Is California bad for business? KTTV Vice President and General Manager Kevin Hale takes a look at why so many companies won’t set up shop here.
You can watch the full video of the editorial in the media player... and share your comments on the topic below the editorial transcript.
Full Editorial Text:
California’s ability to develop new business’ over the past decade was something we all could be proud of.
Between 2001 and 2009, we enjoyed the #1 ranking in the U.S.
In 2010, California nosedived to 50th, last in the country.
Sadly, we lost more than 4,600 businesses and this news comes at a time when our jobless rate swelled to over twelve percent.
We’re in a crisis situation, and it needs to be dealt with as a crisis.
At the core of the problem is a 24-year-old environmental impact law, known as C.E.Q.A., that requires all new business projects to undertake extensive environmental impact reports.
And those studies can take as long as five or six years to complete, and those years translate into new business giving up on California and leaving the state.
Let’s put it in perspective: Southern California recently lost out on a major utility plant, which would've provided hundreds of permanent jobs, as well as construction jobs. The developer was hamstrung by C.E.Q.A. and simply gave up and left the state.
And a smaller example indicative of what independent businesses face is one food manufacturer, which recently left San Bernardino for Texas when too much red tape, including CEQA, kept it from building a new plant here.
At least Governor Brown had the sense to sign AB 900, a bill that attempts to fast track C.E.Q.A. approval for all new business projects worth more than $100 Million dollars.
But how is that going to help the small businesses-the actual job creators of the state? It's no wonder they're flocking to Texas and Arizona.
Keep in mind: we don't look to the government to create jobs, we're looking to them to get out of the way so jobs can be created.
Politicians should be thinking now about passing a bill that gives all new businesses the opportunity to fast-track their C.E.Q.A. impact studies and put an end to the years and years of costly delays which have dropped California to the bottom of the country.
With more business creation, more jobs will follow.
And California needs both.
Thanks for listening.
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The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.