Senate GOP to Senate Democrats: The Best Way to Honor Small Businesses is to Stop Killing Pro-Jobs Bills

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sacramento - Today the Senate unanimously passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 24, by Democrat Senator Curren Price, proclaiming the month of May 2011 as "Small Business Month." SCR 24 was introduced to raise awareness of the contributions made by outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.

During discussions on the measure, Senate Republicans rose in support of the resolution and invited legislative Democrats to further honor small business by stopping the flow of bills that kill jobs and by supporting - rather than killing -bills that help small businesses thrive and create jobs.

Listen to excerpts from floor speeches on SCR 24 by Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (Rancho Cucamonga) and Senators Harman (Huntington Beach), Huff (Diamond Bar), Gaines (Roseville) and Strickland (Simi Valley):

Senate Republicans have introduced numerous pro-jobs bills that would help small businesses grow and create new jobs by allowing flexible work weeks and by reforming California's confusing meal and rest period law that has led to uncertainty and expensive litigation.

Other pro-jobs bills Republicans have introduced would provide relief from burdensome and unnecessary state regulations. Unfortunately Democrats, who are in the majority, are systematically killing most of these business-regulatory relief measures, including the following:

SB 241 (Cannella): This pilot project would exempt 25 projects a year (chosen by the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency) from CEQA litigation; the pilot sunsets in 2017. The 25 projects will be from different regions around the state.

SB 396 (Huff):This bill would require departments to review existing regulations and report back to the Legislature. It also calls for system-wide review of all state regulations, starting with regulations enacted prior to 1990.

SB 400 (Dutton): This bill would improve California's regulatory climate by requiring, among other things, that agencies (1) assess the short and long-term impact of proposed regulations on jobs, (2) provide evidence that no alternative regulation would be more effective, and (3) determine whether the proposed regulation is inconsistent, incompatible or duplicative of existing regulations. This bill would also require the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to reject any regulations that do not comply with the economic impact analysis requirements. It would further require the OAL, or an objective third-party reviewer, to evaluate regulations with an estimated cost of at least $100 million to ensure that the estimate is based upon sound economic knowledge, methods, and practices.

SB 401 (Fuller): This bill would require that every regulation proposed by an agency after January 1, 2012, include a provision repealing the regulation in five years. The bill would prohibit the agency from approving a proposed regulation unless it contains the repeal provisions. In the year prior to a regulation's scheduled repeal, the regulation could only be reauthorized after a public hearing process where the effectiveness of the regulation's original intended purpose and/or the continuing need for the regulation is determined.

SB 591 (Gaines): This bill would utilize the successful British Columbia model of regulatory reform here in California. It would require review and elimination of 33 percent of all regulations, and then a "one in, one out" approach for any new regulations. It would also add a seventh step to the review process relating to the burden imposed by proposed regulations. It is sponsored by the Small Business Economic Impact Alliance.

California ranks at the bottom of many lists for business friendliness and unemployment:

  • The state's unemployment rate is the second-highest in the nation.

  • According to CNBC's "America's Top States for Business 2010," California ranked 48th among the 50 states for the cost of doing business and 49th for business friendliness.

  • California ranked 44th among the 50 states for the cost of doing business and 39th overall among the best states to do business, according to Forbes magazine in October 2010,

  • California has 14 of the nation's 20 most economically stressed counties (unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy), by far the most of any state according to the Associated Press.

  • The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council rated California as having one of the least friendly policy environments for entrepreneurship in December 2010 (48 out of 50 states).

  • According to the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, California has lost 34 percent of its industrial base (633,000 jobs) from January 2001 to November 2010.

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