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September 2, 2011 > Solyndra bankruptcy a blow to Bay Area's economy

Solyndra bankruptcy a blow to Bay Area's economy

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Legislature must do more to nurture business; giving California solar companies a bid preference on state contracts would be a good start.

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) issued the following statement on August 31, 2011, in response to the announcement by Fremont-based, solar panel manufacturer Solyndra that it is filing for bankruptcy and laying off 1,100 employees:

"This is devastating news. It's time for all state lawmakers to understand we must act urgently to protect jobs and help nurture a return of California's economy to good health. When we don't, our families and communities suffer. The loss of 1,100 jobs in one fell swoop in my district is a terrible blow that will have a domino effect throughout the Bay Area.

"Unfortunately, it is too late to help Solyndra but many other struggling companies could benefit from legislation I have authored that would give California-based solar companies a bid preference on state contracts.

"If California is going to install solar panels on state property, shouldn't we try to use panels made in California? Isn't it common sense to use taxpayer dollars to support California jobs? This is a simple measure that can help protect California jobs."

Senate Bill 175, which provides a five-percent bid preference to companies that certify they are using California assembled or manufactured solar panels, was approved by the Senate but failed to pass the Assembly Business and Professions Committee in July 2011. Corbett has subsequently revived the measure by amending Senate Bill 134. That bill is in the Assembly awaiting a hearing.

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