Job Killer Update: 10 Bills Stopped, 2 Bills Advance

(February 3, 2020) Ten California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills carried over from last year’s legislative session are dead for the year after missing a key deadline on January 31. Two carryover Assembly job killer bills have advanced to the Senate.

Bills Advancing

The two bills to be considered next in the Senate are:

  • AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance): Threatens to eliminate thousands of high paying California jobs, result in California importing even more foreign oil, and raise oil and gas prices by requiring the California Geologic Energy Management Division to adopt regulations with predisposed setback requirements for new and existing oil and gas wells. By pre-determining arbitrary setback requirements before the agency analyzes safety requirements during formal rule making, the bill politicizes and undermines the state agency responsible for managing oil and gas operations that would likely lead to significant and unnecessary increases in costs for all Californians.
  • AB 1066 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego): 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.

Bills Stopped

The following bills failed to move before the January 31 deadline for all 2019 bills to pass the house in which they were introduced:

  • AB 36 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica): Defies the will of the voters and worsens California’s housing shortage by modifying the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act to allow cities to enact or expand rent control to residential properties constructed within 10 years of the date upon which the owner seeks to establish the initial or subsequent rental rate, which will discourage housing production, quality of housing, and impact low-income individuals and families.
  • AB 288 (Cunningham; R-San Luis Obispo): Creates an onerous private right of action with a right to excessive punitive damages for purely economic losses at a low evidentiary standard, along with attorney’s fees, for a new consumer right to delete data that conflicts with the consumer right to delete recently provided by the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • AB 495 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance): Bypasses a legislatively mandated analytical process to judge the safety of consumer products and seeks to prohibit safe cosmetic products based upon the mere presence of a chemical in the product, no matter the level, that will lead to potential regrettable substitutions and job losses in the cosmetic industry.
  • AB 628 (Bonta; D-Oakland): Significantly expands the definition of sexual harassment under the Labor Code, which is different than the definition in the Government Code, leading to inconsistent implementation of anti-harassment policies, confusion, and litigation. Also, provides an unprecedented, uncapped leave of absence for victims of sexual harassment and their “family members.”
  • AB 882 (McCarty; D-Sacramento): Undermines an employer’s ability to provide a safe and drug-free workplace and potentially encompasses medical marijuana in the workplace, which voters have already rejected.
  • AB 1332 (Bonta; D-Oakland): Prohibits California public entities from contracting with, or investing in, any business that provides data-related services to an undefined group of federal agencies. Will create litigation and uncertainty for businesses that continue to work with California public entities, as the bill provides no clear guidance on how to comply with terms, and also in limited circumstances, compels public entities to breach signed contracts.
  • SB 246 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont): 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.
  • SB 320 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara): Exposes businesses to costly litigation for a consumer’s assertion that any price difference on “substantially similar” goods, even a nominal amount, is based on gender and therefore the consumer is entitled to a minimum of $4,000.
  • SB 561 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara): Creates an onerous and costly private right of action that will primarily benefit trial lawyers, allowing them to sue for any violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and removes businesses’ 30-day right to cure an alleged violation of the CCPA as well as businesses’ ability to seek guidance from the Attorney General on how to comply with this confusing and complex law.
  • SB 567 (Caballero; D-Salinas): Significantly increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace and establishes an extremely concerning precedent for expanding presumptions into the private sector.