Faced with an $11.2 billion dollar budget shortfall, Governor Schwarzenegger announced a targeted employment stimulus package which is designed to generate new jobs, keep existing jobs and businesses in California, and lure others back to the state. The Governor’s plan includes seven different proposals to reinvigorate California’s economy:
First, the plan aims to provide a boost in California’s construction employment sector by streamlining the permit and review process for already-planned, non-structural hospital construction projects.
Second, the proposal includes a plan to invest in infrastructure and aid unemployed residential construction workers in developing skills to transition into new street and road construction jobs.
Third, the Governor seeks to keep high-paying jobs is state by exempting employees in executive, sales, administrative and professional jobs who earn more than $100,000 annually from overtime pay.
Fourth, the plan allows employees the option to choose a more flexible workweek schedule, such as 10 hour/4 day a week schedule without triggering overtime payments.
Fifth, the Governor proposes a clarification of meal and rest period laws to provide employers and employees with a clear understanding of the laws. This clarification is projected to save business hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation costs and decrease terminations over meal and break violations.
Sixth, the plan aims to reduce barriers to public-private partnerships and "design-build" arrangements to facilitate the efficient building of more infrastructure.
Lastly, the Governor endeavors to provide 20-25% tax credits to the film and television industry in order to keep television industry jobs in state and increase economic output.
Governor Schwarzenegger is adamant that these changes be implemented as soon as possible in order to prevent a further economic downward spiral. "We have drastic problems that require drastic and immediate action," the Governor stated in special session of the Legislature he called on November 6, 2008. " Whether any of these proposals become law remains to be seen.