By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Honoring their commitment to pass a comparable measure that includes all potential bidders of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Aircraft proposal, the Senate voted for Senate Bill 718 (Knight/Roth) that was jointly authored by Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley).
Knight was also the principal co-author of Assembly Bill 2389 that was signed into law in June. AB 2389, similar to Knight’s SB 998, was the product of intense negotiations to maintain and attract new aerospace jobs for California through effective tax credits. That measure, however, was not all inclusive of potential contractors on the bid, so Senators committed in committee to draft a new bill while legislators were back in their Districts throughout July.
“These extraordinary efforts show that the aerospace industry is important to California, and that we are serious about welcoming their business, job opportunities, and continued innovation. The economic benefits of this project to our state can be measured in thousands of new jobs. Offering our businesses the advantage of reduced costs will help us compete against other states who are determined to take our jobs and brain trust,” said Senator Knight.
Large aerospace companies in California contract with the Department of Defense for long-term projects that can cost billions of dollars. Recently, the United States Air Force released information about the new Advanced Strategic Aircraft Program (ASAP). One of the biggest constraints on this project is the per-unit cost limit that has been set by the Federal Government. Economic development incentives have become a critical factor in creating lower cost environments and are especially important to California due to its high business costs and regulatory constraints.
“California cannot take a wait and see attitude when it comes to highly talented and high paying jobs, such as in the aerospace industry. The number of co-authors joining me on these important measures demonstrates just how important this industry is throughout the state. California continues to lose aerospace contractors and other critical industries to other states willing to offer incentives, and I’m encouraged by this new effort to stem that tide,” stated Senator Knight.
SB 718 will go next to the governor for his consideration.