Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 6:53 pm | Fair 60º


Jack Stewart: Legislature’s Jobs Rhetoric Is Not Creating Jobs

Sacramento is all talk when it comes to California's private-sector employers

To the Legislature:

Jack Stewart
Jack Stewart

For the past year, we’ve heard you say again and again that your top priority is jobs for California workers. Unfortunately, you are not walking the talk.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from August 2009 to August 2010, 31 states created new jobs while 19 states lost jobs. Texas was the big winner, with 134,600 new jobs. California was the big loser with a loss of 103,900 jobs. Utah, with a population 1/14 the size of California, created 13,800 new jobs by targeting California’s high-technology employers. The long-term jobs picture for California is even gloomier.

Our plea to the Legislature in this final week of session: Don’t make California’s jobs climate any worse. But based on your actions so far this year, I have doubts you will hear our plea.

We’ve asked you repeatedly throughout the year to reduce the regulatory and tax burden on California employers. I guess you weren’t listening.

We’ve asked you to reform California’s meal and rest period law to provide clarity and reduce unnecessary costly litigation. You didn’t seem to care.

We’ve asked you to consider the ultimate cost to consumers and to California’s economy when you increase the renewable portfolio standard to 33 percent from 20 percent in SB 722. You missed the point.

We’ve asked you to leave human trafficking to the federal government and not add an additional layer of California-only costs and uncertainty as proposed in SB 657. You must have missed the memo.

We’ve asked you to consider the unknown, unintended consequences of spending money you don’t have, but you’re moving forward with AB 1405 to appropriate nonexistent AB 32 cap-and-trade fees for pet projects unrelated to greenhouse gas reduction. You must have another agenda.

We’ve asked you to balance California’s budget without job-killing business tax increases, but you propose billions of dollars in new taxes targeted at employers. You don’t seem to get the concept.

You’ve granted open season for Texas, Utah and other states to poach our most valuable resources: Our jobs and our industries.

In the next few days, you have the opportunity to make a difference for California’s 2.3 million unemployed workers. Consider the consequences.

— Jack Stewart is president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association.

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