Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Governor still determined to dismantle state's enterprise zones

Then-deputy LA mayor Austin Beutner and Laurie Hughes of the
Then-deputy LA mayor Austin Beutner and Laurie Hughes of the "Gateway to L.A." business improvement district at the 2010 announcement of the Century Boulevard corridor as a state Enterprise Zone.
Brian Watt/KPCC

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California lawmakers plan to vote Friday on a $96.3 billion state budget.   The plan includes many of the Governor’s key proposals, including one to change the funding formula for public schools.  But one significant omission will be Brown’s plan to eliminate enterprise zones.

In an 11th hour press release, Brown vowed to continue his fight to  “redirect” $750 million a year in state tax credits for businesses that invest in economically-depressed areas known as enterprise zones. The program is supposed to stimulate job growth and development, but Brown called it “wasteful” and “inefficient.”

The governor wants to spread the tax credits to businesses anywhere in the state that invest in manufacturing or that hire long-term unemployed, unemployed veterans or people on public assistance.

Democratic legislative leaders said this week they favor Brown's plan, but lack the two-thirds vote needed to push it through.

Brown tried to dismantle enterprise zones a couple years ago and failed.  Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-LA) and President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacrament0) have also tried and failed to change the program in recent years.

The League of California Cities has fought hard to protect the state’s 40 enterprise zones, which include several in Southern California.  They say the program is one of the few tools local governments have to attract private investment.