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Silicon Valley forum on California’s fiscal woes

San Jose, February 25, 2004 – State Controller Steve Westly will be the keynote speaker at a special forum on February 27 in Sunnyvale about reforming California’s budget process, sponsored by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and the Bay Area Economic Forum (BAEF), Russell Hancock, CEO, of Joint Venture announced today.

Controller Westly will be joined on the program by state Senators Liz Figueroa and John Vasconcellos and Assembly Member John Dutra.

In announcing the event, Mr. Hancock emphasized that the ramifications of California’s fiscal woes have a crucial impact on Silicon Valley and “the necessary conditions for reform are coming into full alignment.”

Mr. Hancock said that the framework for discussion of reform leading to a “course of action” for the two organizations will be a Statement of Principles, which was developed by Joint Venture and BAEF. The meeting will be from 9:00 a.m. until noon at AMD’s World Headquarters. Registration fee is $25.00.

Two panels will discuss reducing revenue volatility and improving accountability, performance and productivity in government. Panel members include: Bob Brownstein, policy director, Working Partnership; Jim Cunneen, CEO, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce; Carl Guardino, CEO, Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group; Martha Kanter, Chancellor, FoothillDe Anza Community College District; Greg Larson, chief of staff, office of the state Controller; Annette Nellen, professor of tax, San Jose State University; Fred Silva, senior advisor, Public Policy Institute of California; and Dwight Stenbakken, deputy executive director of the California League of Cities.

Mr. Hancock also said that the recall vote was a public demand for reform. “Governor Schwarzenegger has promised it. Members of the legislature are on record supporting it. Now we just need to work together. The answers are challenging, but the process needn’t be: Start with an overarching set of principles, and then work together to achieve them.”

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