Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed legislation designed to strengthen economic development and international trade in California.
In a ceremony hosted by the Bay Area Council, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 2012 (Perez), legislation that re-establishes California's international trade offices in order to drive exports and increase direct foreign investment in the Golden State. California's export shipments in 2011 totaled $159.4 billion -- an increase of 25 percent since 2009 -- which has propelled the state's export totals to historic levels.
"California's exports are booming, and our ties with the world economy have never been more vibrant," said Governor Brown. "This law will further strengthen our position by allowing California's business development team to pursue new opportunities in countries with the strongest potential for trade and investment partnerships."
"I am very pleased Governor Brown has signed my AB 2012, which builds on our efforts to strengthen California's business climate," said Speaker John A. Pérez. "This law will help attract international business to California by ensuring foreign investors have a point of contact with California in nations like China and Mexico, which will ultimately create thousands of jobs for Californians. This action, along with other changes in AB 2012, will continue to help businesses grow and prosper in California, and I am very proud to have worked with the Governor on this important legislation."
Governor Brown signed the bill after giving remarks at the Bay Area Council's annual meeting at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City. AB 2012 authorizes the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to open international trade offices in countries where there is the greatest potential for export growth and foreign direct investment in California.
The legislation authorizes GO-Biz to work with nonprofit organizations to operate these offices, using state funds or private donations. GO-Biz will partner with the Bay Area Council to open an international trade and investment office in China. In addition, AB 2012 transfers the state's one-stop online permit resource center to GO-Biz and will eventually expand the system to serve most of California's industries.
In February, Governor Brown announced plans to open a new trade and investment office in Shanghai, China. California is already one of the nation's top states for foreign direct investment. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, foreign-owned companies employ 561,000 Californians and foreign investment in California is responsible for 4.6 percent of the state's total private-industry employment. Earlier today, Governor Brown appointed a new executive team for GO-Biz.
Governor Brown also signed the following bills today:
SB 1099 (Wright) Requires new regulations to be announced quarterly. Revises the effective date of regulations once they are filed with the Secretary of State and requires the Office of Administrative Law to provide on its website a list of, and a link to, the full text of each regulation.
AB 1671 (Huffman) Extends the sunset date from January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2020 for a statute prohibiting Caltrans from withholding retention proceeds on progress payments made to a contractor for state-funded public works projects. This bill also permits a bidder on a state contract to submit the bidder's security in electronic form.
SB 1077 (Price) 1) Allows alarm companies to organize as limited liability companies subject to minimum insurance limits; 2) gives the Bureau authority to cite unlicensed alarm operators; 3) authorizes the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services to grant probationary licenses to applicants; and 4) makes other technical changes.
SB 1174 (Walters) Allows, until January 1, 2016, a combination of vehicles consisting of a truck tractor semitrailer combination of specific measurements to operate on the National Network, transition routes, and well as any other routes authorized for that purpose by the Department of Transportation in consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
SB 1243 (Lowenthal) Revises the definition of "first out-of-state destination" and retains the sales tax exemption for maritime fuels.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html.