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End Of California Legislative Session Has Business And Labor Leaders Taking Stock

Aired 10/22/13 on KPBS News.

California business and labor leaders are taking stock of how they fared during the recently-concluded legislative session.

Christopher Thornberg with the Los Angeles-based think tank Beacon Economics gives the state points for passing an on-time budget with money to spare. But, he said, changes to the California Environmental Quality Act didn't go far enough.

"In my eyes, the CEQA laws in this state have had a terrible impact on the state's ability to construct, particularly homes, that are affordable for the many people who need them," Thornberg said.

Thornberg also said the now-dissolved redevelopment agencies need to be replaced to help cities tackle blight.

Meanwhile, labor leaders are calling the minimum wage increase to $10 per hour by 2016 a major victory. Steve Smith with the California Labor Federation said housekeepers and nannies also won some gains.

"Domestic workers will now get overtime pay like other workers in the state," Smith said. "This is a very important measure of justice."

Smith also applauded the state for extending the Paid Family Leave Act to include people caring for non-immediate family members.

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