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Lt. gov. releases plan to revive Calif. economy

July 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new plan to promote job growth in California is being unveiled on Friday, and part of it calls for creating a state office of economic development.

The plan is being pushed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. It focuses on boosting manufacturing and state exports and will seek private funds to reopen foreign trade offices promoting California.

"For more than 10 years, the state of California has lacked a strategic, statewide economic plan," Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor, wrote in the proposal's introduction. "And in the last decade, we have reaped the bitter consequences."

Newsom will present the plan to hundreds of business executives in San Jose.

The report cites the state's double-digit unemployment rate, which is second-highest in the nation, its persistent reputation for high taxes and burdensome business regulations, and the economic drag of the popped housing bubble.

It also notes strengths that could underpin new growth in California, including a culture of business innovation, access to export markets, an educated workforce, and a solid foundation in the emerging "clean economy" for products with environmental benefits.

"This is a remarkable state, and a big part of our job is highlighting what's right," Newsom said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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