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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

Water Commissioners Approve 12% Rate Increase, Pending City Council Approval
The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners voted unanimously today to increase water rates by 12%, or approximately $5.46 per month for the average single-family residence, according to Long Beach Water Department General Manager Chris Garner. Earlier this year, the department considered raising water rates in two intervals: 6% in April 2019 and 6% in October 2019. But the proposal was shelved to review budgetary needs and address concerns about the information included in a public notice sent out to announce the proposed increases, Garner explained. The new rate structure is again subject to public notice and hearing requirements, with a required Proposition 218 hearing expected to take place in August, according to Garner. Once approved by the city council, the new rate structure would go into effect on October 1. The department is hoping to use the additional funds to increase system efficiency and local water production, Garner told the Business Journal. 

Beacon Economics Forecast Predicts No Recession In 2020
In a forecast released today, analysts at Beacon Economics shared projections for an economic slowdown, but no downturn in the nation’s economy until 2021 or beyond. “We simply do not see the kinds of imbalances or rapid shifts that would be forceful enough or deep enough to push the economy into recession,” Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics and one of the forecast’s authors, stated. “It’s certainly not going to happen in 2019, and highly unlikely to occur next year.” However, economic growth is likely to decelerate to approximately 2% this year, according to Thornberg. In a summary of the report, Beacon Economics analysts attributed this slowdown to the end of short-term stimulating effects created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, intensifying trade disputes and volatility in the financial market. “Perhaps the biggest threat currently facing the U.S. economy is the potential of spiraling trade disputes with China, and possibly Mexico and Europe,” the release stated. “However, even that threat has been hyped to a level that exceeds reality, according to the forecast.”

Former Councilmember Tonia Reyes Uranga Announces Campaign For School Board
Tonia Reyes Uranga, a former member of the Long Beach City Council, has announced her campaign for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Board. She is pursuing the District 2 seat. “I’m running for School Board to ensure every student in Long Beach has a great teacher, a safe campus, and a chance to earn a college degree,” Reyes Uranga said. She previously served as a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Governing Board and currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). Uranga is married to 7th District Long Beach City Councilmember Robert Uranga. In the race for LBUSD District 2, she is facing opponent Erik Miller, executive director of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit PVJOBS. “I will work hand and hand with our district’s parents to create more avenues for involvement in our neighborhood schools, and I will fight to ensure that every child – no matter where their family lives – is given the resources and attention they need to thrive,” Uranga said in a press release announcing her campaign.

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