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Runner, Stricklands host town hall meeting on over-regulation of business

Posted: March 5, 2010 12:46 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2010 1:18 p.m.
SANTA PAULA - State Sens. George Runner (R-Antelope Valley), Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) today hosted a legislative hearing on the impact of regulations on local businesses.

"This is the fourth opportunity I've had to hear from small business owners in this type of setting," Runner said. "Wherever we go the message is the same: California's regulatory climate is stifling growth and entrepreneurship.

"With our high unemployment rate and an 81 percent increase in small business bankruptcies, we should focus on helping these businesses, not hurting them."

Several small business owners from the area testified before the legislative representatives. Their comments and real-life stories epitomized the various and many studies that place California in last place when it comes to conducting business, particularly a university study (.pdf) released in late 2009 that found government over-regulation costs California businesses nearly $500 billion annually.

"Job creation should be a top priority for every elected official," Senator Strickland said. "Excessive business regulations have cost California 3.8 million jobs - 10 percent of the state's population. In order to create jobs, the Legislature and the Governor need to get serious about revamping some of these regulations."

Employers were invited to attend the hearing and offer their testimony on how they have been impacted by government regulations. Business owners and representatives talked specifically about regulations that have caused massive job loss and prevented their business from growing.

"Small business owners are the lifeblood of our economy," Assemblywoman Strickland said. "If we continue to burden small business with regulations, the current economic situation will not improve. Today's hearing drove that point home."

Today's event marks the second discussion about business regulations these legislators have collaborated on. A similar legislative hearing was held by the three legislators in Thousand Oaks earlier this year.


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