Across the state, the drumbeat rolls on: we need jobs, jobs, jobs. The fact is every municipality is feeling the same pinch that Governor Brown referenced this last week when he asked the legislature to “man up,” and address their fiscal disorder.
Their bad behavior as well as the inaction of Congress has rolled downhill to heavily affect every county, city, and special district in California, and across the country. Look around, mosquito abatement will reach a low point in recent history, less police, fire, and first responders are on the street than at any time in recent memory. Property values continue to decline, and unemployment numbers remain stagnant nationally and over-inflated here in California. Things are ugly and staying that way, for now. However, there may be good news on the horizon.
While those with the power to do something about it argue over points of contention something really unusual has developed in California: Republican and Democrats have started to agree on something. Two companion bills in Congress authored by California Congressman Ed Royce (R) and Senator Mark Udall (D) of Colorado have garnered unusual support from representatives who most commonly are diametrically opposed to each other. In California Democrats like Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters are joining with Republicans like Ed Royce, Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher to support a common sense law which would greatly assist the recovery of our economy and the subsequent resurgence in the coffers of municipalities who are hurting for the resources necessary to provide cores services to Californians.
The bills, H.R. 1418 in the House and S.2231 in the Senate are succinct and to the point. They address a problem that congress created. In the late 1990s, Congress applied an arbitrary cap on the percentage of assets that Credit Unions can use to loan to their members in business loans. These loan types were capped at just over 12%. Now congress is considering raising that cap to 27.5%.
Understandably local leaders are thrilled to see the potential beginnings of a local recovery that could come on the heels of passage of the “Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011.”
“Roseville, and Placer County in general, has fought hard over these last years to rein in spending, but now we have reached a point where we need more new jobs,” said Vice Mayor of Roseville, Susan Rohan. “We have some of the most creative and industrious people here that are just begging for the tools necessary to build their businesses and create new jobs, all they need is the credit necessary to get off the ground.”
The fact is that it’s hard enough to do business in today’s climate, but it’s impossible to do business if no capital is available. Credit unions offer the type of loans that many of the businesses that are providing most newly created jobs need. These are often loans that large banks and even small local banks won’t touch.
Perhaps, if both parties in California can agree on this issue then it deserves a long look from every locally elected official looking for solutions to help provide new jobs. Those representatives willing to work across the aisle to get something done for California and for the country as a whole should be commended.