In the news...

July 7, 2014

California lawmakers OK stealth bomber tax break

Don Thompson
Associated Press

A corporate battle over a giant Pentagon contract to build stealth bombers spilled into the California Legislature July 3, as lawmakers grudgingly rushed through a $420 million tax credit for an aerospace contractor before adjourning for their month-long summer recess.

The 15-year tax incentive would benefit one of the two major competitors, a joint bid being submitted by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

That has angered the other bidder for the $55 billion federal contract, Northrop Grumman, which says it cannot offer a low enough bid without a similar tax break. Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed for the tax credit, and Democratic legislative leaders promised to consider a similar incentive for Northrop after the Legislature returns in August.

Lockheed Martin says the incentive would mean 1,100 California jobs should it win the contract, including 750 new jobs and 350 that would be retained.

But Northrop Grumman said it would create 1,500 new jobs in Palmdale should it win the contract, even without the tax subsidy. A company spokesman said giving the break to Lockheed Martin puts Northrop Grumman at a competitive disadvantage, the situation lawmakers pledged to correct next month.

Northrop Grumman, California’s largest aerospace employer, is extremely disappointed that the legislation passed today in California favors only one aerospace company, the company said in a statement after the vote. This is a significant blow to fairness in California’s aerospace industry.

The bill limits the tax credit to a subcontractor, which benefits Lockheed as a subcontractor to Boeing. Northrop is its own contractor, so it wouldn’t qualify.

The company looks forward to working with lawmakers in August to secure a similar subsidy, spokesman Tim Paynter said. What we really want is a level playing field, he said.

Brown’s office and Boeing declined comment. There was no immediate comment from Lockheed Martin.

The bill, AB2389, passed the Senate with one vote to spare after hours of heated debate in committee and on the floor, as senators complained that they were being asked by Brown to pass the bill with a two-thirds majority just four days after it was presented to them. It had broader support in the Assembly, where it was approved 68-2.

I feel like this is a jam-job and this is a game of chicken, said Sen. Kevin de Leon, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which voted to send the bill to the full Senate.

The Los Angeles Democrat said California is competing for the aerospace jobs with Alabama, Florida, Texas and other states, but he wasn’t happy about the last-minute process of considering the tax credit.

Yet he and others who voted for it said the gain in jobs would more than offset the subsidy.

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said projections are that there would be a net gain to the state budget of $80 million to $500 million over the life of the tax incentive if the jobs stay in California.

This measure affects the industry that has helped build California, said Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. For the last 80 to 100 years, no state, no region in the world has had the impact on aerospace that California has. Now, Dayton, Ohio, can have their bicycle shop, and North Carolina can have the site of the first powered, controlled flight. But California’s imprint on aerospace is unparalleled, and today we have an option, an option to move the ball forward, an option to keep aerospace in California, an option to be competitive.

Opponents led by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, argued that the money would better go to schools, road construction and other programs that would serve businesses and residents across California. There is no need to give either firm tax-funded subsidies on top of the Pentagon’s profitable taxpayer-funded defense contract, he argued.

There is so much need in our state, and there is so much poverty in our state, Hueso said. This is just more corporate welfare.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>