State Tax Dollars at Work

California no longer has a Commission on Industrial Innovation.

This thanks to AB 1460 signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown who, coincidentally, wrote the 1981 Executive Order creating the commission during his second term as governor and signed the 1982 legislation placing the commission in statute..

Assemblywoman Alyson Huber, an El Dorado Hills Democrat, says the commission no longer exists and its “activities are supported by other divisions of government, including the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.”

This leads to an obvious question: Why is legislation needed to eliminate something that no longer exists?

Huber’s bill was heard by the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy and the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The full Assembly sent it to the Senate where it was heard in the upper house’s Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee before being unanimously sent to the Democratic governor by the full Senate on July 6.

Legislative staff in each house prepared analyses of the measure. 

All of which carries a cost to taxpayers.

According to the Senate Floor analysis, legislation in 1982 enshrined the commission in the state codes. It was to have 25 members including five from the public sector, six from labor and 10 from industries characterized by “industrial innovation.”

Thirty years ago, it was customary for bills to define the terms used in them and so industrial innovators are “technology based companies that devote at least 5 percent of sales to research and development and at least 15 percent of sales to depreciable sales.”

Companies landing within this definition include – but are not limited to — “those making electronic components, computers, peripherals, instruments, communication equipment, robotics, biotechnology, photovoltaic and aerospace equipment.”

Among other things, the commission was supposed to figure out ways to improve productivity while “maintaining regard for worker involvement and satisfaction.”

The Senate Floor analysis also allows as to how it’s “unclear if this commission was convened and how often it may have met or what reports, recommendations or other information may have been generated.“

Brown, however, cites, the commission’s creation on his 2010 campaign website as one of the achievements of his first stint in the Capitol’s corner office. 




  1. There are lots of worthy things you can learn from the state:

    Daniel J.B. Mitchell ?@CalPolicy
    Calif DMV drivers’ manual: Chew gum & sing with radio to keep awake while driving http://twitpic.com/ac38vi http://twitpic.com/ac3at4

    Comment by Daniel J.B. Mitchell — 7.26.2012 @ 4:27 pm

  2. He who giveth also taketh away.

    Comment by Melinda Vargo — 7.26.2012 @ 5:22 pm

  3. If you counted only bills that we really, really need, there would be a noticeable upward ratcheting of unemployment in Sacramento…’Tis the phasmatis apparatus that drives the Legislative process…

    Comment by ThinkChick — 7.26.2012 @ 5:35 pm

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