First, Do No Harm

Allan Zaremberg
President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce

This morning, CalChamber is releasing our 201l list of Job Killer legislation. This year’s list features 28 bills that, if signed into law, would increase costs for employers, lead to more regulations and litigation, and create further barriers to investment for companies hoping to do business here and to hire California workers. It is important to note that the first step in an economic recovery program is to do no more harm to the economy. Yet, proponents of anti-business legislation are ignoring California’s obvious and painful economic situation. Apparently, they think California’s economy can withstand additional pressure from new regulatory and legislative burdens. They are simply unwilling to accept the unfortunate reality that California has the second highest unemployment rate in the country (even higher than Detroit’s!) and is currently ranked near the bottom when it comes to business climate.

In recent days, there have been stepped up efforts by front groups for labor and trial attorneys to discredit the job killer designation. It shouldn’t be any wonder that advocates of pending anti-business legislation are trying to divert attention away from the language of these potential job killing regulations and focus instead on the California Chamber of Commerce because we are willing to stand up for jobs and the economy. Whatever argument is used to try to undermine the job killer label, the facts remain. Employers are under tremendous stress in this uncertain economy and the cumulative impact of all of the California-only mandates and costs are killing investment here. That should be clear from the recent CEO Magazine report placing California at the bottom of the list of business friendly states.

It is imperative that policy makers understand that efforts to dismiss the impact of onerous laws and regulations will only keep more Californians from getting back to work. To see a full copy of the 2011 Job Killer list, please visit our website, www.calchamber.com.

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