee's website at: http://www.house.gov/judiciary .

In a related development, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (MS), Senate Banking Chairman Phil Gramm (TX), and Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY), Chair of the Republican Senatorial Committee recently introduced S. 1440, which would increase the H-1B cap for each of the next three years to 200,000. On the House side, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (San Jose) has introduced a bill creating a new category of visa, T (for Tech) visas, for professionals in high technology industries. H.R. 2867 would establish a five-year pilot program to allow U.S. companies to hire an unlimited number of foreign nationals graduating from American universities with degrees in engineering and the sciences. To qualify for the T visa, the salary level for the immigrant employee would have to exceed $60,000 per year.
 

Internet Alcohol Sales Limitation Passes House

On Tuesday, the House voted, 310-112, to support legislation that would allow state attorneys general to go to federal court to sue companies for selling alcohol directly to consumers in violation of a web of state liquor laws left over from Prohibition. States would for the first time be able to sue out-of-state alcohol merchants. Retailers who sell to minors, or sell to those living in "dry" areas where alcohol is prohibited, or to consumers in the many states that allow alcohol to be sold only by state-approved wholesalers will be vulnerable to suit. Several members of the California Congressional Delegation have been very vocal in criticizing the measure, because of concerns that the State's wineries, and e-commerce as a whole, will be hurt. The measure now goes to conference committee.
 

Five Year Extension of R&D Credit Included in Tax Bill, with other Extenders

The $792 billion, 10-year Republican tax bill contains a five-year extension of the Research and Development tax credit, along with an increase in the alternative incremental credit rate (AICR). Supporters of the credit had hoped to get a permanent extension, and will continue to work with that goal in mind as negotiations take place between the White House and Congress on a tax bill. The bill also extends the welfare-to-work credit and increases the low-income tax credit.

The House passed the conference report on Thursday, August 5, along party lines by a vote of 221-206; the Senate passed it Thursday evening by a 50-49 margin. The Congressional leadership has indicated that it will not send this bill to the President before the August recess. The President has stated he would veto the bill if it came to him. Negotiations between Congress and the Administration over the size and contours of a tax cut are expected to continue through the fall.
 

Institute Provides VA-HUD Appropriations Roundup

On Friday, July 30, 1999, the House Appropriations Committee marked-up an FY2000 VA-HUD Appropriations bill which includes combined discretionary and mandatory spending of $91.27 billion. A brief analysis of the bill from a California perspective is available on the Institute's website at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/vahud00.htm in text form, or at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/vahud00.pdf in adobe acrobat form. (If a faxed copy is preferred, please contact the Institute.) The rule on the VA-HUD Appropriations bill was considered by the House on Thursday, but the bill itself will not be considered until after the August recess.
 

Californians Briefed on Joint Strike Fighter

In three separate events coordinated by Reps. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (Santa Clarita) and Loretta Sanchez (Anaheim) this week, California State Trade and Commerce Secretary Lon Hatamiya and California Conference of Machinists Executive Secretary-Treasurer Matthew McKinnon briefed California Congressional delegation members and staff regarding the $750 billion Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and a recent study which highlighted California's advantages as a production site for the fighter.

Secretary Hatamiya pointed out that the study, released in July by the State Trade and Commerce Agency and the City of Palmdale, determined that using Air Force Plant 42, the formerly classified B-2 production facility in Palmdale, would generate savings of $2.2 billion -- the equivalent of 55 additional aircraft -- compared to alternative sites under consideration by the competing JSF contractors. See also Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 23 (7/15/99).

The JSF is the first fighter which will be used jointly by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. When the first JSF jets are operational in 2008, DOD is expected to purchase 3,000 planes over a 20-year period. A unanimous letter by the California Congressional delegation last fall also highlighted the state's advantages in terms of location, economies of scale, supplier networks and a skilled workforce. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are competing for the contract, with the winning company to be selected in 2001. In addition to the California site, the contractors are considering producing the planes in Fort Worth, Texas, or St. Louis, Missouri.

Mr. McKinnon noted that California's aerospace industry lost 220,000 jobs since the beginning of this decade's recession, and he added that 60% of the nation's defense cuts took place in the state. Also providing information at the briefings in addition to Secretary Hatamiya and Mr. McKinnon were State Assemblyman George Runner (Lancaster); Phil Brady, Director of the Aerospace Office Inc.; and Danny Roberts, Assistant Executive Director of the City of Palmdale's Community Redevelopment Agency.

Mr. Brady highlighted the technical superiority of the California site over the alternate sites, noting that the nation's stealth technology is headquartered at Plant 42, the area's workforce is skilled in handling stealth materials, the specialized environmental controls and permits are in place, and a deep supplier base is available. Moreover, the workforce in California has the necessary security clearances to take over production in a turn-key fashion, whereas new security clearances can cost many thousands of dollars, take up to a full year to complete, and have an 80% failure rate.

Mr. Roberts outlined the myriad incentives offered by the State and local governments to encourage production, including a specific State tax credit focused exclusively on the JSF, as well as property tax credits, manufacturing credit, an R&D tax credit, the Antelope Valley's enterprise zone incentives and a foreign trade zone designation. McKeon later commented that the State of California is "making the Pentagon an offer it can't refuse."

Secretary Hatamiya concluded by referring to a list of aerospace suppliers in every Congressional district in the state (see http://www.calinst.org/pubs/aerospacesuppliers.pdf ) and noting that 10,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs are at stake in the JSF production decision.
 

Transportation Considers Cost-Effectiveness of Disaster Mitigation Spending

The Oversight Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the cost-effectiveness of disaster mitigation spending authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant program. The Subcommittee also heard from Michael Armstrong, Associate Director, Mitigation Directorate at FEMA, and Stan Czerwinski, Associate Director, Housing and Community Development Issues at the General Accounting Office.

Under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, state and local projects to mitigate the impact of future disasters must be cost-effective. To determine this, FEMA uses a benefit-cost analysis to determine how the anticipated dollar savings gained through implementing a project compares with its cost. To be cost-effective, the project must return more money over its life than it cost.

The GAO studied FEMA's cost effectiveness determinations and concluded that although FEMA conducts the proper analysis in most cases, it exempted $8.4 million in projects (about one-third of the total) from the analysis for various reasons. It recommended that FEMA establish the basis for exempting such projects and review their cost-effectiveness after they have been implemented to help ensure that all mitigation projects are cost-effective. FEMA laid out the reasons for various exemptions in its testimony and stated that it has been working with GAO on the issue and has begun to implement many of GAO's suggestions.

Further testimony can be obtained through the Committee's website at: http://www.house.gov/transportation .
 

National Science Board Releases Interim Report

The National Science Board (NSB) released an interim report entitled, Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century: The Role of the National Science Foundation, produced by the NSB Task Force on the Environment. The report focuses on the need for the United States to make investments focused on new research and discoveries in the environmental arena. Included in the report is a list of recommendations for the NSF and its role in environmental advancements, one of which states that, "basic environmental research, education, and scientific assessment should be one of the highest priorities of the National Science Foundation." Appropriations bills in the House and Senate will determine funding levels for NSF for the next fiscal year. For more information, see the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/ .
 

House Committee Holds hearing On H.R. 21, Disaster Insurance Bill

On Friday, July 30, the House Banking and Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the Homeowners Insurance Availability Act of 1999 (HR 21), which would create a federal program that would supply reinsurance for state level disaster insurance programs. HR 21 would serve as a financial safety net in the event of extremely large natural disasters. The committee heard testimony from Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Stuart Eizenstat, as well as individuals representing insurance companies and other private parties. Eizenstat stated that the legislation is a step in the right direction and it has improved throughout the legislative process. However there are some key concerns that he voiced which include: the $25 billion cap on annual payouts; requiring that all payouts be appropriated by Congress; and continued purchase requirements, as well as additional concerns.

Roger Joslin, Chairman of the Board for State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, and Jack F. Weber, President of the Home Insurance Federation of America, both voiced their support for the bill. Although they mentioned some minor concerns, they believe that a federal reinsurance program is badly needed and the bill is a substantial step in the right direction. For more information contact the committee via its web site at http://www.house.gov/banking/ .
 

Water Resources Development Conference Agreement Approved

House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) on Wednesday, clearing the bill for final approval before the August recess. One of the big stumbling blocks, which has prevented its enactment in past years, concerns flood protection and increased water supplies. Reps. Bob Matsui (Sacramento) and John Doolittle (Rocklin) have disagreed over the issue for years. Rep. Matsui has sought to boost flood control in the Sacramento area, while Rep. Doolittle has sought to increase water flows from the American River into El Dorado and Placer Counties. Under the conference agreement, Sacramento's flood protection will be boosted to about the 140-year level, which is less than Rep. Matsui and Sen. Barbara Boxer sought. The report also requires a new study of the Folsom Dam, because the last study was done before the 1997 floods. Neither the House nor Senate bills contained provisions to divert American River water, but Rep. Doolittle pushed throughout the negotiations to get his language added. In the end, however, the conference report will go to the House and Senate floors without any such water supply provisions.

The bill will fund more than $5 billion in water projects nationally, including deepening Oakland's harbor.
 

Superfund Legislation Considered in House and Senate

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee announced on Wednesday that members were unable to reach a consensus on its Superfund legislation (S. 1090) and Chairman John Chafee (RI) indicated that further work on the bill was unlikely, but he may propose compromise legislation later in the session. His main focus will reportedly be approving legislation to clean up brownfields while watching the progress of Superfund legislation (H.R. 1300) in the House.

The House Commerce Committee met Wednesday to discuss pending Superfund legislation, with a particular focus on brownfields, and heard testimony from Tim Fields, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and the US EPA, as well as a panel of business, local government and environmental stake holders. Mr. Fields indicated that the Administration now supports targeted legislation for brownfields cleanup and redevelopment and specific liability provisions needed to support those efforts. The Administration opposes H.R. 2580, the "Land Recycling Act of 1999" in large part because it restricts EPA's enforcement authority. He reiterated previously presented Administration concerns with H.R. 1300, particularly the "innocent landowner" provision EPA believes inappropriately provides relief for current owners that knowingly bought contaminated property. Mr. Fields also discussed H.R. 1750, noting many provisions of particular merit and indicated an interest in working on certain refinements. Considerable discussion between members and witnesses occurred on various issues, including: whether stand-alone brownfields legislation, separate from Superfund legislation, should proceed; the level at which the federal government should be allowed to "reopen" State sites (at the historical standard of "imminent and substantial endangerment", or a new proposed "emergency" state); and the issue of liability.

By a vote of 69-2, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed H.R. 1300 on Thursday. Democrat and Republican leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had announced Wednesday that they had reached an agreement on HR 1300. The agreement is reported to: write into law many of the administrative reforms that have been put in place by the EPA under the direction of Carol Browner; provide brownfields assistance, including a grant program for up to $200,000 per site; include liability relief to businesses with 75 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in revenues, as well as municipalities, innocent landowners and prospective purchasers of contaminated property who exercised "appropriate care;" institute a mandatory liability allocation system; exempt owners and operators of municipal solid waste companies who contribute less than 200 pounds of waste to a site; include a reinstatement of the superfund tax for the next eight years with a decrease as more cleanups are completed; contain funding for the program at $1.5 billion from 2000 through 2003 and decrease it to $975 million by 2007, and provide an additional $25 million per year for state cleanup efforts.

Before H.R.1300 can be considered on the floor, however, it must be approved by both the Ways and Means and Commerce Committees.
 

Meth Lab Mark-Up

The Senate Judiciary Committee met Thursday to mark-up Senator Ashcroft's S. 486 "DEFEAT Meth Act of 1999" and approved on a voice vote an amendment in the nature of a substitute before reporting the bill from committee. The substitute is similar to the Hatch-Feinstein measure, S. 1428, which had been previously considered by the committee and re-titles S. 486 as the "Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act of 1999." As passed by the committee, the measure increases funding authorizations for law enforcement in preventing the spread of amphetamine and methamphetamine manufacturing ($30 million for DEA through 2004 for deployment, training and assistance to agents and $25 million for law enforcement in high-intensity trafficking regions), prohibits posting instructions for making illegal drugs and advertising illegal drug paraphernalia on the Internet, and imposes stiff penalties for manufacturing amphetamine or methamphetamine when it causes a risk of harm to human life or the environment. The bill also authorizes $25 million per year for illegal drug prevention programs, research, and treatment.

Senator Feinstein discussed two amendments at the mark-up which would add additional controls on methamphetamine precursors and increase penalties for methamphetamine production. At the request of Chairman Hatch, however, she will not offer the amendments until floor consideration of the bill.
 

Senate Resolution on MTBE

The Senate on Wednesday approved a Boxer-Fitzgerald (IL) resolution as an amendment to the Agriculture appropriations bill. The resolution establishes the sense of the Senate that: the US should phase out the gasoline additive MTBE to address threats to public health and the environment; the US should provide assistance to local and state governments to treat MTBE-contaminated drinking water supplies and to protect lakes and reservoirs from MTBE contamination; and the U.S. should promote corn-based renewable ethanol to replace MTBE as a way of improving energy security and supporting the farm economy. For background, see, Bulletin, Vol.6, Nos. 25 (7/29/99), 15 (5/6/99), 12 (4/15/99), 11 (4/1/99), 10 (3/25/99), & 4 (2/4/99).
 

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Drug Free Schools

On Tuesday, August 3, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on protecting students and preventing drug abuse in the school. The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) program was talked about extensively, as it is part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Testimony was heard from General Barry McCaffery, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as others in the field of drug abuse prevention. McCaffery stated, "Over the last two years, youth drug use rates have leveled off and in some cases are now in decline." He went on to say that drug prevention programs in the schools will continue to help in the reduction of drug abuse. This hearing was another step forward in the reauthorization of the ESEA, which the committee hopes to complete this year. For more information contact the Committee via its web site at http://www.house.gov/eeo/ .
 

Senate Oversight of HUD Restructuring Office

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation met Thursday for an oversight hearing on HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing Assistance Restructuring (OMHAR). OMHAR is an independent entity within HUD. It oversees the mark-to-market program enacted by Congress two years ago as a key step in modernizing the Section 8 housing program and preventing further erosion of the housing stock. Housing stock has been eroding in large part because of opt-outs from the program by owners upon the completion of FHA insured 40-year mortgages. The purpose of the hearing was to determine whether the law is being complied with and how much progress has been made in implementation since enactment. Witnesses included Ira Peppercorn, Director, Office of Multifamily Housing Assistance Restructuring, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and representatives from the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Council of State Housing Agencies. Mr. Peppercorn defended the office's measured approach to building the internal infrastructure necessary to continue putting the assisted housing stock on a stable market-orientation. Over 600 of the 3,000 plus total properties that OMHAR expects to be restructured have been received by the Office, and two-thirds of those have been assigned to Participating Administrative Entities (PAEs) under contract with OMHAR. PAEs are the entities that actually mark rents to market in their jurisdictions, and preference has been given to state and local agencies to serve as PAEs. California is one of over twenty State Housing Finance Agencies that have not signed partnership agreements with OMHAR.

The National Council of State Housing Agencies was strong in its criticism of HUD, accusing the agency of undermining congressional expectations for the program. The Mortgage Bankers Association testified that State housing agencies have been requesting compensation as PAEs that are too high and suggested removing the preference for state and local housing agencies so that private companies can compete, or that OHMAR be allowed to disqualify a state or local agency if fee demands are excessive.
 

LAEDC Releases Mid-Year Update

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) released its mid-year update titled, 1999-2000 Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook, authored by Jack Kyser, Ken Ackbarali and George Huang. The report focuses on California and the five-county area of Los Angeles, but also includes the national and international economic outlook. The study shows that the economy for 1999 in California will remain strong. It is estimated that non-farm employment should increase by roughly 3.1% which equals an increase of 423,900 jobs. However, there is some concern that the jobs that are being created, particularly in Los Angeles County, may not be at the same wage level as those lost in the past. The study also notes that there is statewide concern over housing issues such as availability and affordability that may adversely affect the economic outlook. For more information on this topic, or a copy of the study, contact the LAEDC via its web site at http://www.laedc.org .

California Institute LogoClick here to return to the California Institute home page.  Or click here to e-mail.