Four Job Killers Fail to Move Off Senate Floor; Three Move to Assembly

(May 31, 2013) The California State Senate concluded its business yesterday, a full day before all bills must meet the legislative deadline to pass the house in which they were introduced. CalChamber was successful in stopping four of seven Senate-authored “job killer” bills on the Senate Floor.

Failed to Pass House of Origin

The following “job killer” bills failed to pass their house of origin and are likely dead for the year:

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.

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.

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 inactive file.

Job Killers Still Moving

Assembly policy committee will schedule hearings in the next few weeks for the following “job killer” bills:

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.

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.

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.

Job Killer Amended

One “job killer” bill, SB 556 was amended on May 29 to remove its “job killer” status; CalChamber remains opposed.

Prior to the amendments, the SB 556 would have 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.

The Assembly will conclude their business today. CalChamber will update the status of the remaining “job killer” bills on Monday, June 2.