New year, new burdens for small businesses: Guest commentary

The California Legislature enacted a dizzying array of new bills last year — with Gov. Jerry Brown signing more than 900 into law. With job growth stagnant and small business optimism unclear here in California, hundreds of new laws and regulations on the books this year present new burdens and risk of non-compliance for businesses across the state.

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Torrance refinery explosion cost California drivers $2.4 billion in high pump prices, study says

The February 2015 explosion that shuttered the ExxonMobil plant in Torrance was the costliest disruption at a California refinery in the past 16 years, with motorists paying at least $2.4 billion in higher pump prices in the following six months, according to a recent RAND study.

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How Housing Prices are Driving Low, Middle-Income Families Out of California

California boasts some of the highest wages and fastest rates of job growth in the nation but high housing costs are pushing many people out of the state, according to a trio of reports released Wednesday.

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Why Gas Prices are On the Rise in Southern California

Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, tied California’s rising prices to ongoing problems at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance. The facility, which typically produces about 10 percent of California’s specially formulated gasoline, has been offline for gas production since an equipment failure caused an explosion there in mid February, injuring four people. . . The problem has been compounded by the fact that California is an island when it comes to getting gas from outside the state.

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California Lawmakers, Industry Groups Join to Oppose “Gas Tax” in Emissions Cap Program

Lawmakers, including State Senators Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and Norma Torres, D-Chino, spoke out against a program they say would amount to a new gas tax at a press conference held at the Pacific Mountain Logistics facility in Ontario on Wednesday. They were joined by representatives from areas of business, including Gayle Covey, executive director of the San Bernardino Farm Bureau, and Tracy Rafter, CEO of the Los Angeles Business Federation.

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Inland Empire Tops List of Unemployed, Not in School Youth

Nearly 1 in 5 young people between ages 16 and 24 in the Inland Empire are neither working nor in school, the nation’s worst rate, according to a report released Tuesday.

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