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2013 Job Killers

The 2013 “job killer” list follows.

COSTLY WORKPLACE MANDATES

AB 5 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Increased Exposure to Frivolous Litigation — Imposes costly and unreasonable mandates on employers that could jeopardize the health and safety of others by creating a new protected classification of employees and customers who are or are perceived to be homeless, low income, suffering from a mental disability, or physical disability, and establishing a private right of action for such individuals that includes statutory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees. With 4/30/13 amendments, “job killer” status removed. CalChamber still opposes. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/24/13.

AB 10 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase — Unfairly imposes an automatic $2.00 increase in minimum wage over the next three years, that will continue to increase costs on employers of all sizes, regardless of other economic factors or costs that California employers are struggling with to sustain their business. Signed — Chapter 351, Statutes of 2013. 

AB 880 (Gomez; D-Los Angeles) Expansion of Discrimination Litigation and New Health Care Coverage Penalties — Discourages hiring of entry or re-entry workers, increases discrimination litigation and increases costs by taxing large employers with a penalty if any of their employees who work as little as 8 hours per week enroll in California’s Medi-Cal program and expands the Labor Code to include a protected classification for any person who is enrolled in California’s Medi-Cal program or in the California Health Benefit Exchange. Failed to pass the Assembly, 6/27/13.

AB 1138 (Chau; D-Alhambra) Massive Exposure to Civil Penalties and Liability — Inappropriately increases civil cases and civil penalties on employers by permitting civil action against those employers who fail to conspicuously post a list of every employee covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy and to retain this list for five years.  With 4/16/13 amendments, “job killer” status removed. CalChamber still opposes. Missed deadline to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced.

SB 404 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Expansion of Discrimination Litigation — Makes it virtually impossible for employers to manage their employees and exposes them to a higher risk of litigation by expanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include a protected classification for any person who is, perceived to be, or associated with an individual who provides medical or supervisory care to a listed family member. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 8/30/13.

SB 626 (Beall; D–San Jose) Massive Workers’ Compensation Cost Increase — Unravels many of the employer cost-saving provisions in last year’s workers’ compensation reform package and results in employers paying nearly $1 billion in benefit increases to injured workers without an expectation that the increases will be fully offset by system savings. Missed deadline to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced.

SB 761 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Expansion of Paid Family Leave Program — Transforms the paid family leave program from a wage replacement program into a new protected leave of absence that will burden small and large businesses by allowing an employee to file litigation for any alleged retaliation or discrimination as a result of their intent, request, or use of the paid family leave program. Refused passage in Senate, 5/29/13. Reconsideration granted. Placed on Senate inactive file, 5/30/13. Missed deadline to pass the house in which it was introduced.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BARRIERS

AB 52 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) CEQA Consultation with Tribes — Creates new opportunities for CEQA litigation by requiring lead agencies to engage in “meaningful consultation” with Native American tribes regarding land use projects that could have an adverse impact on a tribal cultural resource. Senate Environmental Quality 9/5/13; Failed deadline.

AB 59 (Bonta; D-Alameda) Split Roll Parcel Tax — Potentially increases the tax burden on businesses by permitting local agencies to assess a higher parcel tax on commercial property than residential property, overturning an appellate decision that determined such taxes were unconstitutional. Missed deadline to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced.

AB 188 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Split Roll Change of Ownership — Unfairly targets commercial property by redefining “change of ownership” so that such property is more frequently reassessed, which will ultimately lead to higher property taxes that will be passed on to tenants, consumers, and potentially employees. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 5/24/13.

AB 288 (Levine; D-San Rafael) Threatens Use of Hydraulic Fracturing — Before amendments, imposed a de facto moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing in the state, driving up fuel and energy prices and harming the job market in these sectors, and fundamentally altered state policy related to energy production. With 5/28/13 amendments, “job killer” status removed. CalChamber still opposes.

AB 649 (Nazarian; D-Studio City) Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing — Substantially hinders oil and gas production in the state, driving up fuel and energy prices and harming the job market in these sectors, by prohibiting hydraulic fracturing and the use of fresh water in hydraulic fracturing until Cal/EPA re-authorizes the practice under a new regulatory scheme, if at all, in 2019. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 05/23/13.

AB 769 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Creates Inequity in the Tax Structure — Harms struggling small businesses and start-ups by repealing the Net Operating Loss (NOL) carry back deduction, a lifeline that helps employers stay afloat, retain employees, and continue investing in their businesses in an economic downturn. Held on Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee Suspense File, 5/13/13.

AB 823 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Mandatory CEQA Mitigation — Adds additional costs and hurdles to critically needed new infrastructure and development projects by imposing unreasonable, mandatory mitigation requirements whenever agricultural land is converted to another use. Missed deadline to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced.

AB 906 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Independent Contractors — Harms businesses that contract with the state by prohibiting the state from contracting for personal services unless specifically authorized by the Legislature and even then, significantly limits the duration of the contract. With 4/22/13 amendments, “job killer” status removed. With 5/24/13 amendments, CalChamber withdrew opposition and has no position.

AB 953 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Increases CEQA Litigation — Invites more litigation over CEQA projects by overturning a recent court decision and allowing project opponents to challenge EIRs that don’t adequately evaluate and mitigate impacts related to conditions and physical features in the environment like sea-level rise and fault-lines. Held on the Assembly Floor inactive file, 05/31/13. Missed deadline to pass the house in which it was introduced.

AB 1164 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Unproven Wage Liens — Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage-and-hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims. Failed fiscal deadline. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 5/24/13.

AB 1301 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing — Substantially hinders oil and gas production in the state, driving up fuel and energy prices and harming the job market in these sectors, by imposing a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing until the Legislature re-authorizes it through subsequent legislation that limits the conditions under which it can be conducted. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 5/24/13.

AB 1323 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing — Substantially hinders oil and gas production in the state, driving up fuel and energy prices and harming the job market in these sectors, by prohibiting hydraulic fracturing and the use of fresh water in hydraulic fracturing until Cal/EPA re-authorizes the practice under a new regulatory scheme, if at all, in 2019. Refused passage on Assembly Floor, 5/31/13.

AB 1330 (J. A. Pérez; D-Los Angeles) New Double Penalties — Discourages investment and expansion in some disadvantaged regions of the state by doubling most fines and penalties issued by the Air Resources Board (ARB), Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Air Quality Management Districts (AQMDs) on facilities located there. Placed on Senate Floor inactive file, 9/12/13.

ACA 3 (Campos; D-San Jose) 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 to support public safety services by giving local government new authority to enact a special tax, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to only fifty-five percent.

SB 241 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa)  Oil and Gas Severance Tax: Fuel and Gas Price Increase — Drives up fuel prices for businesses and consumers by imposing a severance tax at the rate of 9.5% of the average price of the barrel of oil severed or 3.5% of the average price of each unit of gas, thereby discouraging production of oil and gas in this state. Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 5/23/13.

SB 365 (Wolk; D-Davis) Limitations on Tax Credits — Originally created uncertainty for California employers making long-term investment decisions by requiring that tax incentives end 10 years after their effective date. Gutted and amended 9/11/13 to deal with another subject, so opposition and “job killer” status removed. CalChamber has no position.

SB 622 (Monning; D-Carmel) Targeted Tax — Threatens jobs in beverage, retail and restaurant industries by arbitrarily and unfairly targeting certain beverages for a new tax in order to fund children’s health programs. Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 5/23/13.

SB 686 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Safety Recalls — Exposes car dealers to significant liability and precludes them from renting, leasing, loaning, or selling a car despite the lack of actual knowledge that the car was subject to a recall, that may or may not pose any imminent harm to the consumer or renter. Held in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, 7/2/13.

SB 691 (Hancock; D-Oakland) Dramatically Increases Pollution Penalties — Dramatically increases existing strict-liability penalties for nuisance-based, non-vehicular air-quality violations without adequately defining what types and levels of pollution would trigger those penalties.  Placed on Assembly Floor inactive file, 9/12/13.

SCA 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco) 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 for education programs by giving school districts and community colleges new authority to enact a parcel tax from two-thirds to fifty-five percent. With 6/20/13 amendments, “job killer” status removed. CalChamber has no position.

SCA 4 (Liu; D-La Cañada Flintridge) 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 for local transportation projects by giving local government new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to fifty-five percent.

SCA 7 (Wolk; D-Davis) 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 to finance library construction by giving local government new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to fifty-five percent.

SCA 8 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) 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 for transportation projects by giving local government new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to fifty-five percent.

SCA 9 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) 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 to finance community and economic development projects by giving local government new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to fifty-five percent.

SCA 11 (Hancock; D-Oakland) 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 government new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to fifty-five percent.

EXPENSIVE, UNNECESSARY REGULATIONS

SB 395 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Threatens All Oil and Gas Production —  Threatens all oil and gas production in California, driving up fuel and energy prices and harming the job market in these sectors, by requiring oil and gas generators to prove that produced water used in oil and natural gas wells is not hazardous before it can be disposed of in a disposal well, the most commonly used and cost-effective means of disposal available in California. Senate Floor inactive file, 5/30/13. Missed deadline to pass the house in which it was introduced.

SB 529 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Disposable Fast-Food Container Ban — Places an unworkable ban on disposable food services containers or single-use carryout bags, unless they can meet an increasing recycling threshold that will reach 75% on July 1, 2020. Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 5/23/13.

SB 617 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa) Comprehensive CEQA Expansion — Inappropriately expands CEQA, slowing development and growth in the state and inviting more litigation over CEQA projects, by requiring lead agencies to evaluate and mitigate for potential impacts on a project caused by conditions in the environment like earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, and sea-level rise. Senate Floor inactive file, 05/30/13. Missed deadline to pass the house in which it was introduced.

SB 747 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Unnecessary New Regulatory Scheme — Establishes a costly, duplicative, and burdensome program that requires the Department of Public Health to regulate manufacturers of consumer products that the department determines contribute to a significant public health epidemic (i.e., obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease), and allows the department to restrict or prohibit the sale of such products. Missed deadline to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced.

SB 754 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa) Dramatic CEQA Expansion — Expands and incentivizes litigation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and increases the complexity and cost of CEQA compliance by 1) Prohibiting a lead agency from asking a project proponent to draft an EIR, 2) forcing re-analysis of projects that are more than seven years old, 3) creating a new cause of action to allow anyone to stop a project by alleging a mitigation measure has not been implemented, and 4) removing limits on archeological resources mitigation fees. Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 5/23/13.

INFLATED LIABILITY COSTS

SB 556 (Corbett; D-Hayward) Expanded Liability for Use of Independent Contractors — Before amendments, unfairly imposed liability on any contracting entity for the damages caused by the contractor or contractor’s employees, including wage-and-hour violations, penalties, fines, and willful misconduct, solely on the basis that the contractor or its employees wore a uniform similar to that of the contracting entity or drove a vehicle with the contracting entity’s logo. With 5/29/13 amendments, “job killer” status removed. With 6/19/13 amendments CalChamber withdrew opposition and has no position.

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