Resume of Work
With more than 30 years of experience, Edelstein Gilbert Robson & Smith LLC can point to numerous significant accomplishments. Below is just a sample of the many successes the firm has produced for its clients.
Top 25 Lobbying Firm
Named a Top 25 Lobbying Firm by the Sacramento Business Journal, February 2012.
Lobbyists of the Year
Named Lobbyists of the Year by one of the nation’s largest retail chain stores. Credited with saving the client over $80 million.
Developing Legislative Support to Secure State Grant Funding
Secured a $1 million grant for a coalition of 16 wastewater agencies seeking state money to plan and develop a regional renewable energy project. The governing agency in control of the grant program was originally unwilling to consider our client’s eligibility. However, $1 million for out client’s project was eventually earmarked in the state budget thanks to the support of a coalition of over 20 key legislators organized by our firm. Soon thereafter, the state agency overseeing the grant funding reversed course and approved a $1 million grant for our client’s project making the budget appropriation unnecessary.
Developing Legislative Support to Change Funding Guidelines
Worked with legislative leadership to compel the State Water Resources Control Board to amend its funding guidelines for a state revolving fund to dramatically increase likelihood of our public agency client obtaining state grants for which they were not previously eligible.
Directing Bond Money for Water Projects
Successfully caused $20 million in water bond money to be set aside for our public agency client. These funds were carved out of a larger fund intended for competitive grants.
Securing $30 Million for Major California International Airport
Spearheaded the passage of legislation that appropriated $30 million of state funds to match federal dollars to help purchase land for use in mitigating environmental impacts caused by a proposed runway reconfiguration.
Fighting the Major Energy Utilities to Keep Wind Energy Viable
Negotiated late amendments to two major energy bills to ensure the survival of wind energy producers. This major accomplishment was achieved after virtually all of the more than 40 interested parties, including some very powerful utilities, had finalized negotiations on two very complex electrical energy bills prior to the wind energy producers retaining Edelstein, Gilbert, Robson & Smith LLC very late in the legislative process.
Defeating Politically Powerful Opposition
Helped defeat legislation sponsored by an Indian tribe and supported by several powerful gaming tribes that would have prevented the development of a landfill in San Diego County. Edelstein, Gilbert, Robson & Smith LLC was retained by the landfill developer, who had already completed most of the environmental documentation and otherwise complied with the state’s regulatory requirements. Key in the defeat of the bills was a coordinated public relations campaign, which generated editorials in the Los Angeles Times and other California newspapers that created negative publicity about the bill.
Sponsoring Last Minute Bill to Secure $6 million for Local Government Client
Engineered the end-of-session introduction and passage of legislation that generated significant financial rewards for a major local government client, as well as other public agencies throughout the state, by allowing public health facilities and hospitals to use unreimbursed costs for Medi-Cal eligible outpatient and adult day health services to draw down federal Medicaid funds. The bill resulted in an additional $65 million in federal funds for unreimbursed Medi-Cal eligible care. The firm’s client received approximately $6 million pursuant to an established formula.
Saving Water District from Elimination
Defeated a bill that would have dissolved a water district and replaced it with a board consisting of elected representatives from the cities and the county that are within the water district. Edelstein, Gilbert, Robson & Smith LLC was retained by the water district very late in the legislative process, after the bill had already passed the policy committee on a unanimous vote and was scheduled for a vote the next day on the Senate Floor. Defeated additional efforts backed by a powerful Senate leader the following year.
Passing Legislation to allow Non-Profits to Expand Business and Revenue
Passed legislation to allow public health plans that provide health services for the poor to also provide similar services for the elderly, despite passionate opposition across the political spectrum. The new services provided under the bill allowed the nonprofit public health plans to draw down new federal funding, which helped generate additional revenue.
Promoting Local Solar Power Options
Persuaded the California State Legislature to pass two pieces of legislation establishing a uniquely advantageous relationship between our client, a major public utility, and Pacific Gas & Electric, that enabled our client to develop affordable solar generation.
Defeating Proposed Taxes on Temporary Staffing Services
Defeated a bill that would have imposed a five percent tax on the payroll of every temporary staffing firm in California. This bill was sponsored and supported by labor unions and was generated as part of a years-long campaign against the staffing industry.
Protecting Local Utilities from Costly Lawsuits
Led a coalition of public agency lobbyists on a three-year effort to pass a bill to protect the firm’s client, a major public utility, as well as other public utilities, from future litigation to be brought by public schools and universities challenging their rates. Absent the bill, it is estimated that the client’s ratepayers would have absorbed a rate shift of $28 million over fifteen years.
Consistently Winning for Targeted Client
Annually defeat six to twelve bills that target mobilehome park owners’ private property rights or their rights to charge appropriate rents. Edelstein, Gilbert, Robson & Smith LLC has either helped defeat or forced crucial amendments into literally dozens of bills.
Strategies for Regulatory and Local Obstacles
Successfully lobbied the Legislature and the Governor’s Office to help overcome state and local regulatory impediments to the development of power plants. These impediments included efforts by the California Energy Commission to impose technological requirements that would have created financial burdens for specific projects as well as impediments created at the local level that threatened the expansion of renewable facilities.
Saving Glass Packaging Manufactures Millions of Dollars a Year
Leader in writing and passing bottle recycling legislation which provides needed revenue for glass manufactures to continue to manufacture bottles in California. The firm has been engaged for almost 20 years to reform and enhance this program so that California glass manufacturers continue to compete in California. Largely because of the efforts of the firm, the beverage and beverage container manufacturers saved approximately $23 million in processing fees in 2007 and, over several prior years, saved approximately $16 million annually.
Passing Legislation to Enable Permit Streamlining and Regulatory Assurance
Lead a successful effort to pass legislation streamlining the Department of Fish and Game’s permit process for renewable energy projects, and providing timeline assurance and regulatory predictability to renewable energy developers.
Securing a Take Permit to Enable Timely Project Development
Caused the Legislature to apply political ressure on a regulatory state agency to compel the agency to issue a permit necessary for timely development of a multi-billion dollar project.
Securing $7 million Outside the Normal Budget Process
Successfully helped a public nonprofit health plan secure $7 million after the normal state budget process had concluded by directly engaging high-level staff within the Governor’s Office, which effectively overruled an unsatisfactory decision by the Agency. Without this infusion of revenue, the health plan was in jeopardy of going out of business.
Protecting Client’s Reputation
Successfully neutralized legislative attacks on a public power generator. These initial attacks were based on allegations that our client behaved improperly during the California Energy Crisis.
Accomplishments Outside the Normal Legislative Process
Prevented the State Consumer Services Agency and the Department of Consumer Affairs from introducing legislation that would have been hostile to the alarm industry. Helped the alarm industry to develop new alarm contract dispute policies that convinced state regulators that the industry could properly regulate itself, thus avoiding a difficult legislative battle.
Solidifying Renewable Energy’s Position in the Energy Market
Achieved amendments to the original California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation on behalf of the largest producer of renewable energy in California. The RPS requires Investor Owned Utilities to purchase a defined amount of their overall energy from renewable sources. Have since protected those amendments from annual threats by other stakeholders.
Using Scientific Arguments to Protect a Client’s Product Use In California
Defeated legislation based on poor science which would have banned the sale and distribution of children’s products that contain or are made using the chemical Bisphenol A.
Protecting Major Urban Water Supply
Defeated efforts by environmental interests and others proposing to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir located in Yosemite National Park, which provides the water supply for a major Northern California urban area.
Negotiations at the Highest Levels
Worked with the Governor’s office regarding non-legislative matters pertaining to renewable energy generators, including high-level negotiations with Investor Owned Utilities over a fixed price for renewable power. Also worked with both offices regarding sensitive political issues pertaining to California’s energy relationship with British Columbia.
Providing Legal Protection for Proprietary Information
Successfully passed legislation to protect alarm company customer lists collected by local governments from being obtained by competitors or criminals via a public records act request, thus protecting the proprietary information of individual companies.
Further Protecting Proprietary Information
On behalf of a multinational high tech company, helped defeat legislation that would have allowed proprietary information disclosed in the course of a civil court proceeding to be released to the public. The defeat of this legislation maintains current legal protections for patents and other proprietary information for our client and thousands of other businesses.
Protecting Small Business from Unreasonable Reporting Requirements
On behalf of a trade association consisting mainly of small business, helped defeat legislation that would have required unreasonably detailed reporting requirements for chemicals used in common manufacturing processes. The proposed reporting standards far exceeded the reasonable reporting standards that currently exist. The proposed standards would have been cost prohibitive, if not impossible to meet for most small businesses and even many large companies.
Defeated Licensure Requirements on Small Businesses Employees
Helped defeat legislation that would have required individual inspectors employed by a home inspection business to obtain a specified license rather than relying on current legal professional standards established to regulate the business as whole. The proposal would have been a burden on employees and small businesses alike and would have created an unfair business advantage for self-employed businesses without improving consumer protections.
Minimized Cuts in Reimbursement for Pharmacies
Joined with other pharmacy representatives to minimize the impacts of an Administration proposal to dramatically reduce the pharmacy fees paid by the state for dispensing prescription drugs to the poor. As originally proposed, the fee reduction would have cost retail pharmacies several million dollars.
Overcoming Significant and Powerful Opposition
Spent over two years working against labor union opposition to successfully enact legislation exempting temporary staffing industry from onerous wage payment requirements.
Brought in mid-way though the Legislative process to work with a coalition to defeat a bill that had already gained significant momentum. Sensing defeat, others in the coalition wanted to compromise, but we pushed for a strategy to defeat the bill. While the bill was eventually amended to delete provisions that were of concern to our client our coalition remained united in its opposition and the Governor eventually vetoed the bill.
Avoiding Unnecessary Requirements for Business Contracts
Successfully worked to amended legislation sponsored by the Governor’s Administration. The initial bill required certain business contracts to include unnecessary and burdensome consumer disclosures. Successfully lobbied for amendments advocated by our client to require much more limited and reasonable disclosures.
Defeating New Licensure Requirements
Worked to defeat late amended legislation aimed at requiring our clients to obtain new costly and time consuming state licensure. Despite support from a powerful and well-funded state trade association, we soundly defeated this Democrat-authored bill on the Assembly Floor.
Influencing Changes to Complex Reimbursement Formulas
Successfully influenced positive changes in the Medi-Cal reimbursement formula for prescription drugs by educating legislators and the Governor’s Administration regarding flaws in the formulas that were hastily approved during dire state budget crises. The new formula changes saved our client millions of dollars.
Defeated New Labeling Requirements
Opposed a bill to require new product labeling on juvenile furniture manufacturers and worked to amend the bill in a manner that was no longer acceptable to the author and sponsors of the bill, leading the author to drop the bill.
Defeating Costly Prohibition on Wastewater Discharge
Successfully defeated legislation to prohibit discharge of treated municipal wastewater to oceans and bays. Spearheaded a coalition of opponents to the bill, and lobbied aggressively against the bill defeating it in its first hearing.
Secured $15 Million for Client Project
Helped secure a $15 million grant for our client’s recycled water project. Garnered legislative support for the grant and ensured that funding was appropriated for the grant program in the state budget so that delivery of funds remained on track.
Defeated Legislation to Shift Liability
Led coalition opposed to legislation that would have shifted liability for public construction projects from the contractor to the public agency. Prior to our involvement, the legislation was easily moving through the Legislature. After our involvement, the legislation was defeated.
Secured Key Language in Statewide Clean Energy Legislation
Developed and implemented legislative strategy designed to ensure that complex statewide clean energy legislation contained provisions of highest priority to our client. Despite competing agendas from numerous influential stakeholders, the final legislation contained our client’s language.