NFIB California Podcast: A Conversation with Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones

Date: April 04, 2023

The state’s problems are of its own making

State Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones contends that California’s problems are of its own making, and it will be a while before they can be unmade.

In a 38-minute conversation with NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate, Tim Taylor, the San Diego-area senator painted a grim picture of the current state of the state.

“We’re morning closer and closer to a command-and-control economy. I mean California is perfecting a socialist economy. We’re moving in that direction,” said Jones, who pointed at Gov. Gavin Newsom as a big reason why.

On Taxing Oil Companies

“This governor thinks he can control everything from Sacramento and run it better than the private companies that are already doing it, and we just know it’s going to be a fiasco and oil prices are going to go up … When government takes over and takes control, there’s scarcity and a drop in supply and prices go up.

“The first dollar of every gallon, whether $3 dollars a gallon or $8 dollars a gallon, the first dollar goes to the state, and who’s making the absurd profits off of gasoline? The state is.

“We should be getting more oil from California, not less. Gasoline is too expensive in California because we’re not extracting it here, we’re not refining it here, and we’re not shipping it throughout our own state. We’re buying gasoline and oil from other countries on tanker ships that burn diesel fuel to get it here from countries that don’t have environmental policies or labor policies that we have here in California.”

On the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

The governor also came in for harsh criticism for his unwillingness to take seriously the $19 billion remaining on a loan California from the federal government to shore up its unemployment insurance trust fund.

“Governor Newsom could have paid it off last year out of the surplus,” said Jones, “but made a conscious, active, purposeful choice to not do that and [instead] burden small business with the debt for the next four to seven years until we can pay it back.”

On the Minimum Wage

“The more we make labor expensive, the more businesses are going to spend capital on automation to get these jobs done … and who does that leave out? That leaves out the beginner.”


Sen. Jones also took a moment to praise the association he is also a member of. “Even though you guys are telling a story that many of my colleagues don’t understand, you’re doing it in a way that you don’t put people off. You don’t offend people. You don’t irritate people. You’re standing your ground; you’re telling the truth, but you do it in such a manner that people like you.”

Other topics Jones touched on in the podcast are the nature of today’s Legislature, homelessness, and Medicaid. Click the arrow below to hear it. Click here to listen to all past podcasts.

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