This month I urged my colleagues to consider an attempt at regulatory reform. I know this might not seem like the most exciting topic, but this is a big deal.
It’s difficult to explain the need for broad regulatory reform, because each example is just a small part of a large, burdensome system. But one anecdote that comes to mind is the story of the winery owner who was required by the San Francisco Health Department to install a $27,000 sink for a mop in a carpeted shop. It’s that sort of bureaucratic nonsense that my measure targeted.
SB-181 would have required the state’s bureaucrats to identify and repeal two regulations for every new regulation they create. We called it the “One In, Two Out” bill.
Why should you care about regulatory reform? The state regulates what feels like everything, from licensing hair dressers to landscape architects. And the bureaucrats get to just decide whatever they want, like a recent decision to stop building roads - a “road diet,” they call it. Some regulation is good. I don’t want to feed my family tainted meat or take unsafe medications. But too much regulation chokes middle and small businesses out of the market place with an endless and costly labyrinth of regulations.
How much is too much? That’s hard to say. But at the moment, the state’s code of regulations is 28,000 pages. And often, regulations aren’t repealed. Instead, they are simply not enforced, which leads to a guessing game for businesses.
I don’t see how it’s possible for smaller businesses to know and comply with that much regulation, and the problem is compounded by uncertainty over what will be enforced. And others agree. Many of my Republican colleagues supported the measure, as well as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.
Although the measure died in committee, I will continue to fight for regulatory reform.
My bill to create a 12-month fishing license, SB-187, unanimously passed one committee this month. This bill is supported by nearly everyone but the bureaucrats - who dislike change - regardless of the fact that it would improve the quality of life for so many Californians.
Recreational fishing contributes over $4.6 billion annually to California’s economy, a major source of outdoor tourism, jobs and tax revenue for state and local government. California has over 2.7 million anglers and there is a growing concern that an unprecedented decline in California’s fishing sales will threaten funding for fishery and conservation programs, as well as millions of dollars in federal grants awarded to the state based on the number of licenses sold.
And as the government has tried to squeeze more from anglers, sales have plummeted. In 1980, when licenses were a reasonable $5, California sold more than 2.2 million annual licenses. Today, the base price for an annual fishing license has skyrocketed to $47, while the number of annual licenses sold has dropped a staggering 55 percent.
As it stands now, if you buy a fishing license at the beginning of the season, you get full use out of it. But if you don’t buy it right away, your license still expires at the end of the year, even if that’s only a week away. It’s not any cheaper. There’s no extension. And then you just have to go and buy another one.
But with SB-187, you will get 12 months from the time of the purchase. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, the bureaucrats hate it because they say they’ll lose money, even though the data suggests otherwise.
Earlier this month in Oakhurst, we sponsored a small business tax seminar, along with Board of Equalization’s George Runner, Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler, the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce and I.
Here’s Jenna Welch from my staff, Mika Petrucci with Asm. Bigelow, Supervisor Wheeler, Joelle Leder from the Oakhurst chamber and Leann Gouveia with the BOE.
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Small Business Of The Month
Starting next month, I’m going to highlight one business from the district to honor as Small Business of the Month. I know it’s nearly impossible and a little unfair to choose just one, but still, there are so many great businesses in our district worthy of recognition.
Did you know that small businesses create 55 percent of all jobs nationally, as well as 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 70s? In California, there are 3.6 million small businesses, which employ 6.4 million employees (as of 2014).
Small businesses are very important in our district, state and nation, and I don’t think we can recognize their importance enough. I’d like to rely on everyone in the district to make suggestions. Contact me on social media to make your pitches. Criteria could be serving delicious food, providing a fun experience, being an amazing employer, serving the community or any other reason you see fit.
I’ve spent my political career championing business. I’ve owned my own farm. I realize that businesses give us products, services, jobs, income and even tax dollars. Business is the grease that keeps our society moving. I agree with President Calvin Coolidge, who said in the 20s: “The business of America is business.” Let“s show businesses they’re appreciated!
We are starting to use Twitter and Facebook more and more to communicate with all of our constituents. It’s cheaper and more efficient than many of the traditional methods of communication, like mailings and earned media (ie: newspapers, radio and T.V.). Plus, as my teenage daughter tells me, everyone is on social media now.
Follow me on Twitter: @TomBerryhill
Like and follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SenatorTomBerryhill/
The 8th Senate District is 27,000 square miles - one of the largest districts in the Senate and about the size of Rhode Island. To better serve you, I have set up three regional district offices with great staff available to listen to your opinions on legislation, lend a hand with problems you may be having with state agencies, or arrange an appointment with me. We also hold mobile office hours (see below). The schedule for those can be found on my website. Please do not hesitate to contact one of my local offices if we can be of assistance.
State Capitol, Rm 3067
Sacramento, CA 95818
6215 N. Fresno St.
Fresno, CA 93710
33 C Broadway
Jackson, CA 95642
102 Grove Ave, Suite B
Oakdale, CA 95361
Sonora - May 2nd
10:00 - 11:30am
Sonora City Fire Department
201 South Shepherd Street, Sonora, Ca 95370
Waterford - May 5th
2:00 - 3:00pm
City of Waterford
101 E. Street, Waterford, Ca 95386
Oakdale - May 5th
3:30 - 4:30pm
Senator Berryhill District Office
102 Grove Ave, Oakdale, Ca 95361
Hughson - May 11th
11:00 - 12:00pm
City of Hughson City Hall
7018 Pine Street, Hughson, Ca 95326
Turlock - May 11th
1:30 - 2:30
Turlock Chamber of Commerce
115 S. Golden State Blvd, Turlock, Ca 95380
Denair - May 25th
10:30 - 11:30am
Denair Community Services District
3850 North Gratton Road, Denair, Ca 95316