Job Killer Update: Only Four Bills Pass to Second House

Friday was the deadline for bills to pass the house in which they were introduced. Only four job killer bills subject to the first house deadline have passed to the second house. The remaining four subject to the June 3 deadline were stopped or amended on the Assembly Floor.

A fifth job killer bill, AB 2502 (Mullin; D-South San Francisco/Chiu; D-San Francisco), remains alive although it has not yet moved to the second house. The bill was granted a rule waiver by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and therefore will return to the Assembly Local Government Committee. This action also exempts the bill from the June 3 house of origin deadline. Amendments to the bill are pending; CalChamber will continue to closely monitor this bill.

In its current form, AB 2502 increases the cost and reduces the supply of housing by authorizing local governments as a condition of development to impose a costly and inflexible price-controlled inclusionary housing requirement and, in doing so, legislatively repeals an established court decision upholding developers’ ability to set initial rental rates for new dwelling units.

Job Killers Stopped

Strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and the business community helped to stop the following two job killers from passing the Assembly:

 Arbitration Discrimination

  • AB 2667(Thurmond; D-Richmond) Arbitration Agreements Discrimination — Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements and therefore is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act, which will lead to confusion and litigation, by prohibiting arbitration of Unruh Civil Rights violations made as a condition of a contract for goods or services. Fell short of votes needed to pass Assembly.
  • AB 2879(M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Employment Arbitration Agreements Discrimination — Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements and is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act, which will lead  to confusion and litigation, by prohibiting an employer from requiring an individual who is a member of the military to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. Never brought up for a vote by entire Assembly and therefore missed deadline to pass house in which it was introduced.

Job Killers Amended

Two job killer bills, AB 2748 and AB 2729, were amended on the Assembly Floor to remove the job killer tags.

Prior to the June 1 amendments, AB 2748 (Gatto; D-Glendale) eliminated incentives to settle lawsuits and instead exposed businesses to multiple rounds of litigation at great expense to the parties and the courts by creating statutory prohibitions on “release” clauses in settlements pertaining to “environmental disasters.”

The amendments made clarifications and narrowed the bill to apply only to the Porter Ranch area gas leak or to contamination surrounding the Exide Technologies facility, but CalChamber remains opposed.

Also amended on the Assembly Floor was AB 2729 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara/ Thurmond; D-Richmond), which would have  jeopardized the production of California-based fuel supply and increased costs to the industry by revising the definition of an idle well and requiring permanent closure of 25% of California’s long-term idle wells each year.

The June 1 amendments establish a reasonable closure rate by requiring operators with 250 to 1,000 wells to close 5% of their long-term idle wells each year until they have no more long-term idle wells.

CalChamber has no position on AB 2729.

Job Killers in Second House

Moving on to the second house are the following CalChamber-opposed job killer bills:

Affordable Housing Barriers

SB 1150 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Erodes Housing Availability — Increases liability risk and the cost of residential loans by allowing a party not on the mortgage loan to interfere with appropriate foreclosures and creates a private right of action for violations of overly complex and burdensome requirements. To Assembly.

SB 1318 (Wolk; D-Davis) Erodes Housing Affordability — Inappropriately leverages necessary affordable housing in order to solve  infrastructure issues with the consequence that the housing won’t be built by imposing requirements on water or waste water districts to serve certain communities first. To Assembly.

Increased Labor Costs

SB 1166 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate — Unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers with as few as 10 employees, as well as large employers with 50 or more employees, by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for maternity or paternity leave, and exposes all employers to the threat of costly litigation. To Assembly.

Meritless Litigation

SB 899 (Hueso; D-Logan Heights) Increased Meritless Litigation Costs — Drives up consumer costs and increases frivolous litigation similar to the disability access lawsuits in California, by prohibiting a retailer or grocery store from discriminating against a person on the basis of gender with the price of goods and subjecting them to a minimum $4,000 of damages for each violation. To Assembly.

Policy committee hearings may resume on Monday, June 6.