(July 15, 2019) Five job killer bills that will significantly increase costs for California businesses continued to move through the legislative process as lawmakers headed home for the summer recess last week.
This year, the California Chamber of Commerce identified 31 job killer bills that would harm California’s economic growth and creation should they become law. Opposition from the CalChamber and allied groups successfully stopped, stalled or amended 26 of those 31 job killer bills.
The Legislature will reconvene from the summer break on Monday, August 12.
Active Job Killer Bills
• AB 51 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Ban on Arbitration Agreements: Significantly expands employment litigation and increases costs for employers and employees by banning arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment, which is likely preempted under the Federal Arbitration Act and will only delay the resolution of claims. Banning such agreements benefits the trial attorneys, not the employer or employee. Governor Brown vetoed a similar measure last year and stated it “plainly violates federal law.” In Senate Appropriations.
• AB 1066 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Unemployment During Trade Disputes: Significantly increases costs on employers engaged in a trade dispute by allowing employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than four weeks, incentivizing strikes, raising costs for employers, and potentially affecting the solvency of California’s UI fund. In Senate Appropriations.
• AB 1080 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Unprecedented Product Regulation In California: Substantially increases the cost to manufacture and ship consumer products sold in California by providing CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame that fails to address California’s lack of recycling and composting infrastructure. In Senate Appropriations.
• SB 1 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Negatively Impacts Water Management and Increases Litigation: Creates significant regulatory uncertainty and litigation risks to regulated entities by giving certain state agencies unfettered authority to adopt rules and regulations without any of the Administrative Procedure Act safeguards when the agency, in its discretion, determines that the federal rules and regulations in effect on January 19, 2017 are “less protective” than existing federal law. It also undermines current state efforts to utilize science-based decision-making to manage and provide reliable water supplies for California and protect, restore, and enhance the ecosystems of the Bay-Delta and its tributaries. It further increases the potential for costly litigation by creating new private rights of action under California law. InAssembly Appropriations.
• SB 54 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Unprecedented Product Regulation In California: Substantially increases the cost to manufacture and ship consumer products sold in California by providing CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame that fails to address California’s lack of recycling and composting infrastructure.In Assembly Appropriations.
Four job killer bills are currently stalled:
• AB 755 (Holden; D-Pasadena) Targeted Tax on Purchase of Tires: Imposes a $1.50 targeted tax on the purchase of new tires, that will unfairly raise prices on California residents, including employers, in order to fund the mitigation of zinc in storm water for all. Placed on Assembly Inactive File on May 29 at author’s request.
• AB 1468 (McCarty; D-Sacramento) Targeted Tax on Opioids: Unfairly imposes an excise tax on opioid distributors in California, which will increase their costs and force them to adopt measures that include reducing workforce and increasing drug prices for ill patients who need these medications the most, in order to fund drug prevention and rehabilitation programs that will benefit all of California. On Assembly Floor.
• SB 246 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Targeted Tax on Oil and Gas Operators: Unfairly targets one industry by imposing a 10% oil and gas severance tax onto an oil and gas operator, adding another layer of taxes onto this industry that will significantly increase the costs of doing business, thereby increasing prices paid by consumers for goods and services in this expensive state as well. In Senate Rules Committee.
• SCA 5 (Hill; D-San Mateo/Allen; D-Santa Monica) Lowers Voter Threshold for New Tax Increase: Unnecessarily reduces the voter threshold from two-thirds to 55% for school districts and community college districts to enact a discriminatory parcel tax against disfavored industries and commercial property owners. Placed on Senate Inactive File on May 21 at author’s request.
A tax or constitutional amendment is not subject to the same procedural requirements as other bills and still could move at some point this year.