Business Resolution Is All Talk

Katy Grimes: Anyone who has had to sit through a session in the state Senate or Assembly knows the agony of listening to mostly meaningless resolutions, usually presented with a stated intent to support an issue.

Thursday the Senate unanimously passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 24, by Democratic Sen. Curren Price (Los Angeles), proclaiming the month of May 2011 as “Small Business Month,” and to “raise awareness of the contributions made by outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

What a spiffy gesture.

But in the ensuing discussions on the measure, Republicans invited legislative Democrats to actually honor small business by stopping the onslaught of job-killing bills, instead by supporting bills that help small businesses succeed. It was a “put your money where your mouth is” moment.

After watching on Wednesday, as Democratic Senators viciously killed Democratic Sen. Roderick Wright’s two bills which would have given some regulatory oversight to the Legislature, instead of allowing state agencies to implement regulations without legislative involvement, it’s difficult not to believe that this resolution is just another windbag attempt to look as if they care about business and job creation.

In “CEO’s Rank CA Worst State For Business,”  my colleague John Seiler wrote “Once again, California garners the booby prize for business climateFor the seventh year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business and California as the worst.”

Seiler added, “And unlike some of these states, especially Michigan, California is not trying to improve its business climate.”

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.

California’s Democratic lawmakers are all bark and no bite when it comes to supporting private sector businesses and job creation. But their bite is big when it comes to imposing business-killing regulations on businesses, proving that they still see business as the enemy of the state.

The Senate Republican Caucus sent an email out yesterday, with 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): (Dutton Harman Huff Gaines Strickland)

“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,” the press release stated.

But the pro-jobs and regulatory relief bills Republicans have introduced are already being killed rather systematically by Democrats, who are in the majority. So much for proclaiming May as “Small Business Month.”  It’s all talk.

MAY 6, 2011

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