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Crisis Management: Preparation Leads to Opportunity

By Mike Busch, CEO of Urban Futures, Inc. As I look at the growing interest in the State’s water resources, I cannot help but wonder if now is the time to get serious about infrastructure. While I understand the controversy surrounding the famed Rahm Emanuel quote about not letting a crisis go to waste, I […]

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Managing the Financial Impacts of the 2015 Mandatory Water Restrictions

Outlook Water agencies look to manage the impacts from an average 25 percent reduction in water consumption by end users effective July 1st, based on the Governor’s executive action earlier this month. Below is a summary of provisions and timing of events: Proposed cutbacks for the State’s 411 urban water agencies ranges from 10 percent […]

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New Markets Tax Credits: Leveraging Federal Funds to Meet Financing Gaps

Urban Futures, Inc. (UFI) is currently working on a joint project between the City of Lake Elsinore and developers to build a health, community and athletics facility that will benefit the region. The City sought UFI’s assistance with federally-available New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) to meet a financing gap for the estimated $80 million project. […]

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California Roads Rolling “Toward a Cliff” – Bonding May be the Answer

Every two years the California Statewide Local Street and Roads Needs Assessment is conducted to determine the condition of transportation infrastructure in the State. This joint effort between the California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities and the state’s regional transportation planning agencies determined that proper maintenance of streets, bridges, sidewalks and […]

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Stockton Bankruptcy Plan Approved, Pensions Not Impacted

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein approved Stockton’s bankruptcy exit plan on October 30, 2014. In the end, Stockton did not include impairments to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as a part of their plan. In early October, Judge Klein ruled that under federal law as a part of Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Stockton could […]

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Moody’s Gives Positive Outlook After Passage of Groundwater Bill

Moody’s has reported that the Groundwater Bill signed by Governor Brown is a credit positive for the drought-ridden Central Valley. While issues still loom surrounding water supply for the region in the drought, this piece of legislation requires that local government create groundwater sustainability plans for over-drafted basins, prescribing that local governments regulate their groundwater […]

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What SB 628 means for local government

SB 628 (Beall) stands to shift back to local government certain powers related to financing infrastructure improvement projects that had been stripped away with the dissolution of redevelopment. After the Governor eliminated redevelopment in early 2012, cities were left with few tools to fund large-scale infrastructure and economic development projects. SB 628 empowers local governments […]

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S&P ratings accurate, according to Municipal Market Advisors

Municipal Market Advisors (MMA) has released data that suggests Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings, while generally higher than Moody’s and Fitch, are not inaccurate. This data speaks to the growing concern over S&P’s new methodology implemented last year when calculating ratings. The data suggests that while S&P ratings have been higher, they are not inaccurate […]

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Changes in ‘Liquidity’ rules could impact local government

Next month, regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will meet to finalize rules that will likely impact state and local governments. During the 2008 financial crisis, markets froze due to a lack of liquid assets. In an effort to safeguard against that, regulators are […]

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