The governor has now signed into law SB 601, a measure by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga)which grants state entities authority to waive or reduce governmental licensing fees for businesses experiencing hardship and displacement after emergencies.

"SB 601 takes a step toward reducing licensing fees on small businesses and entrepreneurs doing their best to achieve success in California, especially those recovering from fires and other devastating disasters," said Morrell. "I hope SB 601 is the first of many bills this governor signs to work at cutting red tape and untangling regulatory webs that hinder economic prosperity."

Morrell previously authored SB 999 (2018) to repeal certain licensing requirements in the fields of barbering and cosmetology and he also authored SB 1155 (2017) to waive initial licensing fees for veterans entering the civilian workforce.

According to the Institute for Justice, California is among the most onerously regulated economies in the nation. The average amount spent on licensing fees in California is $486 and many occupations require a physically displayed license in the workplace.

"As wildfires spread across the state again, we're reminded that natural disasters are a regular occurrence in California," said Steven Greenhut, Western region director for the R Street Institute. "SB 601 provides some regulatory relief to disaster victims and signals that the state government is committed to helping them get back on their feet."

The California Chamber of Commerce named SB 601 a "Job Creator" and one of its top priorities for 2019. SB 601 passed through the legislative process unanimously. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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