California Gov. Brown vetoes big-box legislation

New York City -- Gov. Jerry Brown of California vetoed a bill that would have required comprehensive economic-impact reports before big-box superstores could begin construction.

The bill, the Small and Neighborhood Business Protection Act, would have required supercenters to address more than a dozen possible economic side-effects, including job losses if competitors faltered.

“While I recognize that the merits of large-scale projects need to be carefully considered, plenty of laws are already on the books that enable and in some cases require cities and counties to carefully assess whether these projects are in a community’s best interests,” Brown said in a veto message Monday. “This bill would add yet another layer of review to an already cumbersome process.”

The bill would have covered superstores of more than 90,000 sq. ft. that dedicate 10% of that space to nontaxable items such as groceries and prescription drugs.

In a statement Monday, Walmart said the veto “helps restore confidence in our state’s economic future, especially during a time we should all be working together to create economic development opportunities for our communities.”

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