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Governor Touts Enterprise Zone Success Stories in State of State But Calls for Reform

The following is from the text of today’s State of the State address:

Jobs

California lost 1.3 million jobs in the great Recession but we are coming back at a faster pace than the national average. The new Office of Business and Economic Development — GoBiz —directly assisted more than 5,000 companies this past year.

One of those companies was Samsung Semiconductor Inc. headquartered in Korea. Working with the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County, GoBiz persuaded Samsung to locate their only research and development facility in the world here in California. The new facility in San Jose will place at least 2,500 people in high skill, high wage jobs. We also leveled the field on internet sales taxes, paving the way for over 1,000 new jobs at new Amazon distribution centers in Patterson and San Bernardino and now Tracy.

This year, we should change both the Enterprise Zone Program and the Jobs Hiring Credit. They aren’t working. We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act. Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.

Both examples cited, Samsung and Amazon, represent cases in which the State relied in part on Enterprise Zones to help persuade the businesses to expand or create California operations. The Governor does not specify any further legislative proposals beyond the present regulatory process, but seems to be leaving the door open.

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