Robert Hertzberg

Senator

Los Angeles, CA

Senator Robert Hertzberg represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents. After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg built an international renewable energy business; invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; did government work for Mayer Brown LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms; and worked for structural changes in government through two civic groups: California Forward and the Think Long Committee of California.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

States across the Western region vary in their access to and use of renewable energy sources. Many states continue to rely heavily on fossil power-plants, with high pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Other states, such as California, have excess renewable energy sources during parts of the day, but lack access to ready markets for their green energy. There are also challenges to integrating some renewable resources, such as wind and solar, since they are subject to weather patterns that may not match demand.

Solution

Senator Bob Hertzberg proposed a new plan to help improve how Western states trade and integrate renewable energy resources, like solar, wind, geothermal and others. His plan would guide the development of a new regional electricity market and grid operator to manage diverse needs across the West. Participation in the marketplace would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver power more efficiently, avoid costs for duplicative infrastructure, increase transmission-grid efficiency, and raise awareness of energy availability and pricing. By coordinating these efforts across the Western region, Hertzberg plans on dramatically increasing access to reliable and less expensive sources of renewable energy, helping to reduce pollution across the region.

 

How to steal this idea:

Learn more about Senator Herzberg's proposal on his website: Sen. Bob Hertzberg announces plan to create renewable energy market with other Western states to help fight climate change

 

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Problem

Filing taxes can be a challenging, complicated process. It is even more frustrating for individuals, who, through no fault of their own, fall victim to administrative errors and delays from the tax collection agency. 

Solution

Senator Bob Hertzberg helped pass legislation this year to expand the taxpayer advocate program in California, helping provide financial relief to those who have been overcharged on their taxes because of administrative errors. Hertzberg’s plan will help restore trust in government by making sure that citizens are appropriately compensated if errors occur and by flagging occurrences of mistakes to help prevent them in the future.


Problem

During the past 60 years, California has moved from an agriculture and manufacturing-based economy to a services-based economy. As a result, state tax revenues have become less reliant on revenues derived from the Sales and Use Tax on goods and more reliant on revenues derived from the Personal Income Tax. As personal incomes tumbled during the Great Recession, state revenues plummeted disproportionately, causing states to cut many essential services such as health care and child care for low-income families when they were needed most. Relying on the wealthiest taxpayers to support California’s needs is an outdated practice and dangerous during hard economic times. 

Solution

Senator Bob Hertzberg proposed his “Upward Mobility Act” this year to help reform the current tax structure in order to make stronger, long-term investments in education, skills training, and infrastructure needs that will help ensure that California’s residents and businesses can thrive in the 21st century global economy. The initial goal of the upward mobility act is to explore problems with the current tax structure and discuss reform alternatives, such as expanding the application of Sales and Use Tax law by imposing a tax on specified services, incentivizing entrepreneurship and business creation by evaluating potential changes to the corporate tax law, and examining the impacts of a simpler Personal Income Tax Law. By reviewing the current tax structure and adapting it to meet the future needs of the changing economy, Senator Hertzberg’s plan will help revitalize education funding, jumpstart job creation, and foster improved state finances and business climate, helping expand opportunity for more California residents for many years to come.