(May 29, 2013) Twenty-one of the 37 “job killer” bills identified by the California Chamber of Commerce this year remain alive after Friday’s deadline for fiscal committees to send bills to the floor.
Four bills were held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense file on May 24:
- 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 onto tenants, consumers, and potentially employees. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 05/24/13.
- 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 CalEPA 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 1164 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Inappropriate Wage Liens — Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s personal property or real property where the work was performed, based on an alleged but unproven wage claim, that will take priority over other existing liens. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 05/24/13.
- 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, 05/24/13.
Four bills were held on the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file on May 23:
- SB 241 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa) Fuel Price Increase — Drives up fuel prices for businesses and consumers by imposing a severance tax at the rate of 9.9% of the gross value of each barrel of oil severed, thereby discouraging production of such oil and gas in this state. Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 05/23/13.
- 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, 05/23/13.
- 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, 05/23/13.
- SB 754 (Evans; 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 more than more than 7 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, 05/23/13.
Following are “job killer” bills that are awaiting action this week by the full Senate or Assembly:
Costly Workplace Mandates
- AB 10 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase — Unfairly increases California employers’ cost of doing business by raising the minimum wage $1.25 over the next three years and thereafter indexing the minimum wage based on inflation, which fails to take into account the current economic status of the state or other fees and costs employers are required to pay. Assembly Floor.
- AB 880 (Gomez; D-Los Angeles) Expansion of Discrimination Litigation and New Health Care Coverage Penalties — Increases health care costs and increases discrimination litigation by assessing large employers a penalty if any of their employees who work as little as 8 hours per week enroll in California’s Medi-Cal program and by expanding 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. Assembly Floor.
- 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, or associated with a family caregiver. Senate Floor.
- SB 761 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Paid Family Leave Protection — Creates a new burden on small businesses and additional opportunities for frivolous litigation by transforming the paid family leave program, which is used as a wage replacement for an employee who is taking a separate leave of absence, into an additional paid protected leave. Senate Floor.
Economic Development Barriers
- AB 52 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) CEQA Approval Authority for Tribes — Effectively gives Native American Tribes authority to approve or disapprove all land use projects in the state that they unilaterally determine may impact a tribal reservation, rancheria community or cultural sacred place. Assembly Floor.
- 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. Assembly Floor.
- 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 CalEPA re-authorizes the practice under a new regulatory scheme, if at all, in 2019. Assembly Floor.
- SB 686 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Safety Recalls — Exposes car dealers and rental car companies 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. Senate Floor.
- SB 691 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Dramatically Increases Pollution Penalties — Dramatically increases existing strict-liability penalties for nuisance-based, non-vehicular air-quality violations, and expands applicability of those penalties to a wide range of businesses previously not subject to the penalties without adequately defining what types and levels of pollution would trigger those penalties. Senate Floor.
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.
- 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.
Inflated Liability Costs
- SB 556 (Corbett; D-Hayward) Expanded Liability — Unfairly imposes 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. Senate Floor.