The powers that be in Sacramento are focusing on the job
dilemma in California with pronouncements this week from both Governor Jerry
Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. This follows the focus
put on economic policy by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom a couple of weeks ago.
Attention is being put where it belongs to help California
reduce its staggering unemployment rate and stifling business climate.
The question is: Will there be follow through to make
While some wonder if there is anything state government can
do while the country is in the grips of a national recession, other states have
managed to keep unemployment away from the sky-high figures with which California
suffers. Positive steps can be taken at the state level.
The governor appointed former Bank of America executive
Michael Rossi as a jobs czar. His mission is to advise the governor on ways to
make job creation less difficult through regulatory reform or legislative
actions. He will also try to create a cooperative atmosphere between business
and labor working toward the goal of increased business and job creation.
In February, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said
the legislature would take on regulatory reform as he displayed 28,000 pages on
regulations at a press conference. The effort to pass reform went nowhere,
partly stalled by the intense budget negotiations.
But, Steinberg announced the remainder of this year’s
legislative session should concentrate on getting the reforms through the
legislature. He told Capitol
Alert, "I want to focus these three weeks on what we can do to increase the
tax base by putting people back to work."
That’s the best plan for turning around California’s
fortunes. As stated here before, California has brought in more revenue from
economic growth than it has ever brought in from a tax increase.
So, the signs are good that the government leaders are focusing on the right
priorities. Although they must be careful not to bite at any proposal because
they believe it will create jobs but, in reality, hurt the taxpayers.
Yes, Governor Brown, I’m talking
about your recent "green light" for the High Speed Rail project.
If voices are unified to boost
business and job creation, positive steps must be made. More posturing and rhetorical
flourishes without results will only diminish the officials’ credibility.
Or to put it another way- instead
of adding regulations about fitted sheets in hotels, Styrofoam containers or
cooking shark fin soup, how about cutting a few thousand pages of regulations
and advertise that California is open for business.