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Assemblyman Perez on PPIC

I just received a press release issued by Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez addressing the PPIC study on Enterprise Zones:

(SACRAMENTO) — Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, made the following statement today in response to the newly released report, “Do California’s Enterprise Zones Create Jobs?,” released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC):

“PPIC’s report advances what we know about the operation and impact of one of the state’s largest economic development programs. While the findings indicate that the enterprise zones have not affected business creation and job growth, the report also notes that improving community conditions by lowering poverty and unemployment are other EZ program priorities not evaluated by the study. The reforms of 2006, as noted in the report, shifted the EZ program into a more actively managed and accountable public program. I look forward to subsequent research to assess the impact of zones established under the new rules. This would be useful for community leaders and policymakers as we seek to ensure that our economic development programs are relevant and effective.

Understanding the economic dynamics of lower income communities is complicated. In the 80th district, there are three enterprise zones – the Imperial Valley Enterprise Zone, the Coachella Valley Enterprise Zone, and the Calexico Enterprise Zone. My own observation is that without the EZ program these communities would be experiencing further economic deterioration. I believe that the EZ program has provided opportunities for community leaders to work with the business sector to promote a more stable employment environment. I am aware that there are efforts seeking reform of the EZ program. Given the significance of the program to low income communities that have been hardest hit by this recession, I have called for interim hearings to thoroughly review the issues. This research from PPIC provides new information that will help my Committee with the hearings I have planned for the fall.”

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