The California Chamber of Commerce issued its annual list of job killer bills as the organization hopes to keep up a remarkable record of success in defeating bills harmful to jobs and the economy. Given a reputation that the state is a bad place to do business – a reputation that California legislators and the governor say they are fighting — the Chamber stands in a strong position.

Since the Chamber began identifying job killer bills in 1997, less than 8-percent of the designated job killer bills have become law. Of 604 job killers, 44 became law. A record the Chamber administration and lobbying team are proud of.

Of those 44 bills that became law over that time, Governor Gray Davis signed 32 of them. The Chamber did well under Republican governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom vetoed all the job killer bills that came before them a couple of times.

But the focus is on the here and now. The record for the Chamber has not been too bad under Governor Jerry Brown. Of 100 previous job killer bills identified during the Brown years, only 12 made it to the governor’s desk and he vetoed half of them.

Legislators must feel the pressure from business rankings and stories of businesses moving to greener pastures. Despite the Democratic majority holding a supermajority (for a time), the Chamber added only 15 new bills to a job killer list that includes 11 hold-over bills from the last session. Six of those require a two-thirds vote, which is unlikely to be achieved this year.

One job killer bill was side tracked last week – AB 2140 to eliminate Orca performances at Sea World, an issue covered on this site.

Other measures detrimental to business have all ready been highlighted on these pages. AB 1522 would increase employee mandates on sick leave, AB 1021 would create a split roll to increase parcel taxes on commercial property, and SB 1017 would impose an oil severance tax.

The Chamber will attempt to keep its strong record in tact for the sake of jobs and the economy – the number one issue for the state’s voters in the recent Public Policy Institute poll.