Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to visit San Luis Obispo's REC Solar today

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will visit a San Luis Obispo solar firm today to promote a legislative package designed to create or preserve at least 100,000 jobs.

He’ll visit REC Solar — a San Luis Obispo firm that installs solar panels — to announce training and hiring incentives and other policies that would be designed to make it easier for businesses to grow and expand in California.

State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, who is Schwarzenegger’s nominee for lieutenant governor, will join him for the 10 a.m. visit, which will be shown live online.

Dubbed the California Jobs Initiative, the package of five bills to be put before lawmakers was previewed in Schwarzenegger’s Jan. 6 State of the State speech.

The plan’s main provisions call for a $3,000 reimbursement for employers who hire unemployed Californians, as well as reimbursement for the cost of job training for employees who were unemployed, underemployed or threatened with layoffs.

Those two incentives are designed to save an employer up to the equivalent of what it would pay for an employee in state taxes in a year, according to an announcement from the governor’s office.

The program would also provide training for up to 140,000 individuals, intended to help them qualify for better jobs.

Other provisions include an extension of the homebuyer tax credit, to encourage homeownership, and eliminating sales taxes on “green tech” manufacturing equipment as an incentive to boost investment in that part of the economy.

Another provision of the program would streamline projects that have already completed environmental-impact reports, but that are delayed by lawsuits challenging those reports.

Schwarzenegger’s package includes provisions that would change rules for class-action and product-liability lawsuits against businesses and seek a cap on punitive damage awards.

The program would be funded by a loan from the Unemployment Compensation Disability Fund, which currently has enough surplus to pay for this program after covering claims, according to the governor’s office.

Where to watch Schwarzenegger’s visit to SLO live

The governor’s announcement of the California Jobs Initiative at REC Solar of San Luis Obispo will be shown live at 10 a.m. today at www.gov.ca.gov.

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