Gaines Gazette: March 1, 2011, In This Issue: Budget Needs Real, Structural Reform, Our Roseville District Office has moved! Gaines Introduces Legislation to Reduce Government Regulation, Legislation by Gaines, Would Repeal Suction Dredge Mining Ban Budget Needs? Real Structural Reform…..Governor Jerry Brown’s recent announcements to cut the state’s purchasing of freebies and usage of cell phones, while a good start, is only a crumb off of the piece of California’s budgetary pie.
In February of 2009, the Legislature voted to increase your vehicle license fee, income tax and sales tax. Yet today, our budget deficit is even bigger and continues to worsen by the day.
It’s time for the serious, long-term reform our state desperately needs to provide relief to hardworking taxpayers, encourage job creation and allow California’s economy to recover.
For years, I have been calling for structural reform to California’s budget process.
My first bill I introduced in the Legislature, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 3, would have aligned state spending with population growth and set aside money for non-growth years. It was quickly killed by the majority in 2007.
In 2009, I introduced Assembly Bill 1150, which called for the elimination of the State’s Integrated Waste Management Board, setting a precedent for consolidating duplicative boards and commissions and cutting government waste. It was defeated in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a party line. Fortunately, I was able to work with former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on a similar bill that did ultimately eliminate the waste board, but we must be able to work together as Legislators to go further.
In these tough times, these types of reforms are exactly what we as a legislative body should be doing – cutting our own spending, reducing the costs to do business and putting money away for years when our revenue falls short.
Each day we don’t act, we continue to push years of irresponsible spending on the backs of hard-working Californians who are already suffering.
For my part, I will continue introducing legislation that encourages job growth and structurally reforms our budget. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help me do the same.
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Our Roseville District Office has moved!
My Roseville District Office has moved right down the street. We have relocated to the 1700 building of Eureka Road, on the corner of Eureka and Professional Drive.
We are now located at the following address:
1700 Eureka Road Suite 120
Roseville, CA 95661
Our phone number and fax have remained the same. You can reach us by phone at (916) 783-8232 and by fax at (916) 783-5487. My dedicated staff and I are up and running in our new office, and we are here to serve you. Look for information soon about an open house we plan to host at our new office in April.
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Gaines Introduces Legislation to Reduce Government Regulation
Recently, I introduced legislation that would reduce and streamline the number of state regulations on the books, making it less costly and easier to retain and create jobs in California.
Overregulation is making it much harder for employers to invest in California and create and retain jobs here, crippling our economic growth. With more and more businesses and jobs leaving California because of costly regulations imposed on them by the state, it is vital the Legislature do all we can to make our business climate competitive and bring back jobs.”
Modeled after a successful effort in the Canadian province of British Columbia, Senate Bill 591 would force bureaucrats to permanently reduce the number of state regulations by 33 percent. It would also create a 10-year moratorium on increases in the net number of regulations. Any new regulations imposed by state agencies must be accompanied by the repeal of another regulation.
Just a few years ago, British Columbia was one of the most heavily-regulated provinces in all of Canada, with 383,000 regulations on the books. To date, British Columbia has slashed 42 percent of its regulations, cutting 165,000 regulatory requirements.
British Columbia has become one of Canada’s economic growth leaders because of their commitment to reducing regulations and implementing pro-jobs economic policies. We can take many of the lessons we have learned from British Columbia and apply them right here to our state. By acting now to consolidate one-third of our regulations, we can help encourage investment and growth the same way and get Californians working again.
State government needs to get out of the way and allow businesses to spend their time on the development and success of their business.
As a small business owner myself, I know firsthand how costly and difficult it is to comply with regulation after regulation just to keep my doors open. California has long been the hub of innovative business and economic development. Endless piles of paperwork and hidden fees should not dissuade people from starting new small businesses in California. My bill will help encourage job and business growth and make it easier for people to do business in our state.
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Legislation by Gaines Would Repeal Suction Dredge Mining Ban
Another measure I have introduced would repeal the statewide ban on suction dredge mining until a full environmental review has been completed.
It is irresponsible to impose a one-size-fits-all ban on suction dredge mining before we even know what the effects are. There is no scientific evidence that points to suction dredge mining as a cause in the collapse of fish populations. An economic impact report has been started, but there seems to be no urgency in its completion. In the meantime, local economies are suffering and those who depend on the mining to make a living are impacted.
Last year, Senate Bill 670 put a statewide ban in place to protect fish populations. This has significantly impacted small-scale miners in rural communities, where mining is still an important part of the local culture, history and economy. Senate Bill 657 will lift the state-wide ban until the Department of Fish and Game has had time to complete its California Environmental Quality Act review and determine if the small-scale mining in fact harms salmon.
When the ban went into effect, all suction dredge mining permits became immediately invalid, but permit holders were not given refunds for their unusable permits. For the state to pocket people’s money for a service it is no longer providing is incomprehensible. It’s the equivalent of purchasing access to a gym or fitness facility and not being able to use it. It wouldn’t fly in the private sector and it shouldn’t be permitted in government.
My measure will ensure the viability of this industry until there is concrete proof that it does more harm than good. The disruption of an entire way of life for some of my constituents is not something that should be done on a hunch.