Mayor Ed Lee pitches end to job-killer legislation

Any proposals coming out of City Hall that could be job killers would face a tougher and slower process under a charter amendment submitted Tuesday by Mayor Ed Lee.

For years, business advocates have complained that the Board of Supervisors doesn’t listen to them when it comes to proposals that impact their bottom line, most recently over changes proposed by progressive board members to The City’s health care mandate.

Lee’s charter amendment introduced Tuesday — which was the deadline for the mayor or board members to submit such measures for the June 5 ballot — would grant more power to the Small Business Commission to impact legislation. If the city controller determines the legislation would cause job losses, it would undergo a special “jobs impact” public hearing before the seven-member Small Business Commission. The commission also could submit alternative legislation that would be heard at the same time as the board’s proposal.

“By including the voices of business owners and employees and evaluating impacts and alternatives to job loss in The City, we are improving transparency and accountability in our lawmaking process,” Lee said.

Regina Dick-Endrizzi, executive director of the Small Business Commission, said business owners, commissioners and merchant groups have long felt “the need for more time” to deal with the proposals coming out of City Hall.

For some, empowering the commission is misguided. Supervisor David Campos said it is “disconnected” from the smaller merchants in various neighborhoods.

“I don’t think they represent the interest of many small merchants in the various neighborhoods,” Campos said.

“The commission as a whole is out of touch with the small-business community.”

Amendments to the City Charter require at least six votes by the Board of Supervisors to end up on the ballot.

Dueling ranked-choice voting measures also are proposed for the June ballot. Supervisor Mark Farrell had previously introduced a charter amendment that would eliminate ranked-choice voting in elections. And on Tuesday, Campos introduced a measure that would keep the system, allow voters to rank as many candidates as possible and consolidate the mayoral election with those for the city attorney and tax collector.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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