Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, is the new Chairman of the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy (JEDE) Committee. This is the position previously held by Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez. The Press-Enterprise has Assemblyman Medina’s response to the Governor’s comment during the State of the State address that the Enterprise Zone is “not working”:
Medina and others, though, rejected Brown’s call to roll back the state’s enterprise zone program.
There are about 40 enterprise zones statewide, including zones in San Bernardino and the Coachella Valley. Proponents call them a vital tool to create jobs in economically troubled areas. Critics, though, say the zones are an expensive perk for big business, costing the state more than $500 million.
Brown tried to eliminate the zones in 2011, but his efforts stalled in the Legislature. Critics say there is little evidence that the zones live up to supporters’ claims that they help create jobs.
Medina, who leads the Assembly’s jobs panel, said he thinks the zones have an important place in the state economy, particularly with last year’s demise of redevelopment agencies.
“I’m open to some changes, but I certainly don’t want to see them eliminated,” Medina said.