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Job Killer Vote Record Shows Success, Challenges

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The CalChamber Alert newsletter recently presented a recap of floor votes on job killer bills before legislators went on their summer break. Although opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and others stopped many job killers before the interim recess, 10 job killer bills await action when legislators return on August 17 for the final weeks of this year’s session.

Before the summer recess, the Senate sent five job killer bills to the Assembly. Senate committees prevented three job killer bills from advancing to floor votes. A fourth Senate bill dealing with health care rates was amended to remove the job killer provisions, but the CalChamber remains opposed to the bill because it still threatens employers with higher premiums. The Assembly stopped one job killer bill in a floor vote, but approved another, while a third was placed on the Assembly floor inactive file. Assembly committees stopped three other job killer bills from moving to the floor. Both houses of the Legislature approved and sent to the governor a bill that denies employers the basic choice of whom to hire.

For the full list of the 19 job killer bills identified to date and their statuses, visit The bills covered in this interim job killer vote record are listed below.

Economic Development Barriers

AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Costly Employee Retention Mandate: Inappropriately interferes with and alters the employment relationship by mandating that a successor grocery employer retain the employees of the former grocery employer for 90 days, potentially under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement to which the successor employer was not a party, and then forces the successor employer to consider offering continued employment to such employees beyond the 90 days unless the employee’s performance was unsatisfactory. Passed Assembly, May 26, 46-27. Passed Senate, July 13, 22-14. To Governor.

Increased Burdensome Environmental Regulation

AB 356 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara) Limits In-State Energy Development: Potentially shuts down certain in-state oil production operations by redefining critical components of the Underground Injection Control program which would, in turn, compromise oil production without providing any additional environmental and groundwater protections beyond those recently proposed by state regulators. Failed passage in Assembly, June 4, 28-33.

SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Slows Economic Growth: Increases costs for California businesses, makes them less competitive and discourages economic growth by adopting further greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 and 2050 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy. Passed Senate, June 3, 24-15. Assembly Appropriations Committee; no hearing date set.

SB 654 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Creates Unworkable Hazardous Waste Permitting Process: Discourages investment in upgrading and improving hazardous waste facilities by shutting down hazardous waste facilities if the Department of Toxic Substances Control fails to take final action on the permit renewal application within a specified timeframe, even if the permit applicant acted diligently and in good faith throughout the permit application process. Passed Senate, June 4, 21-16. Assembly Appropriations; no hearing date set.

Increased Fuel Costs

SB 350 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Costly and Burdensome Regulations: Potentially increases costs and burdens on all Californians by mandating an arbitrary and unrealistic reduction of petroleum use by 50 percent, increasing the current Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent and increasing energy efficiency in buildings by 50 percent — all by 2030 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy. Passed Senate, June 3, 24-14. Assembly Appropriations; no hearing date set.

Increased Labor Costs

SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco/ Leyva; D-Chino) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase: Unfairly increases employers’ costs while ignoring the economic factors or other costs of employers by increasing the minimum wage by $3.00 over the next two and a half years with automatic increases tied to inflation. Passed Senate, June 1, 23-15. Assembly Appropriations; no hearing date set.

SB 406 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Significant Expansion of California Family Rights Act: Increases costs, risk of litigation and less conformity with federal law by dramatically reducing the employee threshold from 50 to at least 25 employees and expanding the family members for whom leave may be taken, which will provide a California-only, separate 12-week protected leave of absence for both small and large employers to administer. Passed Senate, June 4, 23-16. Assembly Appropriations; no hearing date set.

Increased Unnecessary Litigation Costs

AB 465 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Increased Litigation: Significantly drives up litigation costs for all California employers as well as increases pressure on the already-overburdened judicial system by precluding mandatory employment arbitration agreements, which is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act. Passed Assembly, May 14, 45-30. Senate Floor.

Tax Increase Proposals Still Alive

As measures requiring a two-thirds vote of approval, tax increases are not subject to the legislative deadlines and remain eligible for consideration as long as the Legislature is in session.

The following job killer tax increases are still alive.

ACA 4 (Frazier; D-Oakley) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases: Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent. Assembly Appropriations Committee; no hearing date set.

SB 684 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Increased Tax Rate: Threatens to significantly increase the corporate tax rate on publicly held corporations and financial institutions up to 15 percent according to the wages paid to employees in the United States, and threatens to increase that rate by 50 percent thereafter, if the corporation or institution reduces its workforce in the United States and simultaneously increases its contractors. Senate Governance and Finance Committee; no hearing date set.

SCA 5 (Hancock; D-Berkeley)/(Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) Split Roll: Undermines the protections of Proposition 13 by unfairly targeting commercial property owners and increasing their property taxes by assessing their property based upon current fair market value instead of acquired value. Such costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers and tenants through higher prices and will result in job loss as businesses struggle to absorb such a dramatic tax increase. (Amended June 9). Senate Governance and Finance; no hearing date set.

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