With our state’s unemployment rate now 12.5 percent – and 2.26 million people out of work – there is no priority more pressing for the Legislature today than putting California Jobs First again.

As a former small business owner myself, I know first hand just how difficult it is to create and retain jobs in our state. According to Forbes magazine, California’s job creators are forced to pay the highest business costs in the country and bear the third-costliest business tax climate nationwide, while enduring the constant threat of junk lawsuits in a state that is ranked the 7th worst for lawsuit abuse.

In recent months, my Assembly Republican colleagues and I have heard from business owners across the state as to the challenges they face in keeping their doors open in California. We even traveled across state lines to Reno, Nevada, to hear why businesses relocated out of our state.
Their answer was the same – expensive mandates, burdensome regulations, high taxes and fees, and downright hostility from state government drove them away.

It’s no wonder that businesses that should be flourishing in California are expanding operations in other states. We have recently seen businesses like Mia Sole, a Silicon Valley manufacturer of solar panels, the social networking giant Facebook, and aerospace giant Northrup Grumman look to expand outside of California when they should be keeping these jobs here.

As vice-chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy, I believe it’s a tragedy that California is losing jobs to other states – and even other countries – because of high costs, expensive mandates, and government overspending imposed by the Legislature. If we are ever going to get our economy back on track, and bring in the revenue that we desire to help close our $20.7 billion budget deficit, then lawmakers in Sacramento must focus on bringing back jobs.

That’s why Assembly Republicans have introduced a package of common-sense measures that will do just that – make California more competitive so we can get people back to work.

Republicans have introduced an extensive package of pro-jobs measures that will stop the irrational regulations that are driving businesses and jobs away and lower the cost of doing business in our state. The goal is to inspire job creators to come back to California, invest in our state, and hire out-of-work Californians.

You can review the measures introduced as part of the Assembly Republican “California Jobs First” package by clicking here: www.cajobsfirst.com.

Our first bill scheduled for a committee hearing is a measure that I have authored, Assembly Bill 1833, requiring state agencies to conduct a thorough economic impact report before adopting, amending, or repealing any state regulation. AB 1833 will receive its first committee hearing on Tuesday morning in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. I believe that reviewing every piece of legislation and every state regulation for its impact on jobs is just plain common sense.

But the answer to California’s jobs crisis is not new government programs, more government jobs, and raising taxes, as Democrats have proposed. The solution is to restore a pro-growth economic climate in California that encourages the creation of more private-sector jobs. Only by passing our California Jobs First bill package can we do that.

I am hopeful that Democrats will join with Republicans to do the right thing by passing our California Jobs First bill package, but we need your help to make this a reality. Visit our California Jobs First website today – www.cajobsfirst.com – take our jobs survey and make your voice heard.

Only when you – the hard-working Californians who are losing opportunity because of misguided action by the Legislature – add your voice to the debate and demand to bring back jobs will we succeed in turning our economy around and getting people back to work.

Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, is vice-chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, and represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature.