State tilting toward business-friendly laws

 

The California Chamber of Commerce has been lobbying for more business-friendly laws and this year there have actually been some successes.

By last Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown had signed 18 bills designed to aid businesses that are trying to grow the California economy. Here are some of the bills that CalChamber has been supporting:

AB 227 would protect small businesses from shake-down lawsuits related to alleged missing or inadequate signage required by Proposition 65. It provides firms with a 14-day window to cure a signage violation in certain situations.

AB 1412 repeals the Franchise Tax Board's decision to retroactively tax small business investors who relied in good faith on the law when they made the decision to invest in California and use the Qualified Small Business tax incentive, which was recently found unconstitutional.

AB 1412 and SB 209 restore a $120-million tax break that had been granted to 2,000 investors, only to be struck down by the state appellate court.

Affected taxpayers protested to lawmakers after receiving official notices that they owed back levies.

Here are some of the pro-growth bills signed earlier by Governor Brown:

AB 786 makes changes to the state's Money Transmission Act and removes some regulatory barriers for companies that come up with new, cheaper ways for people to send money and pay for purchases.

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, did away with regulatory provisions cited by firms such as PayPal Inc. and Square Inc.

A new law creates a "Made in California" label that would piggy-back on the state's reputation for designing and producing innovative products such as bio-tech medicines and electronics.

The program will be run by the governor's Office of Business and Economic Development and is based on a successful "California Grown" label for vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

The bill was supported by various small-business organizations and by Tesla Motors Inc., which makes luxury electric cars.

One side effect - once a California firm uses the branding label, it is less likely to move to another state.

California for decades has suffered under numerous anti-business, job-killer laws and its negative reputation has become worldwide knowledge.

Scores of businesses fled the state and to other countries. Outsourcing became a major business dynamic the past 30 years.

Since the gold rush that began in the mid-19th century, California's climate, natural beauty, entertainment popularity, and ocean-front access to the entire Pacific Rim and all of Asia created a powerful magnetism to lure businesses here.

In the late 20th century, outrageous waves of regulations and harsh environmental rules created an accurate perception that this state's liberal Legislature is indifferent to growing the economy and obsessive about regulation.

Now that Gov. Brown is still signing some sensible bills and vetoing some inane bills, there may be a better environment for companies to operate in, and for hiring and jobs, and that is good for everyone.

 

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