Acknowledging that there are "too damn many regulations"
thwarting business development and job creation in the state, Governor Jerry
Brown signed a pair of bills in Los Angeles Tuesday to fast track approval of
the new Los Angeles football stadium and allow similar fast approval for other
big projects throughout the state.

The focus of an elaborate ceremony attended by an
appreciative crowd of workers, business representatives and politicians was

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa moderated the ceremony. He
said the "number one deficit in the country is the deficit of jobs."

Assembly speaker John Perez spoke of the 23,000 jobs that
would be added by the stadium project, and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said
that the bills were the "beginning of a turnaround in California" to get
workers back to work. Even the crowd of workers jumped in with a chant: "What
do we want-Jobs. When do we want it-now!"

All speakers spoke of a balance between needed job creation
in the state with the second highest unemployment rate and the squeeze put on
job creation by environmental laws. The bills contain environmental
requirements while at the same time speeding up the process for any environmental
challenges to big projects.

Governor Brown acknowledged the need to remove regulations
and red tape. At the same time he stated he would protect the environment.
Senate Pro Tem Steinberg argued that the California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA) was a good law that was not weakened by the new legislation. He said we
don’t have to weaken laws but we have to make them work better. 

How far this new pledge on job creation goes is greatly in
the hands of the governor.

While the focus on the L.A. ceremony was on the new football
field and the expected return of NFL football to the country’s second largest
city, the second bill signed by the governor gives the governor power to
approve new projects in other parts of the state. 

AB 900 (Buchanan) was joined with SB 292 (Padilla), the
football stadium bill, to assure lawmakers outside of Los Angeles that large
projects in their part of the state could also benefit from less regulation and
fast track approval. The bill authorizes the governor to certify certain projects
for streamlining approval.

The governor acknowledged that new power during his comments
and asked for big ideas and big projects. His word to the builders and
dreamers: "Come and see me."

John Seiler over at CalWatchDog took a
cynical view
of all this saying that Brown has set himself up to practice
crony capitalism where he can wheel and deal on projects to his benefit. 

For the governor to prove otherwise he quickly needs to get
some projects rolling so more jobs can be created around the state. There is
not a lot of time to see if this job creation/red tape cutting model works. SB
900 is only authorized to run until 2015.

If the bill does produce worthwhile projects and jobs the regulation
reduction law should be made permanent.