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Fresno Backlash Against Housing Bill



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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.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email