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California Capitol Hill Bulletin



                           Volume 7, Bulletin 8 -- March 9, 2000    [or see pdf version]

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:
Senate Judiciary Reports Bill Raising H-1B Visas
PricewaterhouseCoopers Finds an Undercounted Census Could Cost California $5 Billion
Senate Finance Looks At China/WTO and Agriculture; Lott And Clinton Speak Out On PNTR
Senate Labor Committee Reports Education Reauthorization Bill
New JV:SV Report Looks At Internet Tax Approaches
Federal Contract Spending Increases Slightly In California; Most Goes to Southern California
C2K Project Provides A Link Between Fiscal, Governance, and Land Use Reform Organizations
CCSCE Projects Economic Growth For California In Next Decade
UC Hosts Briefing on Budget's Impact on State and Higher Education
Fusion Community Briefs Congressional Members and Staff
UC Riverside Hosts Briefing on Invasive Species in California
Study Shows California's Rents Are 'Out of Reach'


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.

Senate Judiciary Reports Bill Raising H-1B Visas

On Thursday, March 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported S. 2045, which would increase the number of skilled worker H-1B visas to a total of 195,000 for fiscal years 2000 through 2002. The current level is 115,000, set to fall to 107,500 in 2001, and then to 65,000 in 2002. The bill excludes from the cap employees of universities and research institutions, which may allow another 20,000 H-1B visas to be granted.

During the markup, the Committee approved by a vote of 12-6 an amendment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Her amendment earmarks visa fee monies for worker training programs and K-12 education grants under the National Science Foundation to prepare U.S. citizens for high-technology jobs. About $138.7 million of the anticipated $150 million in revenue generated by the fees would go to targeted education programs, including about $54.3 million for workforce training and $46.1 million for scholarships to low-income and disadvantaged students. The amendment has the support of the information and biotechnology industries and those companies would match the NSF education grants dollar for dollar.

The Committee defeated an amendment offered by Sen. Edward Kennedy (MA) that also would have earmarked funds for worker training programs, but would have increased the $500 H-1B visa fee to $1,000 - $3,000 depending on the size of the employer. The vote against the amendment was 8-10. An amendment by Sen. Joseph Biden (DE) was approved by voice vote; it authorizes $20 million annually to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to provide computers, teachers, and facilities to bridge the digital divide separating at-risk youth from computer and Internet access. The bill was then reported out by a vote of 15-3.

H.R. 3814, the House bill, would also increase H-1B visas, but only by 45,000 for FY00. In addition to being referred to the Judiciary Committee, the House bill has also been referred to the Education and the Workforce Committee and the Science Committee.
 

PricewaterhouseCoopers Finds an Undercounted Census Could Cost California $5 Billion

On Thursday, March 9, the U.S. Census Monitoring Board released a report prepared by the consulting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) which estimates that California stands to lose as much as $5 billion in federal funding due to undercounting if formula funding programs do not allocate federal dollars based on a corrected 2000 census. The study found that 26 states plus the District of Columbia would be adversely impacted by an undercount, while 24 states would gain. California would be the biggest loser, with its $5.05 billion loss far outdistancing the $1.91 billion loss by second-ranked Texas. Reaping gains from an undercount would be Pennsylvania ($2 billion) and Michigan ($1 billion).

When PWC examined metropolitan areas, it found that 169 metro areas stand to lose $11.1 billion, and six metropolitan areas (three of which are in California) would each lose more than $300 million in federal funds. These include Los Angeles-Long Beach, Riverside-San Bernardino, and San Diego, as well as New York City, Houston, and Miami.

Examining counties, PWC estimated that Los Angeles County would lose $1.8 billion, followed by the Counties of San Diego ($372 million), Orange ($296 million), San Bernardino ($235 million), Alameda ($233 million), Riverside ($207 million), Santa Clara ($188 million), Fresno ($181 million), Sacramento ($133 million), and San Francisco ($113 million).

Approximately $185 billion in Federal funds (more than 80% of total funds) are allocated each year based on each state's respective share of the U.S. population, as determined by the decennial census. PWC examined eight programs most affected by the census: Medicaid, Foster Care, Rehabilitation Services Basic Support, Social Services Block Grants, Substance Abuse Block Grants, Adoption Assistance, Child Care and Development Block Grants, and Vocational Education Block Grants. Since many more programs that just these eight also rely on census data, the study's authors cautioned that their estimates generally understate the financial impacts. Notably, the $7 billion Title I education program -- the largest federal education program and 4th largest federal grant of any kind -- is largely census based.

For these eight programs, the report found that California's losses would rise from $351 million in 2003 to $679 million in 2012, for an accumulated total of $5 billion. The vast majority of the impact ($4.5 billion worth) comes in the huge Medicaid program. Other program loss estimates were $257 million from Foster Care, $75 million from Adoption Assistance,$70 million from Rehabilitation Services, $46 million from Substance Abuse, $27 million from Social Services Block Grants, $25 million from Child Care,and $11 million from Vocational Education.

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled out compensating for the undercount in the allocation of House seats among the states, but it encouraged adjusting the data for allocating federal dollars.

The Census Monitoring Board, established by the Congress in 1997, is composed of eight Members: four appointed by the President, two appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and two appointed by the Senate Majority Leader. California's Lieutenant Governor, Cruz Bustamante, serves as a Presidential appointee to the panel.

Excerpts from the report (including a California table) are available via the Census Monitoring Board at http://www.cmbp.gov , while the full report (140 pages in pdf format) and smaller components may be downloaded from PWC at http://www.pwcglobal.com/gx/eng/about/press-rm/ .
 

Senate Finance Looks At China/WTO and Agriculture; Lott And Clinton Speak Out On PNTR

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Tuesday, March 7, to discuss China's accession to the World Trade Organization in terms of increasing U.S. agricultural trade. U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky and Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman testified for the Administration. Both reiterated the Administration's commitment to securing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status for China as part of the U.S.-China bilateral agreement signed late last year. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, however, chastised the Administration for not working hard enough to secure the votes necessary to pass PNTR. He warned Barshefsky and Glickman that he was not going to take up the Senate's time debating the issue, unless the Administration went all out to ensure that the votes would be there to grant PNTR.

The Committee also heard testimony from the General Accounting Office indicating that although trade negotiations with the WTO will continue despite the failure of the Seattle talks, it does not expect these talks to liberalize U.S. agricultural trade in the near future. It cited three major reasons for this conclusion: "First, the failure to issue a ministerial declaration may make it difficult for negotiators in Geneva to build on the progress made in Seattle. Second, there is some concern whether countries will be willing to make concessions on agriculture without trade-offs in other areas, as would have been the case in a trade round with a broader negotiating agenda. Third, not much progress should be expected this year, since groundwork must be laid before substantive negotiations can begin. For example, WTO members have yet to submit proposals as to what should be on the negotiating agenda for agriculture." GAO's report is entitled World Trade Organization: Progress in Agricultural Trade Negotiations May Be Slow, T-NSIAD-00-122, March 07, 2000, and will be available at http://www.gao.gov.

Testimony from other participants at the hearing can be obtained through the Committee's website at: http://www.senate.gov/~finance .

On Wednesday, March 8, President Clinton responded by sending legislation granting PNTR to the Hill and making a major speech calling for passage of the initiative. Clinton called on Congress to act on PNTR by June, although Administration officials concede that they do not have enough votes at this time to pass PNTR. Clinton's letter accompanying the legislation assures Congress that it will ensure China's compliance with the bilateral agreement through WTO procedures and stronger U.S. monitoring.
 

Senate Labor Committee Reports Education Reauthorization Bill

On Thursday, March 9, 2000, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee completed work on legislation (S.2) to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act's K-12 programs for 6 years, though a partisan Senate floor battle is expected. Many of the dozens of amendments were passed on a party line basis. The committee did unite to support by voice vote an amendment authorizing the Title I education program at $15 billion for FY 2001, a 50% percent increase over the $10 billion proposed in the bill. (The program is subject to appropriations, of course, which were $8.5 billion in FY 2000.)

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the committee rejected (8-10) an amendment to authorize $1.75 billion for the third installment of President Clinton's class size reduction program to hire 100,000 new teachers over seven years; voted down an amendment to authorize $2 billion for teacher recruitment and professional development; rejected (8-10) a $1.3 billion grant and loan plan for school construction, and passed (9-8) a controversial amendment to allow a 10-states pilot program liking federal aid directly to students, whereby parents would decide whether to spend funds at the school or elsewhere.

The bill could be considered by the full Senate as early as April. A summary and the text of the bill before amendments is currently available at http://www.senate.gov/~labor/ .
 

New JV:SV Report Looks At Internet Tax Approaches

The Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network (JVSV) recently released a report summarizing the different approaches to applying sales and use taxes on electronic commerce. The report takes eleven possible approaches to Internet tax issues and applies them to five different outcomes, rating each approach as positive, negative, or neutral.

For instance, it examines allowing the Internet Tax Freedom Act to expire in 2001, and finds that it would have a positive impact if the goals were either allowing state and local governments to set their own tax policy or not discriminating against any other type of commerce. It finds the same approach neutral, however, when the intended goals are to simplify compliance over multiple jurisdictions, provide an effective mechanism for tax collections from remote vendors, or provide consistent application of taxes for all types of commerce.

The full report, Summary of Approaches for Applying Sales & Use Taxes to E-Commerce, can be obtained at JVSV's website: www.jointventure.org/initiatives/tax/tax.html .
 

Federal Contract Spending Increases Slightly In California; Most Goes to Southern California

While California remains the overall leader in federal procurement, federal spending in California has increased just slightly from FY97 to FY98 -- finally ending a six year decline in federal procurement funding in California. In FY1994, California received $29.6 billion in federal procurement, while today, it receives just over $24 billion. Current total federal procurement equals $175 billion, with California receiving 14% of that total. The top recipients of federal spending include California (14%), Virginia (11%), Texas (7.8%), Maryland (5.9%), and Florida (4.5%) respectively, with only Virginia seeing continuous spending growth since 1994. In 1994, Virginia received $12.5 billion, while today the state receives $18.6 billion or 11% of the total federal procurement.

Many California companies were top contractors of both the Department of Defense and other civilian agencies. Even though total federal procurement to California has increased slightly, many individual contractors' dollars have declined in the past year. The Boeing Company received $3.7 billion - down from the $12.7 billion last year. Lockheed Martin Corporation obtained $2.6 billion in procurement from DOD, a decrease of over $14 billion from its FY98 $17 billion level. DOD's contract with Raytheon Company Inc. dropped from $6.2 billion in FY98 to $999 million in FY99. Other DOD procurement include TRW Inc.($927 million), Northrop Grumman Corp ($681 million), Foundation Health Systems ($580 million), Aerospace Corporation ($365 million), Science Applications Int. Corporation ($365 million), Litton Industries Inc. ($283 million), and United States Marine Repair Inc. ($122 million).

Civilian agencies established contracts with other organizations performing in California: The University of California at $2.9 billion in FY 98, received just $1.7 billion in FY 99. The California Institute of Technology received $1.3 billion, the Boeing Company received $499 million, and Stanford University received $248 million. Other contractors with civilian agencies include: Science Applications Int. Corp.(SAIC) ($241 million), TRW Inc. ($175 million), Raytheon Company ($121 million), Lockheed Martin Corporation ($91 million), General Atomic Technologies Co. ($57 million), and Consolidated Tribal Health Program ($46 million).

Regionally, Southern California faired better in federal procurement than Northern California. Los Angeles ($9.6 billion), San Diego ($2.9 billion), Alameda ($2 billion), and Orange ($1.5 billion) placed in the top five California counties with the most federal funds. Santa Clara with $3.5 billion placed second, but was the only county from Northern California to place in the top five.

The Federal Procurement Report is published annually by the Federal Procurement Data Center and reports on over 60 executive departments and agencies.

For more information, or a copy of the Federal Procurement Report contact the Federal Procurement Data Center at 7th & D Sts., SW, Room 5652, Washington DC 20407 or at their web site: http://fdps.gsa.gov/Fpds/fprcontents.htm .
 

C2K Project Provides A Link Between Fiscal, Governance, and Land Use Reform Organizations

Created by the James Irvine and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, California 2000 (C2K) Project aims at bringing reformers and the public together to better California. The project's key actions include acting as a roundtable for organizations and agencies to share reform ideas, connect with the public, and further their goals of land use, governance and fiscal issues. C2K researches current state policy proposals, generates public discussion on those issues, and educates the public about quality of life issues. The project also stands as a resource for the media and other audiences interested in reform.

The project focuses on seven policy issues: affordable housing, clean air and water, jobs and the economy, neighborhood health and safety, parks and open space, schools and education, and traffic and transportation. C2K maintains a web site and subscription to daily news clippings in areas pertaining to the project. For each of the project's areas of interest, the web site provides an informational briefing for that topic, what the state legislature is doing in terms of policy on the issue, and several links to pertinent web sites. The site further provides reports from the Legislative Analysts Office to inform readers on other issues not covered in C2K's seven areas of interest.

Visitors to the C2K web site may also discuss various issues in their chat section, and are encouraged to get involved in helping the reform process. The site provides information to guide visitors into action.

For more information, contact Kevin Aaron at kaaron@globalcities.org , or at the C2K web site: http://www.c2kproject.net .
 

CCSCE Projects Economic Growth For California In Next Decade

In "California Economic Growth, 2000 Edition," the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy (CCSCE) examines the current state of the California economy, makes short and long term predictions, and outlines major challenges facing the state in light of its continued economic prosperity.

Based on past figures and factors influencing today's economic prosperity, CCSCE predicts that California will outpace the nation in job, population, household income and spending growth in the next ten years. Current growth patterns in today's economy will help propel California into the next decade. In the last two years, California's job levels have increased 6.2% (2% higher than the nationwide gain), and job levels are up 2.2 million, resulting in a 4.9% unemployment rate in December 1999 - the lowest level in the past ten years. A decline in unemployment rates is even more apparent in the Hispanic and African American workers sector. Total personal income is projected to increase 7% in 1999 and taxable sales will rise 8.8%. Regionally, the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley regions led the economic growth in 1999, with an employment increase of 2.7% in the LA Basin, and 80,000 jobs added in Los Angeles County. The Central Valley saw considerable job growth (2.8%), with Sacramento leading the area with a 3.1% job growth.

CCSCE bases California's future growth potential on what it views as California's economic base - those sectors with strong economic performance in the past five years and a large future demand for that sector's goods and services. CCSCE predicts that because of the emergence of an economic base that has successfully adapted itself to the world market and New Economy, California sectors have gained above average prospects in national and world markets as well as high and rising shares of U.S. jobs and output. Moreover, California led the nation in shares of national venture capital funding in 1999 and the Silicon Valley as well as Southern California brought record levels of venture capital funding to both areas. California also maintains a record high share of the nation's high tech and diversified manufacturing jobs.

CCSCE names high technology, foreign trade, entertainment and tourism, professional services and diversified manufacturing as the five sectors with the most growth potential, and therefore, the core of California's economic base. In the next decade, high technology will grow six times faster than other manufacturing industries in the US, currently maintaining more than 20% of the nation's production and jobs. Silicon Valley startups recently incurred $13.5 billion in venture capital investments (triple the 1998 level) and California firms account for 44% of national venture capital funding. High tech exports increased 13% in the third quarter of 1999, recovering from the Asian crisis. California firms acquired 20.9% (409,000 jobs total) of the US high tech manufacturing jobs in 1999, with jobs in electronic components leading all high tech jobs at 150,000 jobs. By 2010, California's high tech employment is projected to reach 484,000 jobs, or 21.2% of the nation's high tech jobs.

California's foreign trade sector is expected to fully recover from the Asian slowdown, with signs of recovery already present. Exports produced in California more than tripled in the past eleven years to $105 billion. In 1999, Mexico surpassed Japan as California's largest export market, signaling the impact of NAFTA. California continues to prepare for the increase in foreign trade, as Southern California ports construct a $2 billion expansion program in addition to the $2 billion Alameda Corridor project expected to open in 2002.

California leads the world in development of entertainment products and is a top destination for state, national and world tourists. California dominates the national market in film starts, accounting for 60% of the nation's total film starts. Moreover, film and tape rental exports increased three-fold in just six years - to $6.4 billion in 1998, up from $1.9 billion in 1991. Motion picture jobs are up 70% since 1990 and are projected to continue this trend. CCSCE predicts that tourism and entertainment jobs will increase by 40% between 1999 and 2010 - to 798,000 jobs in 2010.

Professional services, including computer, engineering and management services are the fastest growing sector of the US economic base, and remain as a prominent force in California's economy. Computer services is California's leading high wage growth sector with firms like Yahoo, Excite, Netscape, E-Trade, Pixar and Lucas Arts; it accounts for 270,000 jobs in 1999. CCSCE predicts that computer services will account for 15.5% of US jobs in 2010, at 628,000 jobs. California also leads the nation for auto design with facilities for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu and Mazda.

Diversified manufacturing - including apparel, textiles, drug, special industry machinery, beverages, furniture, metal, and electric machinery - is the largest sector in California's economic base with more than $150 billion in sales (1999) and a record level for national market share of jobs in production (one million jobs). In 2010, CCSCE predicts that diversified manufacturing will account for approximately 9.2% of US jobs.

Overall California is expected to add 4 million jobs, 2.2 million households, and 6.2 million residents by 2010. CCSCE expects that total income will grow 3.5% per year faster than the rate of inflation, reaching $1.4 trillion (in 1999 dollars) by the year 2010. The San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles will remain as the state's highest concentration of job, population, and household base.

With a changing and rapidly expanding economy in the next decade, the CCSCE presents what it views as challenges facing California: quality of life, public investments, and reduction in poverty. Rapid economic expansion has created increases in housing prices and congestion, which in turn hurts companies trying to hire skilled workers. CCSCE points out that state fiscal rules discourage cities from approving new housing and provide little incentive for "smart" regional land use. CCSCE advises that a discussion continue on the "smart growth debate" and regions should identify practical strategies for anticipation of job and population growth.

CCSCE further advocates for an infrastructure plan that involves local and regional agencies, federal and state government, and the private and non profit sectors in a partnership to gather a picture of all infrastructure needs. CCSCE advises that infrastructure investments must be developed, keeping in mind cost effectiveness and return on investment.

Lastly, CCSCE argues that in order to reduce poverty, there must be a broad consensus on the components of a workforce development system; one that is universal, revolves around specific regional workforce needs, and is created by partnerships within each region. Policies must support California's future economic strength, directly raise incomes of low wage workers, and improve the look of poor communities to appeal to businesses and people alike.

For more information, including regional economic forecasts, contact CCSCE at (650) 321-8550 or at their web site: http://www.ccsce.com .
 

UC Hosts Briefing on Budget's Impact on State and Higher Education

On Monday, March 6, 2000, the University of California held a briefing focusing on the impact the federal budget has on higher education in general, and on California higher education in particular.

Assistant Vice President for UC Federal Government Relations Scott Sudduth outlined the UC-federal partnership, by describing the UC mission (including education, research, healthcare and public service) and how the government relates to that mission. Sudduth stated that by 2010, UC will add to its system approximately 63,000 new students, a number expected to be exceeded by both the California State University and California Community College systems. The massive influx of new students has been dubbed "Tidal Wave II" and the wave is currently straining the state's K-12 education system. Half of UC students need financial aid, of which the federal government funds more than 60%. UC receives much of its research funding by way of federal agencies (56% came from NIH in 1999, 18% from NSF), but the private sector has become the fastest growing supporter of UC research.

For more information, contact the UC Office of Federal Government Relations at (202) 588-0002.
 

Fusion Community Briefs Congressional Members and Staff

On Thursday, March 9, experts from the fusion energy sciences community visited Capitol Hill to describe activities in the field and urge ongoing and expanded federal support.

The fusion energy sciences community and its federal oversight panels have agreed on long-term plans for fusion research, but there is widespread agreement that fusion is currently under funded and that funding of at least $300 million is required. This year's funding level is $244 million. To put this proposed level of spending in perspective, if funding were adjusted for inflation, the FY 95 fusion energy sciences budget was $400 million.

California wins a very substantial share of federal fusion spending, which supports roughly 1,400 direct jobs in the state at companies such as General Atomics and SAIC, universities (including U.C. campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara, and others), and national laboratories at Livermore, Berkeley, and Sandia-Livermore.
 

UC Riverside Hosts Briefing on Invasive Species in California

On Wednesday, March 8, 2000, the University of California Riverside held a briefing on the impact of invasive species on California's agricultural, natural, and urban environments. The briefing focused on the broad issue of invasive species and to bring awareness to the need for a more strategic and scientific approach to respond to all problematic species, not on a case by case basis. Invasive species cost California $3 billion per year, or $780,000 per homeowner in California.

Elizabeth Baldwin, UCR Director of Federal Relations, and Cynthia Giorgio, Assistant Dean of UCR's College of Agricultural Sciences, introduced the guests speakers: Dr. Mark Hoddle, Extension Entomologist and Dr. Michael Allen, Director, Center for Conservation Biology and Professor of Plant Pathology. Dr. Hoddle spoke from the exotic insect and disease perspective and defined invasive species as a species that creates vast ecological and/or economic damage. He pointed out that one new exotic species arrives in California every sixty days, and every year six new species infiltrate California. Pests that proliferate in California usually do so because they have spread to an area where their natural enemies do not exist. Dr. Hoddle spoke more specifically about the current efforts to fight Pierce's Disease, which threatens to devastate California's wine industry. He relayed that they are searching for parasites in the southeastern US to feed on the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter, which spreads Pierce's Disease, and noted that they have found three species of wasps for this purpose. He added that the wasp species are not a threat to humans and only specifically harm the Sharpshooter.

Dr. Allen expressed his concern that invasive species are impeding habitat management and restoration efforts, especially in Southern California. The problem is exemplified in Joshua Tree National Park, where the invasives which surround the trees act as a catalyst for major fires that destroy significant portions of wildlands, where a fire would previously have been unable to take hold for lack of fuel.

The speakers supported the competitive grant process for quality federal research, proposed building a networks of interactions for data sharing, and expressed concern over the virtual hold that federal government has over sponsoring research projects on invasive species.

For more information, contact Cynthia Giorgio at UCR (909)787-3325.
 

Study Shows California's Rents Are 'Out of Reach'

A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) entitled "Out of Reach" examines the areas around the country with the worst housing needs and prices, according to the "fair market rent" as established by the federal government.

California ranked third among "least affordable states" and fifth among areas with the highest housing wage. According to the study, almost half of all renters in California can not afford a two-bedroom rental at the fair market rent. In fact, the average Californian would need an hourly wage of approximately $15 -- 289% of the federal minimum wage -- to rent a two-bedroom apartment at 30% of his/her income. Californians would need to work an estimated 116 hours/week at the federal minimum wage level to afford a two -bedroom apartment. Other states with high housing wages included Hawaii ($17/hr.), New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts, and Alaska (all approximately $15/hr).

When focusing solely on the rental affordability in metropolitan areas or counties, California's areas ranked highest and most frequently in the nation. San Francisco and San Jose ranked first and second, while Santa Cruz ranked seventh as metro areas with the highest housing wages and largest percentage of federal minimum wage needed to rent at the fair market rent. The San Francisco resident needs an hourly wage of $22.44 - $7.54 more per hour than the state average - to rent a two bedroom apartment. Moreover, those in San Francisco would need to make 436% higher than the current minimum wage to rent that same two-bedroom apartment.

San Jose ranked second among least affordable metro areas. Those in San Jose need to make $21.90 per hour, or 425% of the federal minimum wage in order to rent a two-bedroom at the fair market rent. Santa Cruz residents, ranking seventh, need an hourly wage of $18.35, or 356% of the minimum wage to rent at the fair market rental level.

Not surprisingly, the least affordable counties include Marin (ranked 2nd), San Mateo (3rd), San Francisco (4th), and Santa Clara (6th). Nantucket County ranked first, with residents there needing an hourly wage of $25.06 to rent a two-bedroom. In the four California counties, residents require between $21.90 and $22.44 per hour for a two-bedroom rental.

For more information, contact the National Low Income Housing Coalition's web site at: http://www.nlihc.org .
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