Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

California awakening

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Nov. 19, 2009

State policymakers are beginning to understand -- or at least face the realities of -- a fundamental reason for California's job loss and now a 3-year $81 billion budget deficit.  Basically we pass laws and move on to new ones and call it success.  Texas on the other hand -- a state that congregates its legislature in only odd years and requires a 2/3rds majority on every bill -- created 70% of the new jobs in the United States in 2008 and has a $2 billion budget surplus this year. 

I offer the following 3-week timeline of completely independent events and tidbits -- a syllogism if you will -- as a picture of evolving realizations of California's problem, as well as some minimal-cost concepts that are gaining traction. 

October 22

    » Treasurer Bill Lockyer testifies that two thirds of California bills shouldn't see the light of day and begs the Legislature to recognize the severe degree of dysfunction as it pertains to California's dire situation.

October 30

    » Trends magazine contrasts California vs. Texas and predicts whirlwind backlash and decline in the Golden State

November 1

    » The Milken Institute 2009 index shows California is 42 percent more costly than Texas in business taxes (TX is actually 27 percent below national average).  There is also a large disparity between wage and electricity costs, and their index does not even take into account regulatory costs.

    » The Milken Institute also comes out with top-performing cities index that shows four Texas metropolitan areas in top 10.  California had none in Milken's top 25.

November 4 (blog date)

    » SMA solar manufacturing locates in Colorado.  (another lost "green" opportunity to help back-fill 590,000 lost manufacturing jobs in California).

November 12

    » Attorney General Jerry Brown pronounces that California is over-regulated.

November 16

    » Harvard Business School blogs that manufacturing drives innovation (important for a state intent on innovating and leading the "green" economy).

November 17 (Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee)

    » Cal Portland Cement CEO, Jim Repman, testifies on closing a 100-employee facility this Friday, November 20, as a result of regulations, costs and uncertainty.  Invites Sen. Mark DeSaulnier to come see one of the Cal Portland facilities.  Key Repman quote:  "A cement plant cannot be picked up and moved, but the next new plant probably won’t be built in California meaning more good, high paying manufacturing jobs will be lost to Nevada or China or somewhere." (download testimony)

    » Vulcan materials' Angela Driscoll testifies that duplicative regulations and uncertain future costs are hurting their ability to compete. (download testimony)

    » NFIB's Michael Shaw testifies on dire situation for small businesses and the importance of streamlining regulations so they can return to creating jobs and growing the California economy.

    » CMTA's Dorothy Rothrock testifies on opportunity lost for $5 billion in income tax revenue as a result of declining manufacturing base.   Then provides minimal-cost oversight options to address California problems.  Basically analyze existing regulations for economic impact along with some other thoughts.  (download testimony)

    » Rothrock also floats "80/20" concept.   80 percent of our time should be focused on existing law impacts on the economy and jobs.  20 percent on new laws.   (I bet Lockyer loves it! See video link in Oct. 22 item)

    » State Senator Mark DeSaulnier supports oversight concepts, promises to continue to address our dire job situation and tries to find time to join Repman this Friday when he has to close his Colton facility.

November 18

    » LAO says California is in another gaping $21 billion hole.

    » Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg released the following statement in response to the Legislative Analyst Office’s fiscal outlook report: "The numbers cry loudly for California to focus on rebuilding our tax base. The only tried and true way to do so is to use our fiscal levers to increase the number of high wage jobs (editorial note: insert manufacturing). Putting more people to work earning decent wages will help overcome our deficit. We need to protect our schools and universities, so as we create high wage jobs (editorial note: insert manufacturing) we produce a workforce able to fill them."


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