Business leaders urge swift passage of $180 billion infrastructure plan

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 5, 2023) — California business leaders overwhelmingly support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $180 billion infrastructure proposal that would equip the state to build vital projects faster, while creating an estimated 400,000 construction-related jobs. 

Nearly 90 nonpartisan business associations representing all sectors and regions of California signed a letter this week urging swift passage of all 10 bills in the governor’s plan. The association leaders, listed below, cited the urgent need for investments to upgrade the state’s aging infrastructure, spur creation of good-paying jobs and help meet ambitious climate goals.

The letter was delivered to all members of the California State Legislature by the New California Coalition (NCC), a nonpartisan civic movement that advocates for common-sense solutions to improve statewide livability.

The governor’s sweeping plan includes provisions that modernize a state environmental law long weaponized to sabotage essential infrastructure and housing projects. It caps certain lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to nine months, mirroring a “shot clock” solution advanced by NCC and its network of statewide partners.

The plan will also supercharge the creation of semiconductor manufacturing jobs in California. NCC was an early and vocal booster of efforts to improve California’s competitiveness for funding unlocked by passage of the federal CHIPS and Science Act. A Dec. 2022 report published by NCC examined how California could address workforce and regulatory barriers – including project delays caused by CEQA lawsuits – to help the high-cost state leverage its many competitive advantages.

“We strongly support this plan that will speed up construction, expedite court review, smooth permitting and address the abuse of the CEQA process that has halted key projects,” business leaders wrote in their letter.

“The 88 diverse signatories and logos on this letter represent only one pillar of the statewide base standing up this historic proposal. Business leaders are proud to stand with labor, environmental and community groups to support Gov. Newsom’s plan because it will improve everyday access to water, transportation, clean energy and other vital infrastructure needs,” said NCC Co-Leader Tracy Hernandez, who also serves as Founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation “BizFed.”

“Our grassroots advocacy campaign isn’t over until this proposal is signed into law. NCC leaders will testify at committee hearings every day this week to remind legislators how delaying approval of this package will disproportionately hurt Californians with the greatest need,” said NCC Co-Leader Jim Wunderman, who also serves as President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.