SACRAMENTO – Senator Fran Pavley’s bill to help spur job creation and improve California’s business climate is headed to the governor’s desk. SB 617, jointly authored by Senator Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), implements significant new regulatory reforms that are key to luring new businesses to the state and growing existing business here in California. The measure passed the Senate late Friday night with bipartisan support.
“Many regulations in our state are important safeguards for our air, or water and the health of our citizens,” said Senator Pavley. “But we can protect Californians, the environment, workers, and public health while making it easier and less expensive to do business in California.”
SB 617 requires state agencies to complete a more rigorous assessment of the economic impacts, including the benefits, of major regulations before they are adopted. This measure would apply to regulations that are estimated by the Department of Finance to cost more than $50 million. The assessment would focus on how proposed regulations would impact: investment in California; incentives for innovation; creation of new businesses in California; creation or elimination of jobs; and, equally importantly, the health, safety and welfare of the public, workers, and the environment.
“We must look at how new regulations accomplish their objective in the most cost effective way,” said Senator Pavley. “Along with looking at compliance costs, it’s also vital to consider economic, environmental, and public health benefits. Regulations often drive innovation. Clean air regulations led to cleaner cars; energy efficiency regulations led to energy efficient products and electronic goods; clean water regulations created new ways of manufacturing and recycling. These are all areas where investment capital and jobs have flooded into California. Now we must strive to lure more businesses here.”
SB 617 also increases transparency by ensuring the public and other stakeholders have a meaningful opportunity to participate in the regulatory process. Further, the bill ensures agency compliance by giving the Governor’s Office of Administrative Law the power to return regulations that fail to comply with the new regulatory standards. The legislation is supported by the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, which have consistently called for regulatory reform and other efforts to promote investment in, and expansion of, business in the Golden State.
“Businesses cannot thrive under the weighty blanket of burdensome regulations,” said Senator Calderon. “When money is spent to comply with over-burdensome regulations that means less money for expansion and job creation.”
"Requiring that all new regulations be analyzed for their impact on the economy and requiring agencies to give priority to the most cost effective option are changes that California needs,” said Allan Zaremberg of the Cal Chamber.”
“I’m confident Governor Brown will sign this important piece of legislation,” said Pavley. “With almost 12 percent unemployment in California, it’s critically important to do all we can to put people back to work. As we improve the business climate, we won’t sacrifice protections for California workers, consumers, and our environment. Those goals are not mutually exclusive.”
Attached please find a summary of SB 617
Senator Pavley’s SB 224, which seeks to streamline government by eliminating duplicative review of flood protection and other water resources contracts, is also on the governor’s desk.