I have operated my own small business for 30 years, and eliminating burdensome regulations that get in the way of business formation and success were major reasons I first ran for public office. These efforts have continued throughout my time in the Legislature, and I am very proud that my voting record last year put me at the top of the California Chamber of Commerce’s (CalChamber) list of pro-business Assemblymembers.
Last year, I was joined by only 4 of my colleagues (out of 80) who voted in accord with CalChamber’s position on 13 important bills that can significantly impact California’s business climate. These include mandates that California businesses engage in “climate tracking” and auditing for greenhouse gas emissions generated in-state or by their out-of-state supply chains. Other legislation imposed new business costs by nearly doubling existing sick leave requirements. And it will now also be harder for citizens to use referendums to overturn laws passed by the Legislature, partly reversing California’s 100-year-plus experiment in direct democracy.
California’s economy is the fifth largest in the world, just after Germany. 99.8% of our businesses are defined as “small” – companies with less than 500 employees. For San Diego County, it’s 99.5% -- 80% of those have less than 20 employees. While large corporations can probably cope with new regulations and costly mandates, small businesses can’t. During the pandemic, the burden fell heavily on small businesses, closing many, while their large “essential” competitors remained open. Many of the small businesses that survived are still recovering, and the last thing they need are more government-imposed mandates.
Protecting California’s business community can be an uphill battle in Sacramento. Even so, my efforts will continue in 2024. To view CalChamber’s legislative vote record for 2023, please click: here