Brown signs California business incentive program

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Gov Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown (AP Photo)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation overhauling an economic development program in an effort to encourage manufacturing and job growth in California.

The governor signed AB93 and SB90 at a biotech firm in San Diego on Thursday.

Brown had sought to eliminate the state’s $750 million enterprise zone program, which he called outdated and inefficient, but compromised and agreed to revamp the program after pushback from businesses.

The bills will extend a sales tax exemption for manufacturing and research-and-development equipment and provide hiring credits for businesses in areas with high unemployment rates. The legislation includes a tax credit to encourage businesses to expand and retain jobs in California.

Labor groups and some businesses backed the changes but local governments opposed them out of worry over losing the economic development program.

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