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Dems, Business Groups Agree to Regulatory Changes

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here's a list of power brokers you don't normally see together: Senate President Darrell Steinberg.  Jack Stewart with the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. Assembly Speaker John Perez.  And California Chamber of Commerce CEO Allan Zaremberg.  It didn't take long for Zaremberg and Perez to trade one-liners:

Zaremberg: "It's a pretty good turnout - you should have me at more of your press conferences!"
Perez: "You should support more of our legislation!" (laughter)

Democrats and business groups don't typically see eye-to-eye.  But Steinberg says they've agreed to changes like reviewing major regulations more thoroughly and conducting rigorous economic impact assessments.

Steinberg: "We are here as a strong beginning to put an end to the drumbeat that California is not friendly to business."

CalChamber's Allan Zaremberg says the changes will bring increased certainty and transparency that could help keep businesses from moving out-of-state.

Zaremberg: "This is what we have to go now sell these people, and I think that's the important aspect of it is - to be able to say, we're listening to you and we're going to do something about your concerns."

The changes don't apply to current regulations, only new ones.  That prompted Republican Senator Sam Blakeslee to call the proposal a "good first step" with some "glaring holes."

Blakeslee: "I'll happily support what's being done.  But I will fight hard for regulatory review, because there are many existing regulations that are just killing employers - just left and right - and causing people to be laid off and making California less competitive."

The changes should easily pass the Democratic-controlled legislature.

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