EXECUTIVE ORDER S-17-08


            WHEREAS the San Joaquin Valley is remarkably rich and diverse in its people, agriculture, industry, and natural wonders.  Within the expanses of the Valley is located a region rich in resources and important to California's heritage, economy, environment, and identity.  It is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world - home to farmlands that feed the nation and the world.  It encompasses three world-class national parks that preserve the natural beauty of the Valley and the mountains that bound it.  The San Joaquin Valley is intersected by a transportation corridor that is critical to the state's interstate commerce.  Its systems of rivers capture the watershed of the Sierra Nevada and flow to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Its people are hardworking and representative of many cultures, races, and nationalities; and

            WHEREAS despite all these many assets, the San Joaquin Valley faces many unique challenges as it works for a prosperous and healthy future.  Compared to the rest of our great state, this eight-county region, which is home to 3.9 million people, lags behind in several important quality of life measures.  The per capita income for Valley residents is one-third lower than for the average Californian.  Young adults attend college at one-half of the average rate.  Access to healthcare is nearly one-third lower for the Valley's citizens than other Californians.  The region is also put at risk with its air quality which is among the lowest in the nation; and

            WHEREAS the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley ("Partnership") was created by Executive Order S-05-05 to focus attention on one of the most vital, yet challenged, regions of the state, and to recommend changes that would improve the economic well-being of the Valley and the quality of life of its residents.  The Partnership has crafted a Strategic Action Proposal that will achieve those goals; and

            WHEREAS the Partnership has developed a vision to build a cohesive community supported by a vibrant economy built on competitive strengths and sufficient resources to provide a high quality of life for all Valley residents in order to achieve the "3Es" of sustainable growth--a Prosperous Economy, Quality Environment, and Social Equity; and

            WHEREAS the Partnership has already produced many valuable accomplishments and identified six initiatives to achieve its vision.  The Legislature has recognized the accomplishments and promise of the Partnership by appropriating $5 million in 2006-2007 for the implementation of the Strategic Action Proposal; and

            WHEREAS pursuant to Executive Order S-22-06, I extended the Partnership through December 31, 2008, indicating that it could be further extended by another executive order; and

            WHEREAS I have determined that a further extension of the Partnership is appropriate and desirable to further the mission and goals of the Partnership as its work focuses action around ten critical work groups:  economic development; energy; transportation; air quality; health and human services; higher education and workforce development; PreK-12 education; land use, agriculture and housing; advanced communications services; and water quality and water supply.

            NOW, THEREFORE, I ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of California, do hereby issue this Executive Order to become effective immediately:

1.  The Partnership is extended on the terms set forth in my prior Executive Order S-22-06. 

2.  This Order does not alter the existing authorities or roles of the executive branch departments, agencies, or offices.  Nothing in this Order shall supersede any requirement made by or under law.  This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.

            I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.