Unemployment rates continue to soar in the Golden State. New numbers for Riverside County put it at more than 12 percent.
Local State Senator John Benoit says not only are jobs being lost, but the state is losing businesses at an alarming rate.
In fact, according Senator Benoit, more than 240 small businesses leave the state or just shut down every single day.
The State Senator made that known in Palm Desert Friday as he unveiled his “Economic Restoration Act.”
Senator Benoit says it’s legislation that aims to ease regulations on small businesses.
He’s pushing legislation that includes a flexible workweek such as a four-day schedule.
“When you’re offered a four-day work week, it brings 50 less days at work, 50 less commutes. People like that idea,” the Senator said.
Benoit argues 46 states already allow flex-work schedules and that 15,000 california businesses have written in-support of such legislation.
The Senator is also calling for “break flexibility,” which allows workers to take meal breaks when it best suits their workload during a shift.
Employers say the current law is vague and confusing and it’s led to numerous lawsuits.
“It’s so regulated. If they come back early from break, we are liable for a lawsuit,” said Kathi Rodriguez of the Casuelas CafÃ© in Palm Desert. She says her business has been involved in a lawsuit before.
When asked, though, if there is a concern that California is becoming bad for business, the Senator said that answer is not certain at the moment.
“We ask that question on the floor all the time. Basically, we get a look back saying, ‘The weather’s nice. They will still come.’ But that’s not the case anymore.
“We’re going to make ourselves a third-world economy if we don’t become competitive on the world market.”
For more information on Senator Benoit’s legislation, visit http://cssrc.us/web/37.