Legislative Update: Fiscal Committees Clear Files; One Job Killer Held in Committee

​(August 28, 2015) The Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees cleared their files yesterday, holding one job killer, and moving four to the Assembly Floor.

Both houses adjourned yesterday, a day before the August 28 deadline for the appropriations committees to meet and send bills to the floor.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee did not take up SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco/ Leyva; D-Chino), which would have unfairly increased employers’ costs while ignoring the economic factors or other costs of employers by increasing the minimum wage by $3.00 over the next two and a half years with automatic increases tied to inflation.

Since April, the California Chamber of Commerce had identified 19 bills as job killers that would have a negative impact on California’s job climate and economic recovery if they were to become law.

Bills to Assembly Floor

The following bills passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will be voted on next by the entire Assembly:

  • SB 32(Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Slows Economic Growth — Increases costs for California businesses, makes them less competitive and discourages economic growth by adopting further greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 and 2050 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy.
  • SB 350(de León; D-Los Angeles) Costly and Burdensome Regulations— Potentially increases costs and burdens on all Californians by mandating an arbitrary and unrealistic reduction of petroleum use by 50%, increasing the current Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% and increasing energy efficiency in buildings by 50% — all by 2030 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy.
  • SB 406(Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Significant Expansion of California Family Rights Act — Increases costs, risk of litigation and less conformity with federal law by dramatically reducing the employee threshold from 50 to at least 25 employees and expanding the family members for whom leave may be taken, which will provide a California-only, separate 12-week protected leave of absence for both small and large employers to administer.
  • SB 654(de León; D-Los Angeles) Creates Unworkable Hazardous Waste Permitting Process — Discourages investment in upgrading and improving hazardous waste facilities by shutting down hazardous waste facilities if the Department of Toxic Substances Control fails to take final action on the permit renewal application within a specified timeframe, even if the permit applicant acted diligently and in good faith throughout the permit application process.

Job Killer to Governor

A bill that  if signed, could significantly drive up litigation costs for all California employers passed the Assembly during a concurrence vote yesterday and is headed to the Governor’s desk.

AB 465 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) precludes mandatory employment arbitration agreements, which is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act. The bill will serve only to increase litigation costs of individual claims, representative actions and class action lawsuits against California employers of all sizes until such legislation can work through the judicial process to be challenged once again.