Investing in California: Recommendations from
the Milken Institute California Summit
Mar 19, 2014
Kevin Klowden, Jason Barrett, Armen Bedroussian, Priscilla Hamilton, Kristen Keough, Stephen Lin, Jaque King, Sindhu Kubendran, Donald Markwardt, Minoli Ratnatunga, Nan Zhang

As the eighth largest economy in the world, the Golden State offers unrivaled opportunities but has also amassed unrivaled challenges. In 2013, California ranked a dismal 39th in Forbes' Best States for Business index. This was another illustration of the state's hostile business climate, driven by fiscal uncertainty, high costs and regulatory hurdles. These and other factors hindering the state's economic growth took center stage at the Milken Institute California Summit in November 2013. Also on the agenda were the challenges to the state's role as a globally leading innovation economy and shortcomings in the education system that adversely affect California's ability not only to provide opportunities to more people but also to power its workforce.

Policy and industry leaders at the Summit focused strategic recommendations to transform the state's economic climate. These practical proposals would require changes within the state government itself as well as the involvement of industry leaders.

Particularly challenging are trends in education. According to the report, California will be short 2.2 million people to fill positions requiring bachelor's degrees or technical degrees by 2025 if graduation rates fail to increase. The state as a whole is at the very bottom (47th) in per-pupil spending and will become a less attractive place to live and raise a family, further decreasing competitive advantage and losing a grip on future technology and science sectors. This quandary in the state's education sector is only part of a series of interconnected challenges that the state faces today.

"Investing in California: Recommendations from the Milken Institute California Summit" summarizes the findings from both the public and private sessions held during the Summit. Topics addressed in the sessions included:

• Improving the state's business climate
• Changing and expanding California's research and development tax credit
• The impact of implementing the state's innovative climate-change legislation
• The state's investment climate
• The impact of proposed changes to national and state mortgage regulations
• Strategies for improving government effectiveness at the state and local levels

See the report for recommendations emerging from discussions among Summit attendees.