Gov. Jerry Brown spoke only two sentences about streamlining environmental regulations in his State of the State address. But they inspired reformers to cheer.
Could have fooled me. I was ready to pounce on him last week for scanty treatment, for kissing off the subject with only a brief reference, a throwaway line.
But I'd have been wrong, say some experts, people who specialize in semantics and nuances.
<WC>"<WC1>The fact he mentioned it at all was a home run with the bases loaded,<WC>"<WC1> says Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a trade association. <WC>"<WC1>We were thrilled.<WC>"<WC1><WC>
<WC1><WC>"<WC1>I was delighted he even mentioned the need for regulatory reform and talked about California losing 1.3 million jobs<WC>"<WC1> during the recession, says Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
It must be a low bar in Sacramento these days for business groups, what with a Democratic governor and complete Democratic control of the Legislature.
But Brown is on a roll and seemingly can do little wrong, at least that draws harsh criticism. Winning passage of his Proposition 30 tax increase earned him bank vaults of political capital.
<WC>"<WC1>It was one of the finest speeches delivered in our Capitol in the past three decades,<WC>"<WC1> gushed Sen. Michael Rubio<WC>, <WC1>D-East Bakersfield, chairman of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and an advocate of regulatory streamlining.
<WC>"<WC1>When has a governor captured anything so eloquently? So much history and poetry?<WC>"<WC1> Rubio is a Democrat. But even Republicans were pulling their punches.
The two GOP leaders <WC>—<WC1> Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar and Assemblywoman Connie Conway of Tulare <WC>—<WC1> were <WC>"<WC1>encouraged<WC>"<WC1> by the governor's words.