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 international proposals.

The CalChamber will publish a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate on November 6. 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, 2016. Urgency and tax measures went into effect immediately upon being signed.

Federal bills are marked with an *.

Status of bills as of October 11, 2015.

Download a Print Friendly PDF report here.

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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. Vetoed

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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 625

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. Signed—Chapter 406

Food Safety Education. AB 384 (Perea; D-Fresno) Continues a successful food safety education and training program funded by industry. Support. Signed—Chapter 477

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. Signed—Chapter 478

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—Chapter 52

Climate Change

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. Signed—Chapter 604

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. Signed—Chapter 321

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. Signed—Chapter 608

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—Chapter 189

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. Signed—Chapter 427

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. Signed—Chapter 319

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. Signed—Chapter 448

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. Signed—Chapter 618

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. Signed—Chapter 437

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—Chapter 94

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. Signed—Chapter 547

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. Signed—Chapter 590

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. Signed—Chapter 599

Environmental Regulation

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. Signed—Chapter 611

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. Signed—Chapter 460

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. Signed—Chapter 594

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—Chapter 108

Health

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. Signed—Chapter 619

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, 2015 amendments eliminating authorization for state regulators to veto or unilaterally alter large-group rate changes, but CalChamber remains opposed. Oppose/Former Job Killer. Signed—Chapter 801

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)

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. Signed—Chapter 621

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. Signed—Chapter 405

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. Signed—Chapter 641

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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 438

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. Signed—Chapter 686

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. Signed—Chapter 742

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. Signed—Chapter 751

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. Vetoed

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 reauthorize 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. Vetoed

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. Vetoed

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. Signed 10/2/15—Chapter 445 (Urgency)

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—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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 783

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. Vetoed

Gender Equity Pay Act. SB 358 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, would have created a vague and ambiguous standard regarding the payment of wages to employees performing comparable duties, as well as a virtually impossible standard to satisfy any differential in payment based upon a strict definition of business necessity. After amendments, supported the bill as it clarified ambiguous standards, and balanced the payment of equal wages for substantially similar job duties, while still maintaining an employer’s ability to control the workforce and payment of higher wages for legitimate reasons other than gender. Support. Signed—Chapter 546

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. Signed—Chapter 739

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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 800

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. Signed—Chapter 802

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. Signed—Chapter 803

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. Signed 10/5/15—Chapter 506 (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. Vetoed

ADA Reform. AB 1342 (Steinorth; R-Rancho Cucamonga) Encourages employers to hire a Certified Access Specialist to inspect their property for compliance with California’s construction-related accessibility standards, which will improve access and limit frivolous litigation. Support. Vetoed

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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 418

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—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—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. Vetoed

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 by the party to whom it is offered against. Support. Signed—Chapter 55

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—Chapter 32

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. Signed—Chapter 330

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. Signed 10/10/15—Chapter 755 (Urgency)

Other/Miscellaneous

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—Chapter 238

Privacy and Confidentiality

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. Signed—Chapter 543

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. Signed—Chapter 522

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. Signed—Chapter 651

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. Signed—Chapter 714

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. Signed—Chapter 605

Recycling

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. Signed—Chapter 351

Regulatory Reform

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. Vetoed

Taxation

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. Signed—Chapter 359

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. Signed—Chapter 440

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. Signed—Chapter 541

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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 685

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—Chapter 169

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. Vetoed

Increases Public Safety. AB 1422 (Cooper; D-Elk Grove) Increases public and rider safety by allowing transportation network companies to participate in the Department of Motor Vehicle’s pull-notice program, which provides constant updates of driver records. Support. Signed—Chapter 791

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. Signed—Chapter 672

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. Signed—Chapter 676

Coastal Commission. SB 798 (Committee on Natural Resources and Water) Before amendments, reduced the number of Coastal Commission meetings to 10 annually, causing conflicts with existing statutory time frames. Opposition removed due to July 6, 2015 amendments. Neutral. Signed—Chapter 683

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. Signed—Chapter 644

Workers’ Compensation

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. Vetoed

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. Signed—Chapter 525

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—Chapter 290

Governor Acts to Limit Litigation, Maintain Fiscal Prudence
Sick Leave Waiting Periods May Not Be Imposed on Existing Employees
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