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Assembly Member V. Manuel Perez Comments on Legislation

Assembly Member V. Manuel Perez shared some of his thoughts on jobs, the economy and bills he is sponsoring with KXO Radio News in Imperial Valley. It’s particularly interesting to see how he articulates his intention regarding Enterprise Zone legislation AB 2476:

Assemblyman Perez Shares thoughts on the economic recovery.

We’re all familiar with the saying that ‘government doesn’t create jobs, businesses create jobs,’ and it’s quite true. The fact of the matter is that we in the Legislature have a limited set of tools at our disposal to help businesses create and retain jobs. And with limited state resources, we need to be creative. One thing we can do is to help businesses access credit. When last year’s budget froze the state program that provides small businesses with gap financing, I jointly authored a bill to get the program reinstated. I’ve also just introduced AB 2437 for a revolving loan fund that provides a gap financing mechanism for manufacturers that create and retain jobs in California.

Another thing we must do is build infrastructure. These are critical investments in our state’s future that also provide much needed jobs. A bill I authored last fall helps California leverage $3.2 billion in federal recovery bond authority. A third task at hand is workforce development. Making sure businesses have an educated and skilled workforce is critical. There are millions of federal dollars available to our counties to help assess and retrain displaced workers – we need to align those dollars to the fields and industries that are looking for workers so businesses don’t go looking elsewhere when they could be hiring Californians. I have authored AB 2628 to do just that. A fourth area is common sense regulatory reforms so that businesses aren’t burdened by red tape. AB 978 calls for the development of an online, one-stop application for businesses to apply for state licenses.

Finally, we cannot overlook the state’s Enterprise Zone program. I spent a lot of time last year facilitating a hearing process to examine many aspects of this program, and I appreciate the efforts of stakeholders to participate in the dialogue. Last month, I introduced AB 2476 to serve as a vehicle for statutory reforms to the program. As the bill currently reads, it makes changes to the eligibility criteria for Targeted Employment Areas. I see this measure as a starting point and look forward to ongoing and productive discussions as we refine the bill language and make an important program even better.

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