Which industries have shown the most employment growth in California over the past eight years? Software development, check. Computer systems design, check. On-line retail, check. Specialty health care services, check.

Information services and health care are among­ the few industries you would expect to thrive in California, even through a recession.

Add to that rarefied group of job creators one more employment engine: state regulatory agencies.

The cadres of state regulators in environmental, labor enforcement, business oversight, and consumer protection agencies have grown twenty percent since 2006-07 (including projected growth based on the Governor¹s 2014 proposed budget), even after suffering a small slump during the worst of the recession. Virtually all of these agencies are supported by fees targeted at regulated businesses, which leads to less oversight by legislators focused on new general taxes or erosion of the state’s General Fund.

During this same time frame overall state employment has yet to recover, and employment in California’s most important economic investment – public colleges and universities – has eroded.

The Governor’s proposed budget has made admirable strides in debt reduction and a prudent reserve, and modest investments in new infrastructure spending. But the inexorable march to regulate all aspects of private business continues unabated.

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