While there is no simple solution to fixing California’s economy, there is also no question that economic
recovery cannot occur without job creation and retention.
That is why it has been so disheartening to see Nevada
target our state to take our jobs. And Nevada is far
from the only state trying to get business from California; it is just the most vocal about it. Nevada has spent
a small fortune trying to lure businesses away from
California by selling itself as better for business.
Nevada’s ads make a great point – California business owners are right to doubt whether
doing business in California is in their best interest.
A recent study by the Tax Foundation ranked California
48th in terms of its business tax climate. Taking into
account California’s regulatory and legal climates, it’s likely that number could slip even further.
Yet our legislators continue to make doing business
more difficult in California. In fact, Assemblymember
Jose Solorio even launched his own counterattack to
Nevada, claiming a business climate should take into
account more than just taxation and regulation, including
“amenities that make California an attractive place
to live.” Tell that to the small business owner trying to pay
their bills or comply with multiple regulations with
a sunset or an ocean view outside their window.
Talked about even less than taxation and regulation,
however, is California’s legal climate. A survey by California Citizens Against
Lawsuit Abuse of small business owners illustrated
that California business owners overwhelmingly feel
that the law favors those who sue. More than 98 percent of those surveyed believe California’s legislature needs to pass new laws to protect businesses
from frivolous or unfair lawsuits.
But so far, our elected officials have continued to
ignore the demands of their constituents. Year after
year, we see common sense lawsuit abuse reform bills
stall in the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees.
At the same time, personal injury lawyers are among
the biggest campaign contributors to our legislators.
It took placing a proposition on the ballot in 2004 for voters to mandate that a plaintiff actually had
to incur some sort of damage in order to file a lawsuit,
a measure designed to curb drive-by lawsuits that were wreaking havoc on small businesses.
Personal injury lawyers have been trying to chip away
at this ever since it was passed, with varying degrees
Once upon a time, people came from all over the world
to live in California. Now we’re seeing people fleeing the state to find the very
things California was once known for, including innovative
jobs. Last year alone, 144,000 more people moved out of California than into the
Until our legislators understand that a legal structure
that encourages business growth rather than hinders
it is vital to a successful economy, we will continue
to see this trend.
Perhaps the best thing we can do is force our legislators
to learn the hard way, by voting out those who continue
to bow to special interests and replacing them with
those willing to work for all Californians, not the
interests with the deepest pockets.