Every year, the California Chamber of Commerce puts out a list of "job-killer" bills that would supposedly devastate the state's economy. And every year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger takes this list far more seriously than it deserves; in 2007, he vetoed all 12 such bills that made it through the Legislature, and he has signed only three during his tenure. A repeat won't do any good for California.
This year's list, released Monday, contains 33 bills. To be sure, some are turkeys that deserve a gizzard full of buckshot. Most notable on that front is AB 2372 from Assemblyman Joe Coto (D-San Jose), which would impose a personal income tax hike of 1% on people with incomes exceeding $1 million a year and dedicate the money to higher education. Coming on the back of an earlier unwise millionaire's tax imposed by voters, this is a great way to chase wealth out of the state, savage the economy and ultimately reduce tax revenue.
And yet, for every flightless bird on the list, there is an idea soaring on the wings of angels. Some of the bills not only won't kill jobs, they'll add them. Others are vital if the governor wants to meet his own goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.