CMTA engages in Capitol forum on 2012 legislation to grow state's economy

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 9, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Thursday, December 7, Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) held a formal discussion in the state Capitol on California's Economic Crisis.

CMTA President Jack Stewart, former California finance director Mike Genest, Pacific Research Institute's (PRI) Lawrence McQuillan, Western

State's Petroleum's (WSPA) Tupper Hull, and National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB) John Kabatek joined Sen. Gaines to discuss the state's systemic problems and potential game-changing policies to grow our economy and employment base.  Sen. Gaines' intent is to develop ideas for 2012 legislation.

CMTA's Jack Stewart discussed California's standing as one of the worst in the country for new manufacturing investment (download slides).  Stewart's proposed game- changers to grow our overall economy with manufacturing were:  1) devise an economic development strategy, 2) implement regulatory reform with independent job and economic impact analysis on new regulations, 3) make our tax structure predictable and competitive, and 4) reduce the amount of California-only regulations.

PRI's Lawrence McQuillan hammered the need for tort reform. McQuillan said that California ranks 41st among 50 states in its tort environment, and that five class-action lawsuits are filed each business day in California, putting the state at a huge competitive disadvantage.  McQuillan went on to report that each Californian pays $2,000 each year on everyday goods and services because of the state's excessive tort climate. Moreover, PRI research shows that if the Legislature were to enact just one tort 

reform, our state could generate one percent job growth, which equates to roughly 140,000 new jobs.

WSPA's Tupper Hull voiced deep concern about the ability of the state's refiners to comply, and compete in a national market, with the Low Carbon Fuel Standards and the mandated carbon emissions reduction in the state's evolving global climate change cap-and-trade program. 

NFIB's John Kabateck pointed out that small businesses typically represent two thirds of all new net jobs. 400,000 small businesses have closed down in California in the last five years. Kabatek argued that it is imperative that we reduce the regulatory burden on these companies, most importantly with compliance notices before substantial fines.

Former California Director of Finance, Mike Genest discussed California's ongoing budget problem and argued that the state will continue to experience a permanent budget deficit unless the Legislature works to implement permanent solutions.  Genest argued that for too long, the state's budgetary problems have been kicked down the road, specifically as it relates to pensions, retiree healthcare and Medi-Cal.  Interestingly, Genest said that the budget imbalance is not as important as the issues brought up by the panelists working to grow our economy, recognizing that all ills are fixed with a growing state economy.

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