CalChamber Status Update Report on Major Legislation for Business

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The following list summarizes top priority bills for the California Chamber of Commerce and their status as of September 11, when the Legislature began its interim study recess.

Within each subject area, the list presents bills in order of priority with the highest priorities at the top.

October 11 is the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature on or before September 11.

The CalChamber will publish its final status report, showing the ultimate fate of bills sent to the Governor this year, in October.

Bills signed by the Governor will become law on January 1, 2016. Urgency, budget-related and tax levy measures go into effect immediately upon being signed.

Each fall, the CalChamber also publishes a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate. Generally, the bills selected for the vote record have appeared in one of the status reports. This year’s vote record is scheduled to be published on November 6.

Federal bills are marked with an *.

Status of bills as of September 11, 2015. Dates listed are the date the bill was assigned to a committee, the latest date of committee action or when the bill reached the floor, unless action is stated.

Download a Print Friendly PDF report here.

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Lawsuit Exposure. SB 203 (Monning; D-Carmel) Increases frivolous liability claims and exposes beverage manufacturers and food retailers to fines and penalties by mandating a state-only labeling requirement for sugar-sweetened drinks. Oppose/Job Killer. Failed Passage in Senate Health 4/29/15

Agricultural Labor Relations. AB 561 (Campos; D-San Jose) Limits an employer’s due process rights to seek an appeal of an order issued by the Ag Labor Relations Board and unfairly requires an employer to post a bond for the entire economic cost of the order. Oppose. To Governor

Coastal Leases. SB 788 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) Deletes a narrow but important exemption to granting gas and oil leases in the coastal zone which is necessary for the rare instance when an adjacent federal lease is draining state resources. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Preference. AB 429 (Dahle; R-Bieber) Boosts rural economies and in-state forestry companies’ revenues by directing state agencies to give preference to purchasing lumber products harvested in California. Support. To Governor

Land Use. AB 498 (Levine; D-San Rafael) Before amendments, delayed development projects and increased costs for mitigation in wildlife corridors of the state. Opposition removed due to May 22, 2015 amendments. Neutral. To Governor

Web Casts. AB 435 (Chang; R-Diamond Bar) Encourages business participation in regulatory meetings and workshops by providing interactive web casts. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Contract Abandonment. AB 1389 (Patterson; R-Fresno) Makes common-sense changes to the Agricultural Labor Relations Act by establishing that an ag labor contract abandoned by a union is an automatic decertification and allows employees of an ag operation to be parties in a mediation. Support. Failed Passage in Assembly Labor and Employment 5/6/15

Inspection Fees. AB 732 (Cooper; D-Elk Grove) Saves ranchers money by clarifying that transferring cattle from one ranch brand to another under the same ownership is exempt from inspection fees. Support. To Governor

Food Safety Education. AB 384 (Perea; D-Fresno) Continues a successful food safety education and training program funded by industry. Support. To Governor

Pesticide Ban. AB 559 (Lopez; D-San Fernando) Before amendments, gave new authority to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to ban pesticides used on farms and ranches. Opposition removed due to September 4, 2015 amendments. Neutral. To Governor

Banking/Finance

Private Right of Action Exposure. AB 244 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Jeopardizes access to credit for home mortgages, increasing the challenge to attract business to California because of high housing prices, by extending the homeowner’s bill of rights to others, thereby opening the door to more private rights of action. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Banking and Finance 2/17/15; Failed Deadline

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Expedites and Reduces Cost for Roadway Repair and Maintenance Projects. AB 323 (Olsen; R-Modesto) Streamlines infrastructure development by extending until January 1, 2020, the current CEQA exemption for certain roadway repair and maintenance projects. Support/Job Creator. Signed 7/6/15—Chapter 52

Expedites and Reduces Cost for Housing Projects. AB 641 (Mayes; R-Yucca Valley) Streamlines and reduces regulatory burdens for the approval and construction of housing developments by providing an expedited review process under CEQA. Support/Job Creator. Failed Passage in Assembly Natural Resources 4/27/15

Increases Cost and Delay in the CEQA Process. SB 122 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, made the CEQA process even more lengthy by mandating an additional public comment period for every project that requires an environmental impact report under CEQA. Opposition removed due to April 20, 2015 amendments. No Position. Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 7/15/15

Expedites CEQA Review for Water Projects. AB 311 (Gallagher; R-Yuba City) Streamlines water infrastructure development by creating an expedited CEQA review process for projects funded in whole or in part by Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). Support. Failed passage in Assembly Natural Resources 4/27/15

Expedites CEQA Review for Water Projects. SB 127 (Vidak; R-Hanford) Streamlines water infrastructure development by creating an expedited CEQA review process for projects funded in whole or in part by Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). Support. Senate Environmental Quality 2/15/15; Failed Deadline

Expedites and Reduces Cost for Homeless Complex Projects. AB 1500 (Maienschein; R-San Diego) Encourages increased housing development by exempting homeless complex projects from CEQA review. Support. Assembly Natural Resources 4/28/15

Climate Change

Slows Economic Growth. SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Increases costs for California businesses, makes them less competitive and discourages economic growth by adopting further greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Natural Resources 9/10/15

Increased Energy Costs. SB 180 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Increases the cost of energy and threatens grid reliability by overhauling the state’s power plant emissions performance standard by tightening the current program and expanding the regulation to “peaker” plants, which are integral to incorporating renewables into the grid. Oppose. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15

Creates Regulatory Oversight. AB 21 (Perea; D-Fresno) Creates certainty for business in the state and increases regulatory oversight in the climate change program by requiring the California Air Resources Board to recommend to the Governor and Legislature a 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal to be achieved in a cost-effective manner. Support. Senate Floor 6/30/15

Costly Duplicative Regulation. AB 1496 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Before amendments, increased costs and created duplicative regulations by mandating additional studies to reclassify methane as a precursor to air pollution and life cycle analysis of methane to be conducted by the California Air Resources Board. Opposition removed due to September 4, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Improves AB 32 Compliance Mechanisms. AB 720 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Reduces potential for market manipulation and reduces unnecessary burdens to regulated entities by providing necessary adjustments to cap and trade regulations. Support. Assembly Natural Resources 3/12/15; Failed Deadline

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. SB 101 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund various programs. Oppose. To Governor

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. SB 367 (Wolk; D-Davis) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund on-farm projects to increase carbon storage in agricultural soils and woody biomass. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 1336 (Salas; D-Bakersfield) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund projects in disadvantaged communities. Oppose. Assembly Natural Resources 4/6/15; Failed Deadline

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 1345 (Dahle; R-Bieber) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Oppose. Assembly Natural Resources 3/23/15; Failed Deadline

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 1176 (Perea; D-Fresno) Before amendments, prematurely authorized AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the Advanced Low-Carbon Diesel Fuels Access Program. Opposition removed due to June 1, 2015 amendments. No Position. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. SB 698 (Cannella; R-Ceres) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the State Highway Account. Oppose. Senate Environmental Quality 3/19/15; Failed Deadline

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. SB 523 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the replacement of school buses. Oppose. Senate Environmental Quality 4/22/15; Failed Deadline

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 156 (Perea; D-Fresno) Before amendments, prematurely authorized AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund technical assistance to assist disadvantaged communities in receiving Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund dollars. Opposition removed due to June 1, 2015 amendments. No Position. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 590 (Dahle; R-Bieber) Before amendments, prematurely authorized AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the Biomass State Cost Share Account. Opposition removed due to May 28, 2015 amendments. No Position. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 134 (Committee on Budget) Prematurely authorizes AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund various programs. Oppose. Senate Floor 9/11/15

General Plan Safety Elements. SB 379 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, would have created an additional parallel process, with unclear definitions, in order to incorporate adaptation and resiliency into the planning process. Opposition removed due to June 22, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Corporate Governance

Simplifies Filing Procedures for California Businesses. AB 1471 (Perea; D-Fresno) Improves the efficiency of existing and future Secretary of State business filing procedures. Support. Signed 8/12/15—Chapter 189

Provides Flexibility to Businesses. AB 871 (Brown; D-San Bernardino) Creates more business certainty by allowing businesses to file their biennial statement of information with the Secretary of State at the same time every year. Support. Assembly Appropriations 4/21/15; Failed Deadline

Crime

Criminal Profiteering. AB 160 (Dababneh; D-Encino) Protects law-abiding businesses and limits criminal profiteering by expanding the list of crimes subject to asset forfeiture and expanding the definition of organized crime. Support. To Governor

Accountability. SB 205 (Beall; D-San Jose) Promotes accountability by requiring an evaluation of the effectiveness of Proposition 47 by an independent university selected on a competitive bid. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Economic Development/Local Government

Local Economic Development Investment. AB 2 (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. To Governor

Education

Guarantees Funding for CTE. SB 148 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) Before being gutted and amended on August 17, 2015, ensured career technical education (CTE) programs and courses would be adequately supported during the transition to local control and accountability by establishing a $600 million matching grant program for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to support and expand CTE course offerings and programs, and stated the Legislature’s intent to provide additional funding for the program in 2017–18 and 2018–19. CTE funding included in adopted budget. Support for SB 148 changed to No Position due to amendments. To Governor

Undermines Teacher Quality. AB 575 (O’Donnell; D-Long Beach) Makes it harder for school districts to prioritize student achievement and provide support to developing teachers by replacing the state’s existing teacher evaluation framework with one that, among other things, would be entirely subject to collective bargaining and take away management’s existing authority to unilaterally establish criteria for measuring student progress and teacher effectiveness. Oppose. Senate Education 6/18/15

Undermines Teacher Quality. SB 499 (Liu; D-La Cañada Flintridge) Makes it harder for school districts to prioritize student achievement and provide support to developing teachers by replacing the state’s existing teacher evaluation framework with one that, among other things, would be entirely subject to collective bargaining and take away management’s existing authority to unilaterally establish criteria for measuring student progress and teacher effectiveness. Oppose. Assembly Education 6/18/15

Improves Teacher Quality. AB 1495 (Weber; D-San Diego) Strengthens the state’s teacher evaluation framework by requiring that school districts evaluate teachers based on multiple measures of student progress toward local and state standards of expected pupil achievement, and include a middle rating band to identify teachers who need additional support and training without exposing them to possible adverse action. Support. Failed Passage in Assembly Education 4/29/15

Improves Teacher Quality. AB 1078 (Olsen; R-Modesto) Strengthens the state’s teacher evaluation framework by instructing the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop new guidelines to help school districts determine each teacher’s overall effectiveness, prohibits the SBE from granting waivers for school districts that do not include student progress as a factor in their teacher evaluations or fail to meet with struggling teachers and help them improve, and requires that all teachers be evaluated annually regardless of their tenure status. Support. Assembly Rules 5/4/15; Failed Deadline

Increases College Access. AB 831 (Bonilla; D-Concord) Ensures reliable state support for low-income students who choose to attend private colleges and universities by re-establishing a funding formula for applicable Cal Grant awards that better aligns them with awards offered to students who attend the state’s public colleges and universities. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15

Expands College and Career Pathways. AB 288 (Holden; D-Pasadena) Provides high school students with increased access to college-level CTE coursework, gives them a head-start on transferring to a four-year institution, improves high school graduation rates and helps high school students achieve college and career readiness by authorizing high school districts and community college districts to partner and offer dual enrollment programs that further these purposes. Support. To Governor

Protects High-Quality Teachers. AB 1044 (Baker; R-San Ramon) Protects the state’s most effective teachers by allowing schools to prioritize factors other than seniority when making layoff decisions due to budget cuts. Support. Assembly Rules 5/4/15; Failed Deadline

Streamlines Regulation of Postsecondary Institutions. SB 634 (Block; D-San Diego) Reduces regulatory hurdles for California’s postsecondary institutions that would like to offer online courses to students in other states and helps California students identify high-quality online education programs by authorizing the state Department of Consumer Affairs to enter into a regional reciprocity agreement with other states. Support. Senate Education 4/8/15; Failed Deadline

Extends CTE Pathways Program. SB 66 (Leyva; D-Chino) Ensures new, high-quality career technical education (CTE) programs and courses will continue to be developed by extending authorization for the CTE Pathways Program and funding for an additional three years. Support. Senate Education 1/15/15

Improves Education Equality. AB 1484 (Weber; D-San Diego) Ensures that all students within a district have effective teachers by requiring school districts to distribute effective teachers more evenly throughout district schools, and prohibits school districts from placing a student with a struggling teacher for two years in a row. Support. Assembly Education 4/22/15; Failed Deadline

Threatens UC Competitiveness. AB 837 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Limits the ability of the University of California (UC) to recruit and retain the best talent and leadership by prohibiting it from paying any employees or officers more than $500,000 per year, and conditions future state funding for the UC on compliance with a new annual reporting requirement with information about all university employees, including their names, salaries, the value of their benefits and any deferred compensation. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Threatens UC Competitiveness. AB 1317 (Salas; D-Bakersfield) Limits the ability of the UCs to compete for the best leadership candidates by requesting that the UC Regents refrain from providing pay raises to their executive officers using state funds within two years of a fee or tuition increase for students. Oppose. Senate Education 6/18/15

Expands Advanced Placement (AP) Stem Offerings. AB 252 (Holden; D-Pasadena) Increases student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), encourages high school graduates to pursue further training and education in these areas, and helps students earn credit toward a college degree or certificate by establishing a grant program to help high schools establish and expand their AP course offerings. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Improves Teacher Effectiveness. AB 1226 (Chávez; R-Oceanside) Improves the quality of teachers by including the availability of teacher professional development opportunities as one of the state priority areas school districts must address in their Local Control and Accountability Plans along with student achievement, student engagement, other student outcomes, school climate, parent involvement, basic services, implementation of Common Core, and course access. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Increases Access to STEM. AB 889 (Chang; R-Diamond Bar) Increases student exposure to, and interest in, science, technology, engineering and mathematics and encourages them to major in STEM fields in college by authorizing high school and community college districts to partner and offer college-level STEM courses through dual enrollment programs. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Oversight of Transfer Degree Program. AB 1016 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Allows the Legislature to better evaluate the effectiveness of the state’s transfer degree program by asking the chancellors of the California Community College system and the California State University (CSU) to report on the extent to which transfer degree students are being admitted to the CSU campuses of their choice, to programs related to their transfer degrees, the number of units those students enter the CSU with, and their graduation rates after 2 and 3 years attending a CSU. Support. To Governor

Protects High-Quality Teachers. SB 381 (Huff; R-Diamond Bar) Ensures that teachers with the most expertise and experience teaching CTE courses are not terminated because another less-qualified teacher has a higher seniority ranking when a school district has a demonstrated need for personnel to staff its CTE or career pathways program. Support. Held in Senate Education 4/29/15; Failed Deadline

Interferes with UC Investments. SB 574 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Hinders the ability of the UC Regents to invest endowment assets in profitable alternative investment funds, potentially reducing available funding for employee pensions, student financial aid, and other important university obligations, by requiring the UC to report information about these investments even when that data is not a public record, and the investment fund manager will not allow the UC to continue investing in its funds under these terms. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Updates Workforce Development Law. AB 1270 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella) Updates the state’s primary workforce development law to align it with the recently enacted federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, encourage collaboration and articulation with the state’s systems of CTE and adult education, and to better reflect California’s focus on regional and industry-specific workforce needs. Support. Signed 7/14/15—Chapter 94

Updates Workforce Development Law. SB 45 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) Encourages collaboration and articulation with the state’s systems of CTE and adult education to better reflect California’s focus on regional and industry-specific workforce needs by updating the state’s primary workforce development law to align it with the recently enacted federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Support. Assembly Labor and Employment 5/14/15

Energy

Costly and Burdensome Regulations. SB 350 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Before amendments, potentially increased 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. Opposition and job killer status removed due to September 11, 2015 amendments. No Position/Former Job Killer. To Governor

Increased Energy Costs. AB 645 (Williams; D-Carpinteria) Increases the cost of energy and threatens grid reliability by expanding the current renewable portfolio standard from 33% to 50%. Oppose. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Hiring Prohibition. AB 853 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Eliminates the pool of qualified candidates by prohibiting an electrical or gas corporation from contracting for work associated with the design, engineering and operation of its nuclear, electrical and gas infrastructure, including all computer and information technology systems, without first obtaining approval of the California Public Utilities Commission. Oppose. Senate Floor 9/8/15

Improves Building Energy Efficiency. AB 802 (Williams; D-Carpinteria) Aids California businesses to save on energy bills and improve energy efficiency by authorizing utilities to use financial incentives to bring existing buildings up to code. Support. To Governor

Imposes Inappropriate Compensation Limits. AB 1266 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Imposes inappropriate limits around executive compensation for energy utility officers thereby interfering with the ability to retain qualified executives. Oppose. To Governor

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Incentive. SB 578 (Block; D-San Diego) Increases investments in electric vehicle charging stations by providing a tax incentive for businesses that install a charging station on-site. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15

Premature AB 32 Auction Revenue Expenditure. AB 577 (Bonilla; D-Concord) Before amendments, prematurely authorized AB 32 auction revenues to be used to fund the biomethane collection and purification grant program. Opposition removed due to May 28, 2015 amendments. No Position. Senate Rules 9/8/15

Environmental Regulation

Creates Unworkable Hazardous Waste Permitting Process. SB 654 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Discourages investment in upgrading and improving hazardous waste facilities by shutting down hazardous waste facilities if the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) 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. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Inactive File 9/8/15

Limits In-State Energy Development. AB 356 (Williams; D-Carpinteria) Potentially shuts down certain in-state oil production operations by redefining critical components of the Underground Injection Control program which would, in turn, compromise oil production without providing any additional environmental and groundwater protections beyond those recently proposed by state regulators. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Inactive File 6/11/15

Limits In-State Energy Development. AB 1490 (Rendon; D-Lakewood) Drives up fuel prices and energy prices by imposing a de facto moratorium on well stimulation activities by halting the activity after an earthquake of a magnitude 2.0 or higher. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Appropriations 5/6/15; Failed Deadline

Imposes New Burdens on Hazardous Waste Facilities. SB 673 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Before amendments fundamentally undermined the DTSC’s recently proposed plan to issue protective and timely hazardous waste permits by requiring DTSC to develop regulations establishing additional criteria that DTSC must use to determine whether to issue a hazardous waste permit, including the vulnerability of nearby populations using the CalEnviroScreen tool, a tool which was never intended to be used for permitting decisions. Opposition removed due to September 4, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Imposes Unnecessary Burdens on In-State Energy Development. SB 248 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Causes delays in energy production, adds another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, and institutes requirements that are duplicative of state law by imposing new requirements related to the Underground Injection Control program. Oppose. Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/19/15

Jeopardizes Hazardous Waste Permits. AB 1075 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Before amendments, potentially shut down certain hazardous waste facilities by giving the Department of Toxic Substances Control “compelling cause” to suspend, revoke or deny a hazardous waste permit for violations that present no endangerment to the public health, safety or the environment. Opposition removed due to September 2, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Substantial Oil Permitting Overhaul. SB 545 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes new regulatory burdens on in-state energy development by requiring the state to issue permits for all oil field activities even if those activities are minor in nature and pose no environmental threat. Oppose. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Limits In-State Energy Development. SB 454 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Potentially shuts down certain in-state oil production operations by excluding certain aquifers from the Underground Injection Control program that would otherwise be exempt under long-standing federal criterion and under a recent plan recently proposed by state regulators. Oppose. Senate Inactive File 6/8/15

Product Ban. AB 888 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Stifles innovation by banning the use of naturally derived or nature identifiable alternatives that pose no risk to the environment or public health by prohibiting the sale of personal care products that contain plastic microbeads. Oppose Unless Amended. To Governor

Creates Infeasible Motor Oil Mandate. SB 778 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Creates an upheaval in the California motor oil marketplace, limiting consumer choice and forcing California motorists to spend more of their disposable income on motor oil by greatly constraining the range of motor oil products currently available for gasoline and diesel engines used in passenger cars and light duty trucks. Oppose. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Imposes Duplicative Air Regulations for Well Stimulation Activities. AB 1501 (Rendon; D-Lakewood) Substantially burdens in-state energy development by setting duplicative and costly methane emission standards on well stimulation activities with no scientific basis or resulting benefit to the public. Oppose. Assembly Appropriations 4/28/15; Failed Deadline

Opportunity to Cure Minor Air Violations. AB 335 (Patterson; R-Fresno) Improves the regulatory climate for air emissions by reinstating the Air Resources Board’s Minor Violation Program, which was in effect from 1995 to 2005, to provide businesses with a cure period to fix minor air violations before being fined. Support. Failed Passage in Assembly Natural Resources 4/13/15

New Hazardous Materials Shipment Fees. AB 102 (Rodriguez; D-Pomona) Burdens interstate commerce by imposing fees on hazardous materials that are transported by rail or truck. Oppose. Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials 4/28/15; Failed Deadline

Avoids Double Fees for Crude Oil and Petroleum Product Shipments. AB 815 (Ridley-Thomas; D-Los Angeles) Reduces business costs by creating a presumption that emergency spill prevention fees imposed on petroleum products derived from crude oil refined in the state has previously been paid at the refinery and does not need to be paid a second time by a marine terminal operator. Support. Signed 7/15/15—Chapter 108

Health

New Targeted Taxes on Employers. SBX2 14 (E. Hernandez; D-West Covina) Harms California employers and reduces the affordability of employer-sponsored health care premiums by increasing the tax on cigarettes by $2 a pack, imposing a new tax on electronic cigarettes, and creating a new tiered tax on commercial health insurance to backfill General Fund spending on Medi-Cal, health prevention programs, and developmental services rather than prioritizing funding for these programs in the annual budget. Oppose. Senate Floor 9/11/15

Targeted Tax on Employer Health Insurance. ABX2 19 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Makes employer-sponsored health care coverage less affordable by creating a new tiered tax on commercial health insurance to raise $1.3 billion to backfill General Fund spending on the Medi-Cal program and developmental services. Oppose. Assembly Public Health and Developmental Services 9/9/15

Targeted Tax on Employer Health Insurance. ABX2 4 (Levine; D-San Rafael) Makes employer-sponsored health care coverage less affordable by creating a new tax on commercial health insurance to raise $1.9 billion to backfill General Fund spending on the Medi-Cal program, In-Home Supportive Services, and developmental services. Oppose. Assembly Public Health and Developmental Services 9/1/15

Increases Health Care Premiums. AB 339 (Gordon; D-Menlo Park) Drives up health care premiums by severely restricting the ability of health care issuers and pharmacy benefit managers to control health care costs on behalf of purchasers through their prescription drug benefit designs, and places strict caps on prescription drug copayments. Oppose. To Governor

Large Group Rate Review. SB 546 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Threatens employers with higher premiums by imposing unnecessary and burdensome new reporting requirements on health plans and insurers in the large group market. Job killer tag removed due to April 30 amendments eliminating authorization for state regulators to veto or unilaterally alter large-group rate changes, but CalChamber remains opposed. Oppose/Former Job Killer. To Governor

New Health Care Costs. SB 289 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) Increases the cost of health care for employers and enrollees by mandating coverage for phone and email communications between doctors and patients. Oppose. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Hidden Health Care Tax. AB 1434 (McCarty; D-Sacramento) Increases health care premiums by moving nonmember preferred provider organizations (PPOs) currently regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care to the jurisdiction of the Department of Insurance, which taxes insurers at a higher rate. Oppose. Assembly Revenue and Taxation 4/21/15; Failed Deadline

Hidden Health Care Tax. ABX2 17 (McCarty; D-Sacramento) Increases health care premiums by moving nonmember preferred provider organizations (PPOs) currently regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care to the jurisdiction of the Department of Insurance, which taxes insurers at a higher rate. Oppose. Assembly Public Health and Developmental Services 8/31/15

Continues Review of Health Care Mandates. SB 125 (E. Hernandez; D-West Covina) Protects employers from increased health care premiums by extending authorization of the California Health Benefits Review Program to provide the Legislature valuable independent analyses of the medical, financial and public health impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates and repeals. See AB 1578 (Pan; D-Sacramento) from 2014. Support. Signed 6/17/15—Chapter 9 (Urgency)

Increased Health Insurance Premiums. SB 190 (Beall; D-San Jose) Drives up employers’ health insurance premiums by mandating that plans and insurers contract with various types of facilities, thereby undermining the ability of health plans and insurers to manage their networks. Oppose. Senate Health 4/6/15; Failed Deadline

Increases Prescription Drug Spending. AB 374 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) Before amendments, reduced health plan flexibility in benefit management, increased health care costs and premiums, and reduced employers’ choice of benefit packages to offer their employees by effectively prohibiting plans from using step-therapy protocols to ensure prudent use of prescription medications. Opposition removed due to September 1, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Increases Prescription Drug Spending. AB 623 (Wood; D-Healdsburg) Drives up health care spending by mandating that health care plans and insurers cover expensive new forms of opioid pain medications without providing sufficient evidence that these new formulations will lower the incidence of opioid abuse. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Home Care Agencies. AB 1400 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Threatens the ability of home care staffing agencies to offer in-home agency respite services to individuals that care for a developmentally disabled family member by imposing an unreasonable requirement that these agencies use at least 85% of their state reimbursement rate for direct expenditures. Oppose. Senate Human Services 7/6/15

Home Care Agencies. ABX2 5 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Threatens the ability of home care staffing agencies to offer in-home agency respite services to individuals that care for a developmentally disabled family member by imposing an unreasonable requirement that these agencies use at least 85% of their state reimbursement rate for direct expenditures. Oppose. In Assembly 7/16/15

Lower Health Care Costs for Employees. AB 533 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Preserves the value of employer-sponsored coverage and protects employee-patients from unreasonable health care costs by prohibiting out-of-network providers from balance billing patients treated in an in-network facility unless they receive the patient’s informed, written consent before providing the health care service, and by allowing patients to count out-of-pocket payments to out-of-network providers toward their annual out-of-pocket cap. Support. Failed Assembly Concurrence in Senate Amendments 9/12/15

Increases Health Insurance Premiums. SB 346 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Increases administrative costs and otherwise limits the ability of California’s nonprofit hospitals to invest in community prevention efforts that meet the needs of the local community by creating an unnecessary new definition of charity care and mandating a rigid process for developing a community needs assessment and community benefit plan. Oppose. Failed Passage in Senate Health 4/29/15; Reconsideration Granted

Better Charity Care Reporting. AB 1046 (Dababneh; D-Encino) Streamlines the reporting requirements for nonprofit hospitals that provide charity care in California and aligns them with newly adopted federal guidelines to ease administrative reporting burdens for these facilities while making information about their community benefit investments more accessible and understandable for consumers. Support. Assembly Health 4/8/15; Failed Deadline

Unclear Reporting Obligation. AB 299 (Brown; D-San Bernardino) Exposes employers to potential lawsuits and creates confusing, burdensome reporting requirements for “first responders” when there is a fatal or nonfatal drowning incident, and could be read to require private employees and contractors with emergency response training to complete and file this report even though they do not have the authority to collect most of the required information. Oppose Unless Amended. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Protects Innovative Health Care Delivery. AB 684 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Avoids costly litigation by providing a safe harbor until January 1, 2017 for retailers with co-located vision care centers while stakeholders discuss how both to update California law and clarify which business models are permissible. Support. To Governor

Reduces Employer Costs. SB 482 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Helps lower workers’ compensation costs and general health care costs for employers, and helps injured employees get back to work faster by mandating that physicians and other prescribers check the state’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database before prescribing a Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance to a patient for the first time, and at least annually thereafter if the patient remains on the medication. Support. Assembly Desk 5/28/15

Drives Up Health Care Premiums. AB 1305 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Before amendments, forced health care plans to absorb more of the cost of enrollee health care and build it into their premium costs in two ways: 1) modifying the annual out-of-pocket limit for families by adding a requirement that each individual family member also have their own out-of-pocket limit, such that a family member that hits his/her individual limit would start receiving free care long before the family out-of-pocket limit is reached; and 2) requiring that plans that include deductibles set individual deductibles for each family member rather than one aggregate deductible for the whole family. Opposition removed due to May 5, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Housing and Land Use

Creates Affordable Housing Opportunities. AB 35 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Promotes affordable housing by expanding the existing low-income housing tax credit program, making the state better able to leverage an estimated $100 million more in Federal Tax Credits. Support/Job Creator. To Governor

Expands Housing Opportunities. AB 1056 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Promotes a reduction of recidivism by providing rental housing assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals by using savings accumulated as a result of Proposition 47. Support. To Governor

Low-Income Housing Assistance. AB 90 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) Increases affordable housing opportunities by designating the Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the Federal Housing Trust Fund. Support. To Governor

Imposes Unnecessary New Costs on Businesses. AB 662 (Bonilla; D-Concord) Imposes new financial burdens on businesses and complicates building code compliance issues by requiring that certain facilities install adult changing stations in every restroom stall. Oppose. To Governor

Restricts Property Owners from Exiting the Rental Business. SB 364 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Potentially forces property owners into bankruptcy, prevents families from moving into their own apartment complexes, and makes it extraordinarily difficult for property owners to exit the rental market by authorizing the County of San Francisco to prohibit an owner of a residential rental building from exiting the rental business under the Ellis Act until they have owned the building for five years or longer. Oppose. Failed Passage in Senate Transportation and Housing 4/15/15

Revives Land Use Entitlements. AB 1303 (Gray; D-Merced) Incentivizes land development and encourages economic growth in economically depressed counties by extending the expiration date of existing land use entitlements that were approved before the recession but not acted upon thereafter. Support. To Governor

Immigration

Agriculture Worker Permits. AB 20 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Preserves California’s agricultural workforce through the creation of a California-only framework for a program to provide undocumented persons who are agricultural employees a permit to work and live in California if such a program were to be authorized by federal law. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations 8/27/15

Abuse of the Resolution Process. AJR 12 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella) Abuses the resolution process by urging the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate one particular company for alleged misuse of the H1-B visa program. Oppose. Senate Floor 7/13/15

Industrial Safety and Health

Cal/OSHA Safety Variances. AB 578 (Low; D-Campbell) Creates uncertainty and potential delays for all employers seeking variances from safety standards by creating expansive new notification requirements from employers to individuals who are not employees of the employer and who may not be known to the employer, in order to solve a narrow concern with variance applications for elevators. Oppose Unless Amended. To Governor

Insurance

New Tax on Home and Business Owners. AB 1203 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles) Increases costs to businesses and homeowners by imposing a 3% or 5% tax on all property insurance policies to fund emergency disaster response services to specified local entities. Oppose. Assembly Governmental Organization 4/27/15

International Relations/Trade

*Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Renews authority for the President and/or U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate trade agreements to help boost U.S. exports and create American jobs. Support. Signed by President 6/29/15

*Export-Import Bank (ExIm). Reauthorizes funding for the official U.S. export credit agency with mission to assist financing export of goods and services. Funding expired 6/30/15. Support. Reauthorization Pending

Export-Import Bank. AJR 14 (Chu; D-San Jose) Helps maintain and create U. S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy by urging Congress to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States thereby enabling U.S. companies—both large and small—to turn export opportunities into real sales. Sponsor/Co-Sponsor. Resolution Chapter 84

*Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Provides special tariff preferences for imports from less developed countries into advanced industrialized countries as most effective vehicle for promoting Third World economic development. Support. Signed by President 6/29/15

*African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Extends 2000 Act until 2025 and provides tangible economic benefits and opportunities to sub-Saharan Africa by helping companies improve their competitiveness and invest in building a strong private sector. Support. Signed by President 6/29/15

Labor and Employment

Increased Litigation. AB 465 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Significantly drives up litigation costs for all California employers as well as increases pressure on the already-overburdened judicial system by precluding mandatory employment arbitration agreements, which is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act. Oppose/Job Killer. To Governor

Significant Expansion of California Family Rights Act. SB 406 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Increases costs, risk of litigation and creates less conformity with federal law by expanding the family members for whom leave may be taken, which will provide a potential 24-week protected leave of absence for employers to administer. Oppose/Job Killer. To Governor

Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004. AB 1506 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) Seeks to limit frivolous and costly litigation against employers for technical violations on an itemized wage statement that does not create any injury to an employee, by allowing the employer a limited time period to fix the violation before any civil litigation is pursued, so that an employer can devote its financial resources to expanding its workforce. Support/Job Creator. To Governor
(Urgency)

Automatic Minimum Wage Increase. SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Unfairly increases employers’ costs while ignoring other economic factors and state mandated expenses, by increasing the minimum wage $3.00 over the next two and a half years and thereafter automatically increasing it according to inflation. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/19/15

Predictable Scheduling Mandate/Protected Leave of Absence. AB 357 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Imposes an unfair, one-size-fits-all, two-week notice scheduling mandate on certain retail and food employers that penalizes these employers with “additional pay” for making changes to the schedule with less than two weeks notice, and additionally imposes a new, protected leave of absence from work for employees who are seeking public assistance. Oppose/Job Killer. Assembly Inactive File 6/4/15

Reduction of Costly Employment Class Action Litigation. AB 1470 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Limits frivolous class action litigation against employers in California who are creating high-paying jobs by creating a rebuttable presumption that employees earning at least $100,000 and performing non-manual labor and at least one exempt duty are exempt from overtime requirements. Sponsor/Co-Sponsor/Job Creator. Assembly Labor and Employment 4/7/15; Failed Deadline

Costly Employee Retention Mandate. AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Inappropriately interferes with and alters the employment relationship by mandating that a successor grocery employer retain the employees of the former grocery employer for 90 days, potentially under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement to which the successor employer was not a party, and then forces the successor employer to consider offering continued employment to such employees beyond the 90 days unless the employee’s performance was unsatisfactory. Oppose/Job Killer. Signed 8/17/15—Chapter 212

Frivolous Litigation. AB 1017 (Campos; D-San Jose) Threatens only private employers with civil litigation for seeking an applicant’s prior salary and benefit information even though the applicant suffered no harm in compensation from the inquiry. Oppose. To Governor

Expansion of Labor Commissioner Authority. AB 970 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) Significantly expands the Labor Commissioner’s authority and increases employer costs by permitting the Labor Commissioner to enforce local minimum wage laws through the citation process, which will increase annual assessments to fund the Labor Commissioner’s office for all employers across the state, including those in areas with no local minimum wage. Oppose. To Governor

Reduces Frivolous Litigation. AB 588 (Grove; R-Bakersfield) Seeks to limit frivolous litigation under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act, by allowing an employer a 33-day right to cure technical violations on an itemized wage statement that did not cause any injury to the employee. Support/Job Creator. Assembly Labor and Employment 3/9/15; Failed Deadline

Flexible Workweek. AB 1038 (Jones; R-Santee) Provides employers with the opportunity to accommodate employees’ needs as well as business demands by allowing employees to request a voluntary, flexible workweek agreement that can be repealed by the employee at any time with proper notice. Support/Job Creator. Failed Passage in Assembly Labor and Employment 4/22/15

State Contractor Equal Pay Reporting. AB 1354 (Dodd; D-Napa) Before amendments, increased the reporting requirements of state contractors with 100 or more employees by requiring such contractors to submit a workforce analysis and equal pay report that includes data of wages paid to employees by ethnicity, gender and race. Opposition removed due to August 31, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Gender Equity Pay Act. SB 358 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Seeks to eliminate gender pay disparity by specifying that employees who are similarly situated and performing substantially similar duties should be paid the same wage rate. Support. To Governor

Expansion of Public Works. AB 219 (Daly; D-Anaheim) Increases construction costs by expanding the definition of public works and therefore the mandate of prevailing wages to include the delivery of ready-mix concrete to public contracts, despite the fact that such concrete providers are not located on the site of the public works project and supply material to other projects. Oppose. To Governor

Increase of Frivolous Employment Litigation. AB 883 (Low; D-Campbell) Before amendments, subjected employers to frivolous litigation and essentially precluded an employer from inquiring into an employee’s work history, by stating that an employer cannot take any adverse employment action, such as the failure to hire an applicant, based upon the applicant’s prior status as a public employee. Opposition removed due to July 16, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Paid Sick Leave. AB 304 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Before amendments, it would have unfairly expanded the paid sick leave law by eliminating an employer’s ability to maintain a pre-existing paid sick leave/paid time off policy that was more beneficial to an employee, yet accrued time off in a manner other than hours worked. Opposition removed due to June 18, 2015 amendments. No Position. Signed 7/13/15—Chapter 67 (Urgency)

Wage Garnishment. SB 501 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Before amendments, limited the ability to collect outstanding debt by reducing the amount of eligible wages as well as complicating the calculation by including local minimum wage ordinances. Opposition removed due to September 4, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Expansion of Paid Sick Leave. SB 579 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, forced employers to allow employees to use paid sick leave for “childcare or school emergencies,” thereby undermining the purpose of paid sick leave, expanding the conditions for using paid sick leave, and increasing the administrative burden on employers. Opposition removed due to June 2, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Increases California Employers’ Cost of Doing Business on “Family Holidays.” AB 67 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Increases California employers’ cost of doing business and places brick and mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage to online retailers by mandating almost all employers to pay double compensation on Thanksgiving, designated as a “Family Holiday,” as opposed to any other significant holiday. Oppose. Assembly Inactive File 6/8/15

Wage Theft. SB 588 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Initially concerned with the scope of the bill expanding joint liability for services contracts, personal liability for unpaid wages, and allowing attorney’s fees in Labor Commissioner hearings. Successfully negotiated amendments to alleviate concerns. No Position. To Governor

Meal Break Waivers. SB 327 (E. Hernandez; D-West Covina) Confirms the enforceability of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders for employees in the health care industry to avoid confusion amongst employees and employers that ultimately leads to unnecessary litigation. Support. To Governor (Urgency)

Legal Reform and Protection

Incentivizing Disability Access and Education. SB 251 (Roth; D-Riverside) Seeks to limit frivolous litigation and claims regarding construction-related accessibility violations by providing businesses that have proactively sought to become ADA compliant with an opportunity to resolve any identified violations as well as provide a tax credit for such improvements. Sponsor/Co-Sponsor/Job Creator. To Governor

Trial Court Contracting. SB 682 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Limits the trial courts’ ability to manage their budgets through contracts for labor or services unless certain standards are met, including clearly proving that the contract will result in overall cost savings and will not displace any existing trial court employees. Oppose. To Governor

Disability Access Litigation Reform. AB 52 (Gray; D-Merced) Seeks to improve access for disabled customers and limit frivolous litigation against businesses for construction-related accessibility claims by providing an opportunity for the businesses to timely resolve any potential violations. Support/Job Creator. Assembly Judiciary 1/22/15; Failed Deadline

Disability Access Litigation Reform. SB 67 (Galgiani; D-Stockton) Seeks to limit frivolous litigation against small businesses that have sought to comply with construction-related accessibility standards by limiting remedies to injunctive relief and expanding the current period to correct any violation from 60 to 120 days. Support/Job Creator. Senate Judiciary 1/15/15; Failed Deadline

Increases Litigation Costs. SB 383 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Drives up costs and attorney’s fees by forcing parties to “meet and confer” before filing a demurrer, which will not produce any greater level of cooperation amongst the parties and will interfere with a defendant’s ability to timely file a demurrer. Oppose. To Governor

Disability Access Litigation Reform. AB 54 (Olsen; R-Modesto) Seeks to encourage businesses to become compliant with construction-related accessibility standards by increasing the available tax credit for expenses related to such efforts. Support/Former Job Creator. Assembly Revenue and Taxation 4/23/15

Automated External Defibrillators. SB 658 (Hill; D-San Mateo) Encourages the obtainment and use of AEDs by eliminating the threat of civil liability and simplifies the maintenance of an AED for the owner of the premises. Support. Signed 9/3/15—Chapter 264

Judicial Efficiency. SB 470 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Promotes judicial efficiency by requiring a judge ruling on a motion for summary judgment/adjudication to only rule on evidence that is necessary for disposition of the motion, yet preserves any objection not ruled upon for appeal. Support. Signed 8/10/15—Chapter 161

Judicial Branch Investment. SB 229 (Roth; D-Riverside) Supports a responsive judicial system by mandating a General Fund appropriation for six superior court judge positions. Support. To Governor

Hearsay: Admissibility of Statements. AB 593 (Levine; D-San Rafael) Eliminates the sunset date to continue excluding from the hearsay rule an unavailable declarant’s statement if the reason the declarant is unavailable is because of wrongdoing of the party to whom it is offered against. Support. Signed 7/6/15—Chapter 55

Asbestos Litigation Transparency. AB 597 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Preserves the monies available for asbestos victims by requiring any plaintiff pursuing trust monies to disclose relevant information regarding the plaintiff’s other requests for monies from other trusts. Support. Assembly Judiciary 9/11/15

Expansion of Litigation for Housing Discrimination. AB 396 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles) Significantly limits a residential housing facility’s ability to maintain safety and preclude premises liability, even with a known danger, by precluding the facility from using a criminal record as a basis to deny housing. Oppose. Assembly Appropriations 5/26/15; Failed Deadline

Mechanic’s Lien. AB 846 (Gallagher; R-Yuba City) Reduces the interference of real property with expired liens by specifying that a court can dismiss an action to enforce a mechanic’s lien for lack of prosecution if service of the complaint is not made within 6 months of the commencement of the action. Support. Assembly Judiciary 4/20/15; Failed Deadline

Code of Civil Procedure Clarification. AB 432 (Chang; R-Diamond Bar) Promotes judicial efficiency by clarifying that “signature” or “subscription” in the Code of Civil Procedure includes an electronic signature, electronic sound, or process attached to an electronic record. Support. Signed 6/30/15—Chapter 32

Homeless Right to Rest Act. SB 608 (Liu; D-La Cañada Flintridge) Increases the threat of frivolous litigation against businesses by expanding the rights of individuals who are homeless to sleep or rest in public spaces, such as a business’s doorway or customer access pathway, and awards minimum statutory damages of $1,000 for a violation of such rights. Oppose. Senate Transportation and Housing 3/12/15; Failed Deadline

Expedited Jury Trials for Limited Civil Cases. AB 555 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Before amendments, mandated all limited civil cases to be handled as expedited jury trials, with exceptions as to when a party may opt out of the expedited jury trial. Support removed due to July 2, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

ADA Litigation. AB 1521 (Committee on Judiciary) Before amendments, created additional procedural burdens and financial costs for businesses that seek to defend themselves against claims regarding alleged construction-related accessibility standards. Oppose Unless Amended position removed due to September 3, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor
(Urgency)

Patent Litigation Abuse Reform. SB 681 (Hill; D-San Mateo) Before amendments, sought to limit frivolous litigation for alleged patent infringement by prohibiting written communications for compensation that are made in bad faith and based upon inaccurate information regarding the alleged patent violation at issue. Support removed due to May 5, 2015 amendments. No Position. Senate Floor 9/3/15

Other/Miscellaneous

Made in the USA. AB 312 (Jones; R-Santee) Increases marketability of items by changing the California definition of Made in the USA to conform to federal law. Support. Senate Judiciary 6/4/15; Failed Deadline

Made in the USA. SB 633 (Hill; D-San Mateo) Before amendments, increased marketability of items by changing the California definition of Made in the USA to conform to federal law. Removed support based on May 19, 2015 amendments. No Position. Signed 9/1/15—Chapter 238

Privacy and Confidentiality

Stifles Mobile Application Technology Development. SB 576 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Stifles innovation and growth in the mobile application economy and creates unnecessary and costly litigation by mandating unnecessary, redundant and impractical requirements that will leave many current and future mobile applications unusable, with no benefit to the consumer. Oppose/Job Killer. Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development 3/12/15; Failed Deadline

Increased Litigation Exposure and Data Security Costs. AB 83 (Gatto; D-Glendale) Requires employers to provide heightened security to expanded categories of data that do not pose a threat of fraud or identity theft to consumers. Oppose Unless Amended. Senate Inactive File 9/9/15

Increases Litigation Exposure and Costs. SB 570 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, unnecessarily created new litigation exposure on employers for insufficient breach notices and expanded costly breach mitigation service requirements without providing any additional benefits to consumers. Opposition removed due to July 2, 2015 amendments. Neutral. To Governor

Requires Unnecessary and Incomplete Consumer Notifications. AB 964 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) Before amendments, created an arbitrary 30-day deadline for businesses to notify consumers of personal information breaches which would potentially result in premature, incomplete or unnecessary notifications being sent out prior to completion of a breach investigation. Opposition removed due to May 28, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Reduces Frivolous Class Action Lawsuits. AB 925 (Low; D-Campbell) Reduces litigation by removing the arbitrary distinction between land lines and mobile phones under the penal code for nonconfidential business service communications where no personal information is discussed and there is no harm to the consumer. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Stifles Data Security Innovation. AB 322 (Waldron; R-Escondido) Stifles data security innovation and increases costs on businesses without necessarily providing any additional data security by mandating technology-specific data protection measures. Oppose. Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection 4/6/15; Failed Deadline

Personal Information Breach Protection. AB 259 (Dababneh; D-Encino) Protects consumers who use government services by requiring government agencies to provide theft prevention and mitigation services to California residents if certain personal information is breached and conforms these requirements with existing private sector data breach requirements. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Protects Against Cyber Security Threats. AB 739 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Encourages businesses to share information about cyber security threats by precluding lawsuits over the communication of such information. Support. Assembly Judiciary 5/4/15; Failed Deadline

Provides Clarity to Businesses. SB 178 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Modernizes digital surveillance laws and, in doing so, provides clarity to businesses regarding when and how the government can access electronically stored consumer information. Support. To Governor

Extension of Liability for Wrongful Occupation of Land. SB 142 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Expands liability for the wrongful occupation of real property to include operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle below the navigable airspace above someone’s property. Oppose Unless Amended. Vetoed

Procurement

Increased Cost for Contracting with Public Agencies. SB 331 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) Drives up the cost for vendors, suppliers and local government agencies for contracting by creating new contracting requirements if the local agency has adopted transparency provisions or a civic openness in negotiations (COIN) ordinance in regards to the collective bargaining process. Oppose. To Governor

Increased Construction Costs. SB 581 (Cannella; R-Ceres) Increases the already-high cost of housing by requiring prevailing wages be paid for public or private work performed in connection with the installation of solar energy equipment. Oppose. Senate Labor and Industrial Relations 5/14/15

Product Regulation

Protects Businesses from Proposition 65 Lawsuits. AB 1252 (Jones; R-Santee) Provides needed relief to small businesses by prohibiting a person from bringing a Proposition 65 lawsuit against a business employing fewer than 25 employees. Support/Job Creator. Failed Passage in Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials 4/15/15

Reduces Overwarning Under Proposition 65. AB 543 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Provides businesses with greater confidence when conducting scientific exposure assessments by stating that a business does not “knowingly and intentionally” expose individuals to Proposition 65-listed chemicals and thus need not provide a warning if the exposure assessment meets certain requirements. Support. Assembly Rules 4/29/15

New Labeling Mandate. AB 708 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles) Stifles innovation and imposes unnecessary burdens on businesses by requiring manufacturers of specific consumer products to disclose the 20 most prevalent ingredients contained in the product by posting that information on the product label and on the manufacturer’s Internet website without providing any confidential business information protections. Oppose. Assembly Business and Professions 9/11/15

New Labeling Mandate. SB 763 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Unnecessarily alarms consumers by requiring manufacturers of certain juvenile products to provide an on-product label regarding the presence of flame retardants, even if the product does not contain flame retardants. Oppose. Assembly Inactive File 9/4/15

Public Retirement Systems

Retirement Fund Divestiture. SB 185 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Unfairly targets one type of business and potentially jeopardizes retirement funds by prohibiting the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and the Teachers’ Retirement Fund from investing in that industry based on principles unrelated to fiduciary responsibility to the retirees, rather than making investment decisions based on sound economic principles. Oppose. To Governor

Recycling

Increased Recycling Content Mandate. AB 1447 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Discourages food and beverage manufacturing and increases costs by requiring a minimum 10% recycled content for food and beverage packages manufactured or filled in California. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Increases Operational Costs. AB 1063 (Williams; D-Carpinteria) Imposes additional cost burdens on businesses by increasing the tipping fee for waste disposal from $1.40 to $4.00 per ton. Oppose. Senate Environmental Quality 8/17/15

Cigarette Filter Ban. AB 48 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Increases cost to manufacturers and puts California at a disadvantage by banning single-use filtered cigarettes in the state. Oppose. Assembly Governmental Organization 2/17/15; Failed Deadline

Treated Wood Waste Disposal. SB 162 (Galgiani; D-Stockton) Saves tens of millions of dollars each year in disposal costs for businesses and governments that use treated wood products by providing them with the most cost-effective guidance and health-and-safety protection for disposing of treated wood waste. Support. To Governor

Regulatory Reform

Regulatory Reform. AB 12 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Promotes greater accountability, improved efficiency and modernization of regulations by requiring agencies to review and update their regulations. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 8/27/15

Transparency and Accountability. AB 797 (Steinorth; R-Rancho Cucamonga) Before amendments, strengthened the accountability and transparency of the state’s regulatory process, which paves the way to effective and least burdensome regulations by requiring legislative review of major regulations that have an economic impact of $50 million or more. Gutted and amended to a different subject, August 17, 2015. No Position. Senate Rules 8/31/15

Transparency. AB 410 (Obernolte; R-Big Bear Lake) Advances transparency of the state government process to facilitate and encourage public engagement by requiring state agencies to post to their website any document that is required or requested by law to be submitted to a legislative committee. Support. To Governor

Regulatory Reform. AB 19 (Chang; R-Diamond Bar) Creates opportunity for regulations to be less costly and burdensome to small business by requiring ongoing review of regulations primarily affecting small business. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Rulemaking Process. AB 866 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella) Paves the way for less costly and less burdensome regulations for small businesses by encouraging their participation in the rulemaking process through the sharing of contact information for small business organizations with a rulemaking agency by the Office of the Small Business Advocate. Support. Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development 6/11/15

Regulatory Process Assistance. AB 419 (Kim; R-Fullerton) Assists businesses with navigating California’s complex rulemaking process by posting information about the process on the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development website. Support. Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development 6/4/15

Surface Mining and Reclamation Act

Modernizes Operation of Surface Mines. AB 1142 (Gray; D-Merced) Strengthens the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act to promote better communication between government agencies and operators, ensure that mines are inspected by qualified professionals, and clarify due dates for various compliance requirements. Support. Senate Inactive File 9/8/15

Taxation

Increased Tax Rate. SB 684 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Threatens to significantly increase the corporate tax rate on publicly held corporations and financial institutions up to 15% according to the wages paid to employees in the United States, and threatens to increase that rate by 50% thereafter, if the corporation or institution reduces its workforce in the United States and simultaneously increases its contractors. Oppose/Job Killer. Senate Governance and Finance 3/19/15

Split Roll. SCA 5 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Undermines the protections of Proposition 13 by unfairly targeting commercial property owners and increasing their property taxes by assessing their property based upon current fair market value instead of acquired value. Such costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers and tenants through higher prices and will result in job loss as businesses struggle to absorb such a dramatic tax increase. Oppose/Job Killer. Senate Governance and Finance 7/16/15

Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases. ACA 4 (Frazier; D-Oakley) Before amendments, added 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%. Opposition and job killer status removed due to August 17, 2015 amendments. No Position/Former Job Killer. Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/19/15

Targeted Tax. AB 1357 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Threatens jobs in beverage, retail and restaurant industries by arbitrarily and unfairly targeting certain beverages for a new tax in order to fund children’s health programs. Oppose/Job Killer. Failed Passage in Assembly Health 5/12/15

Unfair Discriminatory Tax. SB 591 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Imposes a targeted tax increase on one industry and product to fund health-related programs, which will incentivize further sales in the underground economy that will reduce any revenue received from the tax and create a burden on the General Fund to maintain these new programs. Oppose. Senate Inactive File 6/10/15

Allocation of Targeted Tax Revenue. AB 1396 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Seeks to utilize the revenue from a targeted, discriminating tax against one industry to fund various health-related programs that benefit the general public. Oppose. Assembly Business and Professions 9/8/15

Expansion of Tax Authority. ABX2 10 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Reduces sales and therefore reduces any anticipated revenue for the local entity and state by authorizing cities and counties to impose another targeted tax on one particular industry. Oppose. Assembly Floor 8/27/15

Targeted Tax on Distilled Spirits. ABX2 18 (Bonilla; D-Concord) Imposes an unfair and targeted tax on the sale of distilled spirits to fund services for individuals with developmental disabilities, which are programs that should be funded through the budget with the revenue already generated by existing broad-based taxes. Oppose. Assembly Finance 9/10/15

Expansion of Tax Authority. SBX2 9 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) Reduces sales and therefore reduces any anticipated revenue for the local entity and state by authorizing cities and counties to impose another targeted tax on one particular industry. Oppose. Assembly Desk 8/27/15

Federal Tax Conformity. AB 154 (Ting; D-San Francisco) Eases taxpayer compliance and reduces the chance of penalties generated by error or mistake by creating conformity between state and federal law on several tax-related issues. Support. To Governor

Simplifies Research Tax Credit. AB 544 (Mullin; D-South San Francisco) Simplifies the research tax credit by eliminating outdated and complicated calculation methods and harmonizing the state research credit with the federal research credit. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15

Change of Ownership. AB 567 (Gipson; D-Carson) Infringes on taxpayer confidentiality by specifying that the fact a change of ownership statement has been filed and that the Board of Equalization has made a determination regarding change of ownership status is not confidential. Oppose. Senate Floor 9/8/15

Taxation of Aircrafts. AB 1157 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) Before amendments, subjected aircrafts to uncertainty and administrative burdens by inconsistent assessments in various counties by extending the current property assessment of aircraft carriers. Opposition removed due to May 4, 2015 amendments. No Position. To Governor

Consumer Tax Refund. SB 640 (Beall; D-San Jose) Creates a more efficient refund process by allowing a retailer to assign the right to a refund for sales and use tax to a consumer so that the consumer can apply for a refund directly to the Board of Equalization. Support. Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 8/26/15

Abatement of Penalties. SB 540 (Hertzberg; D-Van Nuys) Seeks to reduce taxpayers’ exposure to financial penalties, fees and interest due to errors made by the Franchise Tax Board. Support. To Governor

Local Governments: Parcel Taxes: Notice. AB 237 (Daly; D-Anaheim) Seeks to provide timely notice to all affected property owners of the potential for a parcel tax on the next upcoming ballot, so that such property owners have the opportunity to inquire and respond to such a proposal. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Payment of Interest on Overpayments. AB 405 (Brough; R-Dana Point) Seeks to create fairness in the tax arena by requiring the state to determine and pay interest on overpayments of taxes in the same manner as the underpayment of taxes. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Illegally Collected Taxes. AB 867 (Wagner; R-Irvine) Provides fairness for taxpayers by requiring the state to automatically refund a tax that a court has deemed illegal. Support. Held in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Suspense File 4/27/15

Airline Property Tax. SB 661 (Hill; D-San Mateo) Creates more consistency and certainty for commercial air carriers by transferring the authority to assess personal property tax of such carriers to the Board of Equalization. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15

Reduction of Penalties. AB 1450 (Chang; R-Diamond Bar) Seeks to reduce taxpayers’ exposure to financial penalties for good faith errors by reducing the current penalty of 25% for the failure to furnish information to the Franchise Tax Board to 10%. Support. Assembly Revenue and Taxation 4/14/15; Failed Deadline

Employer Disaster Relief. SB 35 (Wolk; D-Davis) Assists businesses that have suffered losses as a result of a natural disaster by permitting tax deductions for those losses. Support. Signed 9/1/15—Chapter 230 (Tax Levy)

Encourages Research and Development Investment. AB 437 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Assists small businesses in expanding and creating jobs in the state by providing grants for a percentage of unused R&D credits. Support. To Governor

Rail Car Tax Calculation. SB 357 (Hall; D-Los Angeles) Simplifies reporting requirements for taxpayers by adjusting the assessment calculation method that the Board of Equalization utilizes to determine tax on rail cars under the Private Railroad Car Tax. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15

Telecommunications

Telecommunications. AB 57 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Provides needed reliability in the process for installing the infrastructure essential for improving wireless communication in all of our communities. Support. To Governor

Handheld Electronic Devices. AB 632 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Encourages the recycling of handheld electronic devices by updating the provisions within California’s Second Hand Dealer law to reflect current technologies. Support. Signed 8/11/15—Chapter 169

Tourism

Tourism Stimulus. SB 345 (Berryhill; R-Twain Harte) Helps reverse California’s unprecedented decline in recreational fishing participation, which will increase jobs and tourism in the areas that depend on sport fishing, by changing the way fishing licenses are issued. Support. Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife 6/15/15

Transportation

Enhanced Driver’s License. SB 249 (Hueso; D-San Diego) Encourages international trade and tourism by authorizing the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue enhanced driver licenses to U.S. citizens to expedite legal traffic at the border. Support/Job Creator. To Governor

Increases Transportation and Infrastructure Funding. AB 4 (Linder; R-Corona) Invests in transportation projects by returning approximately $1 billion in vehicle weight fee revenues back to the State Highway Account. Support. Assembly Transportation 1/16/15; Failed Deadline

Independent Contractor Classification. AB 24 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) Increases litigation by unnecessarily classifying the independent contractor relationship between transportation network companies and their drivers as an employer-employee relationship for purposes of the Department of Motor Vehicles employer pull-notice system. Oppose. Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/20/15; Failed Deadline

Transportation Network Companies. AB 828 (Low; D-Campbell) Encourages expansion of the transportation network industry by not including vehicles used for ridesharing within the definition of commercial vehicles. Support. Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications 7/16/15

Unemployment Insurance

Access to Unemployment Insurance Appeals. AB 944 (Obernolte; R-Big Bear Lake) Reduces unemployment insurance benefit claims against employers by expanding employer’s opportunity to participate in or file appeals to unemployment insurance claims through telephone appeal hearings. Support. Assembly Insurance 3/16/15; Failed Deadline

Water Supply and Quality

Drought Budget Trailer. SB 88 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Inappropriately expands State Water Board authority to impose drought monitoring and reporting requirements with no sunset provision, expands local enforcement authority to impose penalties for violations of conservation measures, and expands civil liability authority to any violation of any regulation adopted by the Water Board. Oppose. Signed 6/24/15—Chapter 27 (Budget-Related)

Well Logs. SB 83 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Potentially causes security risks and financial hardships for farmers by publicizing well locations. Oppose Unless Amended. Signed 6/24/15—Chapter 24 (Budget-Related)

Groundwater Adjudication. AB 1390 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Reduces the burdens of adjudications for courts and claimants without altering groundwater rights laws and without disrupting the new groundwater management planning process by making improvements to the judicial proceedings in a groundwater adjudication. Support. To Governor

Groundwater. SB 226 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) As amended September 3, 2015, works in concert with AB 1390 to expedite groundwater adjudications of high- and medium-priority basins without changing groundwater policy or existing water rights. Before amendments, CalChamber opposed because bill negatively affected existing water rights laws and clouded the issue of expedited adjudication by prematurely making significant policy changes to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act before the act is completely implemented. Opposition removed due to September 3 amendments. Support. To Governor

Well Logs. SB 20 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Potentially causes security risks and financial hardships for farmers by publicizing well locations. Oppose. Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife 8/26/15

Water Excise Tax. SB 789 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Drives up costs and creates uncertainty for businesses by authorizing a local public agency to impose an excise tax of up to 300% on an excessive user of water, of which the term is undefined. Oppose. Assembly Local Government 7/2/15

Disclosure. AB 1520 (Committee on Judiciary) Removes protections that safeguard production capacity and other sensitive production data from disclosure to competitors by requiring commercial, industrial and institutional water and energy users to publicly disclose usage supposedly to enforce compliance with water and energy conservation goals. Oppose. Senate Judiciary 7/2/15

Predator Species. AB 1201 (Salas; D-Bakersfield) Potentially alleviates the decline of endangered species in the Delta by directing the Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop and implement a plan to address predatory nonnative species that prey on smelt and salmon. Support. Held in Senate Appropriations 8/27/15

Coastal Commission. SB 798 (Committee on Natural Resources and Water) Before verbal amendment, reduced the number of Coastal Commission meetings to 10 annually, causing conflicts with existing statutory time frames. Opposition removed due to verbal amendments. Neutral. To Governor

Performance Standards. AB 1312 (O’Donnell; D-Long Beach) Ensures ships can comply with state law by delaying implementation of performance standards, which have not been developed, for ballast water. Support. To Governor

Workers’ Compensation

Significant Increase in Workers’ Compensation Costs. SB 563 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Exposes injured workers to potentially inappropriate treatment, undercuts the recent workers’ compensation reforms and significantly increases workers’ compensation costs by eliminating the Utilization Review and Independent Medical Review process for many treatment requests. Oppose/Job Killer. Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File 5/28/15; Failed Deadline

Increases Workers’ Compensation Costs. AB 305 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Increases litigation and frictional costs by expanding workers’ compensation coverage beyond industrial injuries by barring apportionment for some pre-existing injuries or conditions. Oppose. To Governor

Workers’ Compensation Pharmaceutical Formularies. AB 1124 (Perea; D-Fresno) Ensures that clinically appropriate medications are provided to injured workers and begins to combat the overutilization of dangerous and habit-forming prescription drugs by requiring the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to establish a formulary for prescription medications in the workers’ compensation system. Support. To Governor

Protects Victims of the Underground Economy. SB 623 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Ensures that all injured workers receive benefits by clarifying that workers cannot be denied their benefits due to their immigration status. Support. Signed 9/9/15—Chapter 290

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