Final Status Report Reflects Impact of CalChamber Advocacy

(October 28, 2013)

The California Chamber of Commerce has published its final status report on the top priority bills for California’s business community, showing the ultimate fate of legislation sent to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. this year.

The report reflects the impact of persistent lobbying by CalChamber to secure amendments to several “job killer” bills this year, resulting in removal of the label and CalChamber opposition. Ultimately, 37 of 38 “job killer” bills CalChamber identified this year failed to become law.

Examples of amended bills include:

AB 906 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Independent Contractors. Originally harmed 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 April 22 amendments, “job killer” status removed. Following additional amendments on May 24, CalChamber withdrew opposition and has no position.

AB 1138 (Chau; D-Alhambra) Massive Exposure to Civil Penalties and Liability. Before amendments, would have inappropriately increased 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.

As a result of April 16 amendments, the “job killer” status was removed, but the CalChamber still opposes. The bill then failed to amass enough votes and missed the deadline to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced.

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.

Following amendments on April 29, the “job killer” status was removed. Following subsequent amendments on June 19, Chamber withdrew opposition and has no position.

Final Status of Major Bills

Within each subject area, the CalChamber list presents bills in order of priority, with the highest priorities at the top.

The CalChamber published a preliminary status report in July and a second status report on September 13, when the Legislature adjourned for its interim recess.

October 13 was the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before it began its interim recess. The Legislature will reconvene for regular session on January 6, 2014.

On November 8, the CalChamber will publish a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate. Generally, the bills selected for the vote record have appeared in one of the status reports.

Bills signed by the Governor will become law on January 1, 2014. Urgency and budget-related measures go into effect immediately upon being signed.

2013 Final Status Report on Major Business Bills