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During Capitol Summit Governor Jerry Brown Says Californian’s Ingenuity Generated $2.7 Trillion, Earning the State’s Status as the Fifth Largest Economy in the World

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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A highlight of the May 23-24 California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) annual Capitol Summit was the 93rd Sacramento Host Breakfast, a segment during which the Governor typically addresses the state of California and speaks about the future and vision for the state. As Governor Brown is winding down his time of service as Governor, his speech was more reflective of his time in office than it was about the future of the state. 

“Even 40 years ago there were a lot of people [talking about] California’s regulations, the taxes, the employment, [and] the anti-business climate. There’s always an element of truth to all of that, but even then the statistics were incredible,” Governor Brown said as he reminisced about his first address at the Sacramento Host Breakfast in 1976. He continued, “There’s still people saying that California is a failed state. Yes, we have a lot of regulations, we’ve got a lot of taxes, we’ve got a lot of lawsuits. We’ve got enough material here and enough problems for you to have a host breakfast for the next hundred years. You better come here and keep lobbying because it can get worse.”

Moreover, Governor Brown was optimistic that California and Californians continue to find a way. He stated that in 1975 the gross domestic product of California was $175 billion, and today it stands at $2.7 trillion

“We’re the fifth largest economy in the world. There may be a lot of problems but somebody is figuring out how to make that $2.7 trillion,” Brown said.

The Capitol Summit brought together business, civic, and local chamber of commerce leaders from throughout the state for two days of legislative meetings and policy briefings by CalChamber staff. As part of the summit visit, Greater Irvine Chamber Director of Government Affairs, Whit Peterson, met with Senator John Moorlach and Assemblyman Stephen Choi to discuss the business climate and address bills that threaten to harm California businesses.

One of the bills they discussed was Senate Bill 993, which imposes taxes on services purchased by businesses. Labeled a “job killer” bill by CalChamber, if passed, SB993 would impose a three percent tax on services such as janitorial, legal, and accounting, to name a few, having a profound impact especially on small businesses. Senator Moorlach serves on the Senate Governance and Finance Committee where the bill is being considered first.

Whit Peterson with Assemblyman Stephen Choi and Theresa Harvey

Political briefings were provided by PSB Research, a national political strategy firm, featuring just released polling numbers regarding the gubernatorial race, and the sentiment among Californians regarding their ability to achieve the “American Dream.”

For more information about the Greater Irvine Chamber's work in government affairs and how to become involved, contact Whit Peterson.


James O'Callaghan, President and CEO, Huntington Beach Chamber, and guest; Senator John Moorlach; and Whit Peterson, Director of Government Affairs, Greater Irvine Chamber.

Whit Peterson, Director of Government Affairs, Greater Irvine Chamber; Assemblyman Stephen Choi; and Theresa Harvey, President and CEO, North Orange County Chamber.

Category: Advocacy News

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