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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

State Puts Together Committee To Create Jobs

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California is establishing a legislative committee to create high-tech jobs and a San Diego Republican will lead the effort. The state's unemployment is about 12 percent, one of the highest in the nation.

— California needs to exploit some of its intellectual advantages to create new jobs, according to John Perez, California Assembly Speaker. He came the headquarters of San Diego's Sapphire Energy on Wednesday to talk about his new Select Committee on Job Creation and the New Economy. The San Diego firm employs 150 people as it works to develop Algae based fuel as an oil replacement. It is the kind of innovation lawmakers want to encourage.

"The more creative we can be, the more innovative we can be, the more expansive the jobs can be," said Perez. "The idea of taking advantage of our innovation and tying it to good policies around production really creates limitless possibilities for us."

Republican Nathan Fletcher, who's running for San Diego mayor, will chair the panel. He called job creation a major priority for state lawmakers.

"We're not just competing with Texas and we're not just competing with Arizona," said Fletcher. "We're competing with Singapore and with South Korea and with a number of other places. We have natural advantages, but we can't take them for granted."

The state needs to streamline regulations so California's business rules don't become obstacles to job growth, said Fletcher.

San Diego Assembly member Marty Block will also serve on the committee.

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