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Judge asks City to develop work plan for Proposition I implementation


June 15, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO -- A judge today instructed the San Francisco Controller's Office to work with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Committee on Jobs to formulate a plan for implementing Proposition I.

In a hearing in San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ronald Evans Quidachay took testimony from both sides; although he did not issue a ruling, the judge instructed the City to submit a work plan and return in 30 days with a status report.

Judge Quidachay allotted the OEA one month to prove to the court that the designated work under Proposition I is being done on a timely basis. If proof cannot be delivered, Judge Quidachay may rule in favor of the Chamber of Commerce and Committee on Jobs. Both parties will return to court in early July to review the work plan.

At the July court hearing the judge will also offer a ruling on the second part of the lawsuit which questions the validity of a set of rules passed by the Board of Supervisors.

Although he has not ruled, Judge Quidachay did say at the onset of the hearing that he was inclined to invalidate the rules adopted by the Board.

"We see this as a major victory," said Nathan Nayman, Executive Director of the Committee on Jobs. "Any movement by the City to create a plan for implementation of Proposition I represents progress. We look forward to working with the City."

Last month the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the Committee on Jobs, on behalf of a diverse coalition of business organizations, filed suit against City Controller and Board of Supervisors seeking compliance with Proposition I.

The lawsuit asks the court to compel the OEA to immediately begin a review of legislation pending before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to determine whether any of the proposed laws will have an impact on the City's economy through loss of revenue, job creation or other factors.

The lawsuit also asks the Court to invalidate certain rules passed by the Board of Supervisors related to Proposition I. As passed by the voters, the ordinance urged the Board to only waive economic analysis in time of crises with a two-thirds majority of the Board supporting the action.

In August 2005, the Board of Supervisors passed a set of rules which gave the President of the Board the power to waive economic analysis of any legislation before the board; allow the Board to vote on a piece of legislation without an economic report; and exempt certain kinds of legislative documents such as resolutions from being subject to any analysis under Proposition I. The lawsuit asks for all of these rules to be invalidated.

Proposition I was approved by the voters on November 2, 2004 and passed into law on December 17, 2004. The law requires the City and County of San Francisco to create an Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) and for the OEA to analyze any legislation pending before the Board of Supervisors that might affect the overall economic health of the City before the Board votes on it.




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