Final Status Report on Major Business Bills

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The following list summarizes the final status of priority bills for the California Chamber of Commerce that were sent to the Governor this year, as well as federal action on the Ex-Im Bank.

The CalChamber will publish a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate on October 17. Generally, the bills selected for the vote record have appeared in one of the status reports.

Bills signed by the Governor will become law on January 1, 2015. Urgency measures went into effect immediately upon being signed.

Federal bills are marked with an *.

Status of bills as of October 1, 2014.

Subject—CalChamber Position

Status

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Due Process for Agricultural Employers. SB 25 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) Denies due process for agricultural employers by requiring employer to implement collective bargaining contract ordered by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board while appealing the order, unless the employer meets a high standard to win a stay. Oppose.

Vetoed

Extend Sunset Date. AB 2075 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Fosters economic growth in the retail, fashion and design industries by extending the sunset on imports of certain reptile skins to January 2025. Support.

Signed—Chapter 464

Penalties. AB 1722 (Bigelow; R-O’Neals) Deters livestock theft by imposing a $1,000 per head fine and prohibiting a violator from registering a brand. Support.

Signed—Chapter 129

New Requirements. SB 1087 (Monning; D-Carmel) Before amendments, expanded the requirements and increased the cost of a farm labor contractor’s license. Unfairly made public the content of a contract for labor between a grower and a farm labor contractor. Opposition removed due to 5/27/14 amendments. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 750

Banking/Finance

Uniform Commercial Code Amendments. AB 1858 (Perea; D-Fresno) Minimizes current documentation needed to verify the identity of a business borrower by allowing use of an alternative means of identification in a commercial lending transaction that is common practice in 37 other states. Support.

Signed—Chapter 284

Technology. AB 2209 (Dickinson; D-Sacramento) Accommodates use of new technologies and the movement toward online and mobile apps for the transmittal of funds by updating the Money Transmitters Act. Support.

Signed—Chapter 499

Property Titles. AB 1698 (Wagner; R-Irvine) Before amendments, inappropriately punished and stripped the rights of innocent third parties who finance or purchase real property and later discover that the underlying documents are false. Opposition removed due to 5/28/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 455

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Substantial Expansion of CEQA. AB 52 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) Before amendments, created substantially more opportunities for CEQA litigation and gave Native American Tribes veto authority over land use projects by allowing tribes to determine what tribal resources required protection and mitigation under CEQA. Opposition and “job killer” status removed due to 8/22/14 amendments. No Position/Former Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 532

Expedites and Reduces Cost for Infill Development. SB 674 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) Streamlines infill development by expanding the variety of mixed-use developments that may qualify for CEQA’s infill exemption. Support.

Signed—Chapter 549

Costly New CEQA Requirement. AB 543 (Campos; D-San Jose) Before amendments, increased the cost and burden of development, and exposed lead agencies and project proponents to new lawsuits by requiring them to translate CEQA notices into all languages spoken by 25% or more of the individuals located at or near an area of the proposed project. Opposition removed due to 6/18/14 amendments. No Position.

Vetoed

Climate Change

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditures. SB 1204 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Prematurely allocates auction revenues to fund zero and near-zero emission truck and bus technologies. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 524

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditures. AB 1447 (Waldron; R-Escondido) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the synchronization of traffic lights. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 594

Expensive Regulatory Burdens. SB 605 (Lara; D-Huntington Park/Long Beach) Before amendments, created regulatory burdens and increased the cost of doing business in California by directing the California Air Resources Board to create a new program to regulate short-lived climate pollutants. Opposition removed due to 8/29/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 523

Corporate Governance

State Business Climate. AB 2221 (Campos; D-San Jose) Streamlines the business filing process by establishing a council whose purpose is to provide businesses with points of contact for concerns or suggested innovations. Support.

Vetoed

Reduces Filing Costs for California Businesses. SB 1041 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Simplifies and clarifies business and other filing processes with the California Secretary of State. Support.

Signed—Chapter 834

Economic Development/Local Government

Local Economic Development Projects. AB 2280 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Encourages local economic growth by permitting certain local agencies to create a Community Revitalization and Investment Authority for the purpose of developing and financing infrastructure projects, affordable housing and economic revitalization projects. Support.

Vetoed

Education

New Degree Programs. SB 850 (Block; D-San Diego) Establishes a pilot program in the California Community College System allowing the Chancellor to select certain community colleges to each offer a single bachelor’s degree program in a subject area related to an unmet workforce need in its local community that does not overlap with any degree programs offered at nearby postsecondary institutions. Support.

Signed—Chapter 747

Promotes Computer Science Education. AB 1764 (Olsen; R-Modesto) Creates an incentive for more students to take a computer science course in high school by making it possible for a school district to count such a course as a math course that meets one of the student’s graduation requirements. Support.

Signed—Chapter 888

Promotes Computer Science Education. SB 1200 (Padilla; D-Pacoima) Creates an incentive for more students to take a computer science course in high school by requesting that the University of California and California State Universities establish guidelines for high school computer science courses that would satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements for the area of mathematics for the purposes of undergraduate admissions at both institutions. Support.

Signed—Chapter 518

Promotes Computer Science Education. AB 1539 (Hagman; R-Chino Hills) Ensures that computer science courses will be rigorous by requiring the State Board of Education to adopt content standards to provide guidance for teaching computer science in grades 7-12 to be used by schools that choose to teach this important subject. Support.

Signed—Chapter 876

Promotes Computer Science Education. ACR 108 (Wagner; R-Irvine) Draws attention to the importance of computer science education and demonstrates the state’s commitment to a growing sector of our economy by designating the week of December 8, 2014 as Computer Science Education Week. Support.

Resolution Chapter 42

Elections and Fair Political Practices

Ballot Initiative Reform. SB 1253 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) Improves ballot initiative access and transparency for voters through incremental reforms. Support.

Signed—Chapter 697

Energy

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. AB 2565 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Before amendments, created unnecessary operational issues for installing electric vehicle charging stations at commercial and apartment properties. Opposition removed due to 5/27/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 529

Environmental Regulation

Creates Unworkable Permitting System for Hazardous Waste Facilities. SB 812 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Fundamentally undermines the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s recently proposed plan to issue protective and timely hazardous waste permits by creating extraordinarily aggressive and arbitrary permit processing timelines. Oppose.

Vetoed

Imposes New Labeling Requirements on Businesses. SB 1019 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Mandates burdensome new product labeling requirements for manufacturers of upholstered furniture, which lack scientific justification, conflict with existing California consumer product and safety laws and regulations, and mislead consumers. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 862

Gaming/Alcohol

Discounts/Coupons. AB 1928 (Bocanegra; D-Pacoima) Reduces fraud by limiting certain instant coupons offered by a beer manufacturer or beer and wine wholesaler. Support.

Signed—Chapter 145

Health

Publicly Shames Employers. AB 1792 (Gomez; D-Los Angeles) Unfairly targets the largest employers in California who have more than 100 employees enrolled in Medi-Cal for inclusion in an online list, exposing them to liability, public protests and media attacks, without regard to the rising cost of health care and other factors that often make health care coverage prohibitively expensive for employers. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 889

Interference with Private Contracts. SB 1094 (Lara; D-Huntington Park/Long Beach) Inappropriately interferes with the ability of successful health facilities operators to purchase or merge with struggling hospitals, increasing the risk and cost of financing for these transactions, by allowing the California Attorney General to retroactively amend the terms of the transfer agreement for up to five years rather than resorting to traditional remedies when she unilaterally determined that one of the parties has breached the contract or made material misrepresentations. Oppose.

Vetoed

Small Employer Coverage. SB 1446 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Helps small employers control their health care costs by allowing them to extend their pre-Affordable Care Act health care policies through December 31, 2015. Support.

Signed—Chapter 84 (Urgency)

Health Care Clarification for Employers. SB 1034 (Monning; D-Carmel) Eliminates confusion for employers by deleting certain provisions of California law related to waiting period limitations for health care coverage and clarifying that employer-imposed waiting periods are governed by federal law. Support.

Signed—Chapter 195

Dental Coverage. AB 1962 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Inappropriately assumes the outcome of the examination of dental plan premiums it requires, which could lead to unnecessary and detrimental regulation of the most affordable plans. Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 567

Health Care Mandate. SB 1053 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) Before amendments, drove health care premiums up by requiring health plans to cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved female contraceptive drugs, devices and procedures, without a co-pay, and limited the ability of health plans to use medical management strategies to control costs. Opposition removed due to 8/18/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 576

Unnecessary Oversight of Health Plans. SB 1182 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Before amendments, imposed unnecessary new administrative burdens on health plans and insurers by requiring them to file rate information about proposed large group rate increases exceeding 5% with their departments 60 days prior to any rate increase, and to annually disclose aggregate data about all large group rate filings and make that information available to certain purchasers for free upon request. Opposition removed due to 8/27/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 577

Immigration

Provides Employer Certainty. AB 1660 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Clarifies that employers do not violate California law regarding discrimination against employees with driver licenses that note they are not documented citizens, if an employer must take action in compliance with federal immigration law. Support.

Signed—Chapter 452

Industrial Safety and Health

Email Reporting. AB 326 (Morrell; R-Rancho Cucamonga) Facilitates ease of compliance for employers by allowing email or telephone reporting when a work-related hospitalization or fatality has occurred that is subject to immediate reporting to Cal/OSHA. Support.

Signed—Chapter 91

Increased Costs for Citation Appeal Process. AB 1634 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Before amendments, proposed a costly double-appeal process that presumed guilt for employers, undermined due process with regards to citations for workplace safety violations, and was unnecessary in light of recently adopted regulations for an expedited appeals process for these situations. Opposition removed due to 8/21/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 497

Unjustified Disclosure of Customer Information. SB 193 (Monning; D-Carmel) Before amendments, increased administrative burdens on business and jeopardized confidentiality of sensitive customer information by allowing Cal/OSHA and its sister agency Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service to obtain customer lists of certain chemicals from manufacturers, formulators, suppliers, and distributors. Opposition removed due to 8/14/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 830

International Relations/Trade

Terrorism Risk Insurance (TRIA) Extension. AJR 34 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Urges Congress to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program for U.S. economic stability and continuity following a terrorist attack. Support.

Resolution Chapter 28

Enables U.S. Exports. AJR 37 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Urges Congressional reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, thereby enabling U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy. Support.

Resolution Chapter 72

* Export-Import Bank. Extends Ex-Im Bank funding, now due to expire June 30, 2015 instead of September 30, 2014 following recent action by Congress and President. Ex-Im is the official U.S. export credit agency and assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Support.

Pending in Congress

Labor and Employment

Contractor Liability. AB 1897 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Unfairly imposes liability on a contracting entity for the contractor’s wage and hour violations and lack of workers’ compensation coverage despite the lack of any evidence that the contracting entity controlled the working conditions or wages of the contractor’s employees. Oppose/Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 728

Paid Sick Leave. AB 1522 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Increases employer mandates by requiring all employers, large and small, to provide all employees in California with paid sick leave. “Job killer” tag removed due to 8/29/14 amendments, but CalChamber remains opposed. Former Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 317

Labor Commissioner Investigation. AB 1723 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) Expands the authority of the labor commissioner to issue waiting time penalties during the citation process instead of just the administrative hearing, without setting forth the basis of the penalty in a written citation. Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 886

Employee Personal Information. AB 2751 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Clarifies that existing protections for employees that update their personal information applies only to information regarding federal work authorization documents. Support.

SignedChapter 79

Employer Mandates. AB 1650 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles) Before amendments, unfairly prohibited a state contractor from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history. Opposition removed due to 4/1/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 880

Hiring Mandate. AB 1586 (Holden; D-Pasadena) Before amendments, unfairly mandated state contractors to hire applicants who have been previously convicted of a crime, are a veteran, recipient of unemployment benefits, or recipient of CalWorks, thereby subjecting such contractors to potential discrimination and negligent hiring/retention litigation. Opposition removed due to 5/7/14 amendments. No Position.

Vetoed

Legal Reform and Protection

Interference with Arbitration Agreements and Settlement Agreements. AB 2617 (Weber; D-San Diego) Unfairly prohibits the enforcement of arbitration agreements or pre-litigation settlement agreements that require the individual to waive their right to pursue a civil action for the alleged violation of civil rights. Oppose/Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 910

Expansion of Litigation for Franchisors. SB 610 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Unfairly limits a franchisor’s ability to terminate a franchisee agreement with a poor-performing franchise and substantially increases litigation by limiting the termination of a contract to a “substantial, material breach” which is undefined, and can only be pursued after the franchise has been provided a 30-day right to cure. Oppose.

Vetoed

Court Interpreters. AB 1657 (Gomez; D-Los Angeles) Provides access to the judicial branch to all litigants by giving the court discretion to have a court interpreter, at no cost to the parties involved, regardless of their income. Support.

Signed—Chapter 721

Appellate Decisions. AB 1932 (Jones; R-Santee) Provides greater clarity and confidence to litigants by requiring a judgment from the Court of Appeal to include a brief statement of the reasons for the judgment. Support.

SignedChapter 58

Bad Faith Litigation. AB 2494 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Deters costly and unnecessary legal behaviors by re-enacting a prior statute that authorizes the award of attorneys fees for bad faith actions that are frivolous and solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. Support.

Signed—Chapter 425

Burden on Arbitration Providers. AB 802 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Before amendments, imposed burdensome data collection requirements, some of which are confidential, on arbitration providers and subjected them to private litigation for failure to accurately report such data, which will ultimately discourage such providers from offering arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution in California. Opposition removed due to 1/27/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 870

Unfair Restrictions on State-Funded Research. AB 609 (Nestande; R-Palm Desert) Before amendments, interfered with publishers’ ability to regain costs for value-added research if such research is funded in any way through state grants. Opposition removed due to 6/11/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 789

Residential Care Facilities. AB 2171 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Before amendments, increased the threat of frivolous litigation, attorneys fees and damages regarding the technical violation of new expansive rights for residents that are unrelated to the health or safety of the resident. Opposition removed due to 8/22/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 702

Privacy and Confidentiality

Breach Notices. AB 1710 (Dickinson; D-Sacramento) Before amendments, imposed additional, onerous, confusing and unworkable notice requirements on the business community, while excluding government entities from the same provisions, resulting in customers receiving duplicative notices for the same breach and potentially damaging business’s reputation. Opposition removed due to 8/19/14 amendments. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 855

Procurement

Prohibits Outsourcing. HR 29 (Gomez; D-Los Angeles) Seeks to severely limit options for government agencies to determine the most appropriate solution to providing efficient and effective public service. Oppose.

Adopted 4/3/14

Punitive State Contract Provision. SB 975 (Lieu; D-Torrance) Before amendments, imposed a new requirement on all bidders for state personal services contracts that could discourage bidders by allowing overly punitive and unfair termination of contracts and suspension of payments. Opposition removed due to rescission of 8/25/14 amendments. No Position.

Vetoed

Regulatory Reform

Regulatory Reform. AB 2723 (Medina; D-Riverside) Takes an important step to encourage a more favorable regulatory climate for small businesses by requiring state agencies to consider the effect of major regulations on small businesses and sole proprietorships. Support.

Vetoed

Taxation

Creates Competitive Tax Environment. AB 1839 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) Encourages film and television productions to locate or remain in California by extending and expanding the film and television tax credit. Support/Job Creator.

Signed—Chapter 413

Creates a Competitive Tax Environment. AB 777 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Ensures that California remains a competitive environment for an emerging multi-billion dollar industry by updating the California tax code to include certain equipment used for spaceflight transportation within the business inventory exemption. Support/Job Creator.

SignedChapter 13

Creates a More Competitive Tax Environment. AB 2389 (Fox; D-Palmdale) Encourages new aerospace projects to locate in California by creating a targeted tax incentive tied to the creation of new aerospace manufacturing jobs in the state. Support/Job Creator.

Signed—Chapter 116 (Urgency)

Creates a More Competitive Tax Environment. SB 718 (Roth; D-Riverside) Encourages new aerospace projects to locate in California by creating a targeted tax incentive tied to the creation of new aerospace manufacturing jobs in the state. Support/Job Creator.

Signed—Chapter 189 (Urgency)

Fully Restores Tax Incentive Program. AB 1560 (Quirk-Silva; D-Fullerton) Ensures California is a competitive environment for employer investment by restoring full funding to the California Competes Tax Credit Program. Support/Job Creator.

Signed—Chapter 378 (Urgency)

Joint Powers Authority. AB 2170 (Mullin; D-South San Francisco) Unnecessarily authorizes a joint powers authority to impose taxes and levies. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 386

Managed Audit Program. AB 2009 (Weber; D-San Diego) Promotes compliance with the tax law by expanding the existing sales and use tax managed audit program, to the other tax areas under the Board of Equalization (BOE), thereby creating voluntary managed audit programs that allow the BOE to audit the taxpayer’s accounts for a specified period, and reduce the interest on any unpaid liability to one-half of the existing rate. Support.

Signed—Chapter 105

Creates Transparency. AB 2109 (Daly; D-Anaheim) Creates transparency regarding the manner in which parcel taxes are assessed, including the rates and the revenue received. Support.

Signed—Chapter 781

Registration Requirement. AB 2415 (Ting; D-San Francisco) Before amendments, unnecessarily required professionals that advocate on behalf of their clients regarding tax-related matters before a county assessor to register with the Secretary of State and pay a fee, even though such professionals are already registered and regulated by other state agencies. Opposition removed due to 8/5/14 amendments. No Position.

Vetoed

Telecommunications

Kill Switches. SB 962 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Stifles innovation of new technologies by requiring specific kill switches embedded in smartphones at the point of sale rather than allowing consumer selection from a variety of technologies on the market. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 275

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase Risk. AB 1556 (Perea; D-Fresno) Prematurely adopts new statutes while rules and decisions from the federal Department of Labor regarding state requirements for waivers of looming unemployment insurance tax hikes are pending. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 377

Water Supply and Quality

Water Bond. AB 1471 (Rendon; D-Lakewood) $7.5 billion water bond that contains funding for water quality, supply and infrastructure improvements. Contains $2.7 billion for water storage projects necessary for a long-term adequate supply for water for all Californians. Support.

Signed—Chapter 188 (Urgency)

Water Bond. SB 866 (Wolk; D-Davis) $7.5 billion water bond that contains funding for water quality, supply and infrastructure improvements. Contains $2.7 billion for water storage projects necessary for a long-term adequate supply for water for all Californians. Support.

Vetoed

Premature Regulations. AB 1739 (Dickinson; D-Sacramento) Potentially devalues land prices of commercial and agricultural properties by limiting groundwater rights on which credit worthiness is based by requiring groundwater management plans without careful and thoughtful review of all monitoring data and without clear definitions or directions. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 347

Premature Regulations. SB 1168 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Potentially devalues land prices of commercial and agricultural properties by limiting groundwater rights on which credit worthiness is based by requiring groundwater management plans without careful and thoughtful review of all monitoring data and without clear definitions or directions. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 346

Groundwater. SB 1319 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Delays for 3 years the State Water Board’s authority to intervene in a basin or sub-basin that is not in overdraft but is causing significant depletions of interconnected surface waters. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 348

Workers’ Compensation

Expands Costly Presumptions. AB 2616 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace. Oppose.

Vetoed

Assists Victims of Underground Economy. AB 1746 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Expedites hearings for injured employees of illegally uninsured employers to quickly resolve issues and ensure the injured employees receive access to appropriate benefits and care. Support.

Signed—Chapter 156

Overview of November Ballot Measures
CalChamber Supports Propositions 1 and 2
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