What the Fresno City Council won’t do, Jim Patterson will.

The Fresno assemblyman organized a news conference on Friday morning attended by dozens in the home building and real estate industries. They had a unifying message: a bill in Sacramento will price out homes for many Californians.

AB 199 would extend the prevailing wage rate to any public works projects performed at the local level. Analysts believe that privately built housing projects would fall under that law. Paying workers the prevailing wage rate would cripple the construction business because they would no longer be able to afford labor costs. It is either that or increase the price of homes.

“It will essentially put home ownership out of the realm of possibility for literally millions of Californians,” Patterson said. “The State of California continues to build barrier upon barrier upon barrier to affordability. We are seeing the consequences all around us.”

Nathan Alonzo spoke on behalf of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. “We consider it a job killer. We consider it a housing killer. It would be devastating for the Central Valley economy,” he said. The Chamber officially opposes AB 199.

Clovis Mayor Bob Whalen talked about how this would affect his town. “This bill would impact those folks who in the future of the city of Clovis are going to try and purchase a home. We believe that is inconsistent with the values and the principals that the Central Valley and the city of Clovis continue to stand up for.”

While the Clovis City Council and Fresno Mayor Lee Brand officially oppose AB 199, the Fresno City Council failed to make a decision at its March 23 meeting. While two members favored opposing, five abstained, which means council took no action.

Patterson feels there is a rising tide against he bill, proposed by Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose). It is currently in the hands of the appropriations committee. There is no date for its next hearing. The committee next meets on April 5, but that bill is not currently on the agenda.

Watch video of Patterson’s full speech below.

Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

About The Author

David is a familiar name in Fresno journalism, working as a producer, writer and assignment editor for various radio and TV stations. He has covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, UFC, Fresno State and many political campaigns.   David earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Political Science from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Michelle have their hands full at home with three little ones. Originally from the Bay Area, David is a diehard Giants fan. Contact:   E-mail: dtaub@gvwire.com; Phone: 559-492-4037

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