Thursday, June 14, 2007

Small Business California Update

From: Scott Hauge

I want to give you an update on what Small Business California has been doing the last few weeks.
First we continue to be involved in the health debate and are looking at the possibility of doing a statewide survey of small business and their positions. We may even do a statewide media campaign. If we do this we will have to move very quickly as session closes in September. I hope all of you will respond to the survey. If we do a media campaign I would appreciate knowing if you would be willing to talk to the media in your area. Please let me know by return email.
Second we have a position on the task force that will be involved in implementing AB2330 [Arambula]. This was the bill that required the state to do a study of the cost of regulations for small businesses versus larger businesses. I think this is really important as the Federal government has done this and their is about a 40% difference between larger companies and companies with less than 20 employees. Marty Keller who was recently named as the Governors Small Business Advocate is heading this up and I must say I was very impressed with the way he handled the meeting Tuesday.
Third our bill SB 869 will be moving to the Assembly. This is the bill that will go after businesses not providing workers compensation for their employees. I will be asking you at some point to send letters of support for this bill as it moves through the Assembly.
Fourth I have been named to a state Fraud Task Force. My issue based on what you have told me is the underground economy.
Fifth as you know I was named to the Advisory group that will implement AB 32[ greenhouse gas caps]. Small Business California is fortunate to have Hank Ryan who I consider the most knowledgeable person in the country on small business energy issues. He is helping me get the small business positions incorporated in the goals of the committee
Sixth Hank is also working with the CPUC where Small Business California is an intervener. One major issue he is driving is to have businesses that need permits from the Alcohol, Tobacco agency get expedidited permits for the use of Energy Star products. We met with the Sierra Club on this and they also seem to be very supportive of this initiative.
Seventh we continue to monitor workers compensation bills. There will be activity in this area come September and we are concerned that the reforms that have been so successful in lowering your workers compensation cost do not get dismantled.
Last as you know we have worked on a small business energy bill in the House and are working with the Center for Small Business and the Environment to get a bill in the Senate. We continue to work to get additional funding for Small Business Energy Star and increases in the Small Business Innovation program.
I think we are doing what you have asked us to do and I welcome your comments.
Scott Hauge President Small Business California

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