Tom Sheehy has more than 25 years of experience in executive and advisory positions in California state government affairs. His government experience includes working as an executive in the Governor's cabinet in Sacramento, 10 years working for legislative leadership in the state Capitol and lobbying for a Fortune 100 financial services company. His far-reaching knowledge of public finance encompasses the state budget, corporate and sales tax liabilities, appropriations, procurement, institutional investing, pension policy, infrastructure funding, conduit, and lease revenue bond financing.
Prior to joining the firm, Tom served in the Governor's cabinet as Acting Secretary and Undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency. This $1.7 billion agency oversaw the procurement of $9 billion in goods and services for the state of California, consumer protection programs, professional licensing, and the management and development of state owned real estate. Immediately prior to his time at the State and Consumer Services Agency, Tom was Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Finance where he represented the Governor and director on more than 40 state boards, commissions and financing authorities. For two years, he represented the Administration in front of the Legislature by testifying on more than 1,000 bills heard in the fiscal committees. In the Legislature, Tom served as senior staff for 10 years in both the Senate and Assembly where he advised legislative leadership on policy and regulatory issues affecting taxes, the business climate and state spending. Additionally, he spent two years managing California state government relations for a Fortune 100 financial services company where he led the effort to change state law and increase investment options for plan participants.
Since joining Greenberg Traurig, Tom has helped business clients get major legislation enacted in the environmental, transportation and health facilities policy areas. He also represents clients before state tax agencies. Tom is experienced in government contracting has helped clients sell tens of millions of dollars in equipment and services to state agencies, and he has helped troubleshoot numerous regulatory and procurement problems clients face in California.
The personal skills that Tom draws on to create client success in Sacramento include:
• the ability to accurately identify problems and future trends,
• develop strategic solutions that get results, and
• lead teams in complex, competitive and high-pressure environments.
Areas of Concentration
• State budget, appropriations, corporate, sales tax and personal incomes tax
• Legislative and regulatory advocacy
• Procurement and state contracting opportunities
• State infrastructure development
• Transportation and environmental programs
Professional & Community Involvement
• Member, Cal-Aggie Alumni Association
• Former Member, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee
• Former Member, Golden State Scholarshare Investment Board
• Former Member, Pooled Money Investment Board
• Former Member, State Lands Commission
• Former Member, State Infrastructure Bank
• Former Trustee, State Teacher Retirement System (CalSTRS)
• Past Chair, Building Standards Commission
• Past Chair, Commission on State Mandates
• Past Chair, Public Works Board
• Past Chair, Race Track Leasing Authority
• Past Chair, State Allocation Board
• Past Chair, State Fair Leasing Authority
• Past Chair, Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board
Awards & Recognition
• Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Government Relations Law Firm of the Year," 2014
- Ranked, Tier 1 - Government Relations, Sacramento Metropolitan Area
• Presented, Resolution from the State Allocation Board for Outstanding Service to Public School Districts, 2010
• Presented, Resolution from the California State Senate for Outstanding Service as Policy Director to the Minority Leader, 2004
• Presented, Resolution from the State Assembly of California for Service as a Principal Policy Consultant to the Minority Caucus, 1999
Acting Secretary / Undersecretary, California State and Consumer Services Agency (Governor's Cabinet), January 2010 - October 2010
• Directed licensing policy of 2.3 million Californians in more than 230 different professions; supervised procurement of $9 billion in goods and services.
• Managed the development of a $2 billion real estate sales leaseback transaction which encompassed 11 properties and 19 state buildings.
• Oversaw $53 billion in corporate and personal income tax collection, two public employee pension funds totaling over $300 billion in net assets, administration of state employee personnel policy, development of state building code standards, and enforcement of the California fair employment and housing act.
Chief Deputy Director / Deputy Director, California Department of Finance (Governor's Senior Staff), 2006 - 2010
• Represented the Governor's Administration on more than 40 boards, commissions and public authorities. Served as Trustee on the second largest public pension fund in the country - CalSTRS with $140 billion in assets under management.
• Acted as a State Lands Commissioner and conceived a strategy to implement a 14 year, $2 billion offshore oil leasing project amidst intense lobbying efforts to stop it. Crafted a plan to reconsider Commission's denial by taking project directly to the Legislature and Governor for review and approval as part of the state budget process.
• Chaired the State Allocation Board and led a very diverse group of legislators and public officials to work cooperatively towards common goals in public school construction, resulting in over $2.4 billion of state bond funds being approved for K-12 public schools.
• Established Department of Finance recommendations and testified before the Legislature on over 1,000 bills having a fiscal impact.
Regional Vice President, State Government Relations, TIAA-CREF, 2004 - 2006
• Engaged in legislative, regulatory, relationship building and new business development efforts. Represented the company before state legislatures, state insurance departments, state agencies, trade associations and governmental advocacy groups.
• Coordinated and led a lobbying effort which achieved a change in California law to expand investment options for teachers and other plan participants. Conducted political analysis and developed strategies that positioned the company for future growth opportunities.
Policy Director, California Senate Minority Leader, 2003 - 2004
• Planned policy agenda and directed legislative strategies. Built coalitions to influence government policy on issues involving taxes, business climate and state spending. Advocated at the state and federal levels.
Principal Consultant, California Legislature in Senate / Assembly, 1995 - 2003
• Advised leadership on the Governor's budget and options for stabilizing state and local government finances. Played a key role in evaluating the financial and legal requirements to implement a five-year $10.7 billion deficit reduction bond.
• Conceived and developed a complex financing plan known as the "triple flip" which established a new state revenue source that provided $2.4 billion in necessary debt service without raising taxes. The triple flip continues to be an important element in state and local finance. Facilitated state tax policy changes that resulted in $1.8 billion in tax savings in 2000.
• Drafted legislative proposals, amendments and bill analyses. Advised members of the Appropriations Committee and legislative leadership on the fiscal impact of the measures they voted on.
• Conferred and negotiated bill amendments with industry lobbyists, administration officials and other stakeholders. Developed a broad contact network and maintained working relationships with key policy makers.
Chief, Budget Development Branch, California Department of Transportation, 1993 - 1995
• Directed and managed the development and administration of a $5.9 billion budget, including more than $3.9 billion in capital outlay and local assistance funding. Oversaw regulations that governed procurement, privatization and outsourcing. Supervised implementation of federal law governing transportation financing and construction.
• Gained working knowledge of federal law governing transportation financing and construction.
Some of the above representations were handled by Mr. Sheehy prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
Publications & Presentations
Articles, Lectures & Publications
• Author, "Prop. 2 Puts State in Better Financial Health: 'Rainy-Day' Fund Helps Provide Budget Stability," Sacramento Business Journal, November 21, 2014
• Author, "California is in the Black," GT Alert, September 16, 2014
• Author, "California's Fiscal Outlook 2014-2015 - A Multi-Billion Dollar Opportunity or Headache?" GT Alert, January 13, 2014
• Quoted, "The Quest For Tranquillon Ridge," Mission & State: Narrative Journalism From The Heart of Santa Barbara, December 3, 2013
• Author, "CES Migration Hits 10,000 Mail Boxes - State's E-mail Migration is Successful," TechWire.net, June 13, 2012
• Author, "Early Success in Cloud Computing Demonstrates Innovation In State Government," Capitol Weekly, March 14, 2012
• Author, "DGS CES Migration Demonstrates Cloud Innovation in State Government," Techwire.net, March 13, 2012
• Author, "Opinion: New State Revenues Should Not Continue the Fiscal Roller Coaster," Capitol Weekly, January 12, 2012
• Author, "Opinion: Opportunity to Build on California's Foundation for 'Green' Buildings," Capitol Weekly, April 14, 2011
• Author, "Opinion: State Must Truthfully Match Spending, Revenues," Capitol Weekly, December 9, 2010
• Author, "California's Fiscal Outlook 2011-2012 - A $25 Billion Headache," GT Alert, November, 15, 2010
• Quoted, "Greenberg Traurig Add Schwarzenegger Cabinet Official to Firm," Sacramento Business Journal, October 15, 2010
• Quoted, "Convention Coverage: California Independent Petroleum Association - Perceptions Of Industry Pivotal For Its Future," The American Oil & Gas Reporter magazine, July 2010
• Quoted, "Coastal Oil Drilling Backers Aim to Sidestep State's Barrier," Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2009
• Author, "Yes: A Safe $1.8B Drilling Deal, Blessed by Enviros," Calbuzz, June 30, 2009
• Quoted, "California Lands Commission Spurns Schwarzenegger's Oil Drilling Proposal," Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2009
• Speaker, "Politics and Business Regulations," U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management, Sacramento, CA, June 20, 2013
- Presented on the Governor's Budget proposals, regulatory reforms, state tax revenues and how state policy drives business decisions in California
• Presenter: "Key Issues Impacting California Employers and What's on the Horizon 2012," California Workers' Compensation & Risk Conference, Orange County, CA, September 27, 2011
- Presented on key business legislation that had been stopped in the Legislature, vetoed or acted upon by Governor Jerry Brown. Included updates on California's fiscal situation and most recent political developments influencing the coming November 2012 elections and how they might impact the state
• Lecturer: "Business of Politics" - MGP 490 U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management MBA Program, Sacramento, CA, July 20, 2011
- Lectured on how government policy, rules and regulations impact the business climate in California and on how ongoing fiscal problems increase the pressure for additional public revenues
• Panelist, Summit on the Cost of Government, Governing Magazine, Washington D.C., September 14-15, 2010
- This event explored how to address post-recession reality and included experts from state, local, and the federal levels of government
• Keynote Speaker, 6th Annual State of California Technology Executive Briefing, Tech America, Sacramento, CA, September 9, 2010
- Presented insights into the state of California economy, budget and fiscal situation and how that impacts IT procurement in California government
• Panelist, "Economic Recovery and the Mobile Economy," CTIA, the Wireless Association and Governing Magazine, Sacramento, CA, August 9, 2010
- Roundtable discussion on the economic and social benefits of mobile broadband and how this technology can help make delivery of government services more efficient
• Keynote Speaker, "A Presentation to California Independent Petroleum Association," California Independent Petroleum Association Annual Meeting, Incline Village, NV, June 5, 2010
- Presented insights into the Governor's budget proposals, the May Revision and California's economy and fiscal condition
• Presenter, Northern California Workers' Comp Forum, San Francisco, CA, May 25, 2010
- Presented insights into legislative budget proposals and how they would impact the state's economy and business climate
• Panelist, Managing Technology Conference, Governing Magazine, Sacramento, CA, March 17, 2010
- Panel discussion on how best to employ technology in the service of government and the current challenges to making wise technology decisions in a political environment
• Panelist, ACWA 2010 Legislative Symposium, Association of California Water Agencies, Sacramento, CA, March 17, 2010
- This conference focused on various water issues affecting the delta and on potential fee increases on water users as a result of the state's fiscal situation.
• Co-Chair, Advisory Board Member and Opening Speaker, Green Technology Summit, Sacramento, CA, March 15, 2010
- Presented insights into how state government was retrofitting buildings, adopting green technology and re-engineering business practices to be more green
• Keynote Speaker, "California Association of Community Managers," Northern California Law Seminar and Trade Show, Oakland, CA, February 5, 2010
- Presented on the Governor's January budget proposals and recent laws and regulations impacting the state's economy as well as community association managers and practitioners
• Keynote Speaker, California Executive Institute, California Office of Technology Services, Rancho Cordova, CA, January 20, 2010
- Presented an update on the California's human resource management reform's, IT procurement reforms, how to speed up the RFP process while lowering costs and discussed the need for state budget reform to stabilize revenues
• Presenter, California Energy Conference, Howard Weil, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, September 22, 2009
- Investor-focused conference with top level management representatives from public and private companies from across the United States. Presented on off-shore oil drilling opportunities in California and the political situation surrounding Tranquillion Ridge off of Santa Barbara
• Presenter, Regional Conference, League of California Cities, Los Angeles, County Division, Los Angeles, CA, September 9, 2009
- Presented a recap of the Budget Act of 2009 and the policy and political underpinnings that held it together, including the need for budget reform.
• Presenter, Board of Directors Luncheon, California Manufacturing and Technology Association, Coronado Island, CA, June 18, 2009
- Presented on the Governor's May Revision to the budget and the legislature's response and counter offers and what they would mean to the business climate in the state.
• Key Note Speaker, "Need for Budget Reform and Sacramento Update," Regional Conference Sponsored by the City of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, March 5, 2009
- Presented the highlights of the Governor's Budget and discussed the need for fundamental reforms to the state's revenue and budgeting systems.
• Presenter, CASH Winter Conference, California Coalition for Adequate Student Housing, Sacramento, CA, January 27, 2009
- Presented updates on the State's Allocation Board, available bond funds for school construction, State's economy and fiscal situation
• Presenter, Public Affairs Retreat, Raytheon Company, San Francisco, CA, November 21, 2008
- Presented on how housing starts were leading indicator in California's recession, updates on the state's fiscal situation and the outlook for 2009
• Presenter, Technology Network Conference, Technet, Calistoga, CA, November 17, 2008
- Presented on state's economy, fiscal situation and the need for budget reform to stabilize state revenues
• Presenter, "Central California Mayors Conference," City of Fresno, Fresno, CA, June 13, 2008
- Presented an update on state economic trends, the housing crisis, and the Governor's revised budget proposal and how it would impact the state's central valley
• Presenter, California Parent Teacher Association Winter Meeting, State PTA, Sacramento, CA, March 2008
- Presented the highlights of the Governor's Budget and discussed education funding proposals and how they would affect per pupil funding.
• Panelist, Impact of Governor's Budget, California Budget Project, Sacramento, CA, March 20, 2008
- This conference focused on the impact of budget cuts on vulnerable populations and the need for fundamental budget reform.