Tom Harman (R)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-The California Legislature would be forced to consider the economic effects of legislation under a proposal by attorney general hopeful Sen. Tom Harman.

The Southern California Republican wants bills that would hurt the Golden State's business climate to undergo an economic impact analysis. The proposal -- outlined in Senate Bill 954 -- will be considered Wednesday by the Senate Rules Committee.

"California has become a toxic environment for business," Harman said last month, introducing his bill. "Restrictions, regulations, taxes and other policies bombard business with little coordination or concern for their overall impact."

Harman and his Republican colleagues had proposed a package of job-protection bills. All but Harman's proposal have been rejected or delayed by the Democratic-controlled chamber.

Harman's Jobs Protection Act would require that legislation that would cost the state's already-struggling business sectors to be analyzed by the existing six-member bipartisan Joint Committee on Boards, Commissions and Consumer Protections,.

Under the plan, the panel of senators and assemblymembers would determine the per-business cost of bills. Proposals estimated to cost small businesses at least $10,000 each or cost larger businesses at least $50,000 would be delayed so lawmakers could consider them separately.

Pointing to the need for his bill, Harman said one of every six American employers that closed permanently in 2008 was in California, and by the end of 2008 there were almost 47,000 fewer businesses in California than in 2007.

"California is bleeding jobs and businesses are shutting down," he said. "I believe we need a coordinated approach to the rules and regulations governing our businesses. As it is now, the Legislature does not consider the total impact of all the different measures passed."

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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