Transportation Funding Needs Green Light in Sacramento

Gary Toebben on February 9, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Jerry Brown once again called on the Legislature to find a solution to California’s funding gap for highways, bridges and transit. The funding shortfall for the basic transportation needs of our state is getting worse every day and our businesses, residents and visitors are grumbling. 

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A Last-Minute Reprieve For Some Consumers On California Exchange

Ched Terhune and Barbara Feder Ostrov, California Healthline on February 3, 2016 at 11:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Covered California, the state's insurance exchange, announced Friday that it was extending its enrollment deadline until Feb. 6 for people who had officially begun the process of signing up by Sunday.

Exchange officials said they extended the Sunday deadline to accommodate a surge in enrollment in the previous week involving “tens of thousands” of consumers.

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Cashing in on the Promise of College

Gary Toebben on February 2, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Each year thousands of qualified high school seniors do not apply to college because they fear the financial barriers are too great and they are unaware of opportunities to secure financial aid. In 2014, the “California Financial Aid Tracker” from Education Trust-West revealed that 40 percent of California’s public high school graduating seniors do not file financial aid applications and leave millions of dollars of financial aid unused. 

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Big Opportunities for 21st Century Investments

Gary Toebben on January 26, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When it comes to investing in Los Angeles’ transportation infrastructure, we are in a golden era. The promises of Measure R are becoming a reality with the Regional Connector, Purple Line extension and Crenshaw/LAX line in full construction mode. Expo Phase II, connecting downtown to Santa Monica, is in the final testing phases, and the Gold Line Foothill extension is scheduled to open in March. The long-discussed goal of connecting the Metro system to LAX and transforming the way passengers access the airport terminals is now in the environmental planning stage.

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Ending Homelessness Attracts Hundreds of Caring Citizens

Gary Toebben on January 19, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, both the City and County of Los Angeles presented plans to address homelessness and invited public comments. The plans appropriately described the growing number of homeless persons and the shortage of affordable housing as a crisis. Each plan outlined suggested expenditures of approximately $100 million per year or $200 million total per year to take bold and comprehensive action. Both plans indicated that existing funds could be re-prioritized to get the ball rolling but that a dedicated revenue stream would be needed to sustainably fund the proposals. Neither recommended a specific revenue source. 

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Governor's Special Session on Health Care Financing

Samantha Beasley, Director of Public Policy, L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce on July 15, 2015 at 2:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Facing billions in funding challenges for our state’s health care infrastructure in 2016, Governor Jerry Brown recently began a special legislative session on health care financing. In this, hearings are being held in the Senate and Assembly to discuss the needs of our continuously expanding Medi-Cal population, services for people with developmental disabilities, and - most prominently - expiration of the current Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax structure.

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Playa Vista ó A Lesson in Leadership and Perseverance

Gary Toebben on January 20, 2015 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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This past week, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles celebrated the news that Yahoo! Inc. signed a long-term lease at the Collective Campus in Playa Vista. Playa Vista has emerged as a national model for urban living and high tech jobs, but turning back the clock, Playa Vista almost never happened.     

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Time is Running out for the Children's Health Insurance Program

Samantha Beasley, Health Care Policy Manager, L.A. Area Chamber on January 14, 2015 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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 The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was passed into law in 1997 in order to provide health coverage to children (and pregnant women in some states) who belonged to families that didn’t qualify for Medicaid but couldn’t afford to pay for private coverage. After the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) was signed in 2009 by President Obama, health coverage for children was revitalized through increased state funding and additional programmatic options. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) then enhanced federal funding of CHIP by 23 percentage points, provided an additional $40 billion to promote Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, and authorized the program until 2019. Funding for CHIP however, runs out this year, and uncertainty about the future of this program has grown with the new leadership in the 114th Congress.

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Letís Move Forward on the Sale of Ontario International Airport

Gary Toebben on January 13, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce agrees with Mayor Garcetti that the City of Los Angeles should sell Ontario International Airport (ONT). The business community believes that there is no strategic reason for the City of L.A. to continue to own and operate ONT, as long as the City of Ontario, or some other appropriate entity, continues to operate the facility as a commercial service airport for our region.

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Happy New Year - Hereís What A Great 2015 Would Look Like

Gary Toebben on January 6, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Most economists predict that 2015 will be a better year than 2014. That’s good, but my question is “What would make 2015 a great year for Los Angeles County?” What would dramatically contribute to the growth of our regional economy and cause a significant reduction in our unemployment rate?

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