Job Killer Update: 2 Bills Stopped, 6 to Senate Floor

Two California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bills were held yesterday in the Senate Appropriations Committee but five others were released to join a sixth that already awaits action by the entire Senate.

The CalChamber is urging members to ask their senators to stop the job killer bills.

Held in Senate Appropriations

Senate Appropriations held a job killer posing a barrier to affordable housing and another making it easier to pass tax increases. Held were:

SB 224 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Barrier to Housing and Economic Development — Creates significant uncertainty for developers by requiring the Department of Planning and Research (OPR) to amend the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines to redefine the baseline that may be used in the CEQA analysis and directing OPR, in drafting the Guidelines, to limit consideration of modifications to the environment at the project site caused by illegal, unpermitted, or emergency activities within the baseline conditions. If prior illegal, unpermitted, or emergency activities are excluded in a project’s baseline, it may require projects to mitigate not only the impacts of the project itself, but also the impacts of other historical activities for which the applicant has no legal liability and over which it had no control.

SCA 6 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

Awaiting Senate Action

Moving from Senate Appropriations to the Senate Floor were the following:

Arbitration Discrimination

SB 538 (Monning; D-Carmel) Arbitration Discrimination — Unfairly and unlawfully discriminates against arbitration agreements by restricting the formation of antitrust arbitration agreements in hospital contracts, leading to costly litigation over preemption by the Federal Arbitration Act.

Burdensome Environmental Regulations

SB 705 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Expanded Polystyrene Ban — Increases cost of prepared food, overly burdens the restaurant industry, and threatens loss of jobs by banning food service containers made from expanded polystyrene foam as of January 1, 2020.

Increased Labor Costs

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate — Unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers with as few as 20 employees by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for child bonding and exposes them to the threat of costly litigation. Senate Appropriations Committee; Suspense File.

SB 562 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Government-Run Health Care — Creates a new single-payer government-run, multibillion-dollar health care system financed by an unspecified and undeveloped “revenue plan” which will penalize responsible employers and individuals and result in significant new taxes on all Californians and California businesses.

Increased Unnecessary Litigation Costs

SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Creates Uncertainty and Increases Potential Litigation Regarding Environmental Standards — Creates uncertainty for businesses with respect to the federal environmental standards proposed to be incorporated into California law if backsliding occurs at the federal level and the standards/requirements to be adopted by state agencies, and increases the potential for costly litigation by creating private rights of action under California law when certain events occur.

Tax Increases

Already on the Senate Floor and eligible for consideration today is:

SB 567 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Multiple Tax Increases on California Employers — Proposes multiple tax increases on California employers, including requiring payment of capital gains on the inheritance of a family business as well as eliminating a deduction for corporations with regard to CEO compensation, when California already has the highest personal income tax and sales tax rates in the country, as well as one of the highest corporate tax rates, which will discourage job growth in California.

Action Needed

The CalChamber is urging members to contact their senators and ask them to oppose these job killer bills.

For easy-to-edit- sample letters, see the action alerts at