The legislation would allow some people receiving unemployment benefits to focus on starting a business, rather than applying for jobs.
Yamada: "Some of the most successful businesses have started in someone's garage"
Democratic Assemblymember Mariko Yamada wrote the measure. She says the new program would be funded by a five million dollar federal grant and benefit about 12,000 people.
Yamada: "It's not going to be a great big program, but these are individuals who have the potential of creating jobs for others. We just want to support them in their quest to do so."
Yamada says participants would have to prove they were starting a business, just as people currently receiving unemployment must prove they're looking for a job. The California Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill. The group says the program could end up costing the state money, and the requirements for seeking self-employment aren't well defined.