Why California is Such a Mess

Why does California keep losing jobs and suffer from a crippling budget deficit? Gino DiCaro of California Manufacturers and Technology explains, “Basically we pass laws and move on to new ones and call it success.”

Yet maybe California’s finally waking up. In his “California awakening” post, Gino reviews three weeks of independent events and tidbits and finds a picture of evolving realizations of California’s problem, as well as some minimal-cost concepts that are gaining traction.”

We’ll just pick a single day to highlight, November 17th, the occasion being a Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee hearing of jobs and economic development.

Cal Portland Cement CEO, Jim Repman, testifies on closing a 100-employee facility this Friday, November 20, as a result of regulations, costs and uncertainty.  Invites Sen. Mark DeSaulnier to come down and help close the plant.  Key Repman quote:  “A cement plant cannot be picked up and moved, but the next new plant probably won’t be built in California meaning more good, high paying manufacturing jobs will be lost to Nevada or China or somewhere.” (download testimony)

» Vulcan materials’ Angela Driscoll testifies that duplicative regulations and uncertain future costs are hurting their ability to compete. (download testimony)

» NFIB’s Michael Shaw testifies on dire situation for small businesses and the importance of streamlining regulations so they can continue to support the larger companies.

» CMTA’s Dorothy Rothrock testifies on opportunity lost for $5 billion in income tax revenue as a result of declining manufacturing base.   Then provides minimal-cost oversight options to address California problems.  Basically analyze existing regulations for economic impact along with some other thoughts.  (download testimony)

» Rothrock also floats “80/20” concept.   80 percent of our time should be focused on existing law impacts on the economy and jobs.  20 percent on new laws.   (I bet Lockyer loves it! See video link in Oct. 22 item)

» State Senator Mark DeSaulnier supports oversight concepts, promises to continue to address our dire job situation and tries to find time to join Repman this Friday when he has to close his Colton facility.

In February, The New York Times reported on Cal Portland Cement’s difficultiest, the plant now driven closure to closure by policymakers in California — a model for national policymakers, unfortunately. Jim Repman’s testimony is well worth reading for a sense of how new laws and regulations continue to add cost after cost.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Milan Moravec says:

    47% of the $850,000 raised by Senator Mark DeSaulnier for election came from Sacramento. Sacramento is not in the seventh senate district. We may now have the answer why the voices and conserns of the people in the seventh senate district are not heard on legislation in the California State Senate.
    Pass it on

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