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Wilson Unveils 5-Step Plan to Improve Business Climate


Gov. Pete Wilson on Monday announced five steps he will soon take to try to improve the state's business climate.

Two of the steps, Wilson said, will be aimed at clearing away rules in the state's Environmental Protection Agency. The reforms include a top-to-bottom review of Cal-EPA regulations and deadlines for the agency to meet in processing business applications for environmental permits.

Such initiatives will "simplify, but they are not going to compromise environmental quality or worker safety," Wilson said.

Wilson also proposed that business leaders join task forces to help his Administration weed out unnecessary red tape and that businesses fill out customer service surveys to relate their experiences with state bureaucracies. He further proposed that a total of six one-stop centers--where businesses can get clearances to build or expand from a variety of agencies at one location--be established across the state.

Last week, Wilson joined Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan to unveil the first of these one-stop centers--in South-Central Los Angeles, where it will serve businesses damaged by the urban riots of 1992.

Wilson unveiled the new steps as he began a six-day tour of California to sell recession-weary citizens on his view that the state is on the verge of an economic rebound. Wilson promised 120 San Fernando Valley business leaders that "California is coming back."

The setting for Monday's event was the bindery plant of Ad Industries Inc., a North Hollywood firm that won recognition last week when it said it would stay in California rather than move--with its 110 jobs--to Nevada.

Richard Wurzel, owner of Ad Industries, said his company had been prepared to move out of state after it lost a City of Los Angeles contract to a Minnesota penitentiary that pays inmates 65 cents an hour. But Wurzel recently decided to stay in California, encouraged in part by Wilson's efforts.

Wilson will also appear today at a news conference at California Steel Industries in Fontana, which is asking for help in expediting a permit for a new furnace at the Inland Empire site. CSI said it needs the furnace to remain competitive and preserve the 1,000 jobs at the plant. Its decision to build its own furnace was aided by Team California--a task force of public officials and business leaders that Wilson organized to promote California industries, CSI said.

Times staff writer James F. Peltz contributed to this report.

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