Californians who never use a computer are likely to benefit from the initial public offering of stock in the ubiquitous website Facebook.
At a meeting of her Valley Advisory Council last week at Pierce College, state Sen. Fran Pavley (D–Agoura Hills) said the long-anticipated IPO may bring a one-time infusion of as much as $1 billion to the cash-strapped state, which is facing a deficit of about $9 billion as budget talks open this spring for the next fiscal year. Gov. Jerry Brown is asking voters to approve a number of limited tax and fee increases that would raise about $6 billion that would be earmarked for education and public safety.
Pavley, whose 23rd District runs from West Hollywood to Oxnard, including parts of Chatsworth, said the state is “seeing bright signs in the economy. … There are a lot of good things going on, just not fast enough.”
The Democratic senator told the gathering of about two dozen San Fernando Valley community leaders that an anonymous donor family made a $150,000 gift to keep Los Encinos State Historic Park open. The Encino park beloved by many Valley families that go to feed the ducks was one of 70 state parks slated for closing because of the budget crisis. The gift will keep the park open through the end of this year, the senator said. She estimated the annual operating cost for the park is $210,000.
In Chatsworth, was also on the list for closure but has been saved by an outpouring of nearly 100 volunteers who have taken special docent training through the Santa Susana Mountains Park Association Foundation.
The group also heard a report by E. Kenn Phillips, vice president – workforce initiative for the Valley Economic Alliance, about proposed cuts to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $6.5 billion budget that could eliminate all adult education programs, which serve about 300,000 students a year. Eliminating adult programs would save about $200 million of the half-billion dollars LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy must cut. Almost half the adult students get instruction in literacy. Other training programs are important to the area’s economic status and growth, Phillips said. Creative ideas are needed to save the programs, which include vocational training in auto mechanics, child development, cosmetology, computers, construction, electronics, welding, accounting and various office and health careers. There are also parenting and citizenship classes.
Pavley said the legislature reached a deal to save state funding for school transportation. She said that $40 per student per day was shifted from the average daily attendance (ADA) funds school districts receive from the state to cover the $238 million for school busing statewide. Many local students are able to attend magnet schools across the city only because LAUSD provides buses.
Representatives of Metro talked about the agency’s transportation projects, including the Orange Line extension to Chatsworth, which is ahead of schedule and under budget. The agency has a broad range of regional projects under construction or planned through 2039 with subways, light rail, freeway HOV lanes, surface street improvements, signal synchronization, park-and-ride construction, bike paths and bus lines.
Pavley, a former teacher and Valley native, meets with community leaders quarterly to give updates on major legislative action, present speakers on state and regional issues and answer questions.