On Wednesday HCD Director Cathy Creswell hosted a meeting in Sacramento for Enterprise Zone stakeholders to provide an update on the memo sent out on October 10, and to explain the Department’s goals and strategy for program reforms.
There was a handout listing “Topics for Potential Enterprise Zone Reform.” It was emphasized that these were starting points for discussion and that this was the beginning of a transparent and open process. Director Creswell was adamant in her commitment to open and transparent communication with stakeholders throughout the process.
HCD is attempting to pursue certain program changes through a regulatory process and then others via legislation. Besides revisiting the vouchering regulations, the Department is investigating whether it can enact rules that place limitations on the issuance of vouchers that will effectively create limitations on retroactive application of vouchers.
Their expectation is to have a series of public stakeholder meetings in coming weeks at locations around the State in order to have a draft of new regulations by the end of January 2012. They expect the rule making process to go into the summer of 2012.
The real question is whether this activity initiated by HCD, a branch of the Administration, reflects an actual policy of the Administration to work toward making changes to the Enterprise Zone program as opposed to eliminating it.