4 Job Killer Bills Active at Legislature’s Summer Break

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Three Senate job killer bills and one Assembly job killer bill remained active when the Legislature began its summer break on July 21.

In addition, nine tax-related job killer bills remain alive but are not subject to the July 21 deadline. Although they still are eligible for consideration, they are not set for hearings at this time.

The California Chamber of Commerce has identified 25 job killer bills to date.

Still Moving

The following job killers are still moving:

Arbitration Discrimination

SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) Discrimination Against Arbitration Agreements: Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements contained in consumer contracts for goods or services with a financial institution, as broadly defined, which is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act and will lead to confusion and unnecessary litigation.

Increased Labor Costs

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Public Shaming of Employers: Imposes new data collection mandate on California employers to collect and report data to the Secretary of State regarding the mean and median salaries of men and women in the same job title and job description, determine which employees perform “substantially similar” work, and then have that report posted on a publicly accessible website, where such employers will receive undue scrutiny and criticism for wage disparity that is not unlawful and justified by a bona fide factor.

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate: Unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers with as few as 20 employees by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for child bonding and exposes them to the threat of costly litigation.

Increased Unnecessary Litigation Costs

SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Creates Uncertainty and Increases Potential Litigation Regarding Environmental Standards: Creates uncertainty by giving broad and sweeping discretion to state agencies to adopt rules and regulations more stringent than the federal rules and regulations in effect on January 19, 2017 through an expedited administrative procedure, when the State agencies determine that federal action leads to less stringent laws and regulations than those in effect on January 19, 2017; and increases the potential for costly litigation by creating private rights of action under California law, which may be triggered when a state agency takes the foregoing discretionary action.

Tax Increases; Not Subject to Deadline

The following nine tax-related job killer bills are not subject to the July 21 deadline. Although these bills aren’t moving in the Legislature, they could be taken up at any time before the end of the session.

AB 43 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Targeted Tax on Contractors: Unfairly targets one category of taxpayers to fund a benefit for all of the state by imposing a tax on contractors for the privilege of doing business with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and requires the contractor to absorb the cost while maintaining a price of lowest responsible bidder. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File, 5/26/17.

AB 479 (Gonzalez Fletcher: D-San Diego and C. Garcia; D-Bell Gardens) Targeted Tax on Alcohol: Unfairly imposes an additional targeted excise tax on manufacturers, importers, and wholesalers of distilled spirits and a floor tax, that will increase their costs and force them to reduce in other areas, including labor. Failed passage in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, 5/8/17.

AB 1003 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Targeted Tax on Sweetened Beverages: Unfairly imposes a targeted excise tax on distributors of sweetened beverages to fund health-related programs for all, which will force distributors to reduce costs through higher prices to consumers or limiting their workforce. In Assembly Rules; no hearing date set.

AB 1356 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Targeted Tax on High Earners: Unfairly increases the personal income tax rate to 14.3%, the highest in the country, on one category of taxpayers (including sole proprietors), who already pay over half of the income tax revenue to the general fund, forcing them to mitigate costs through means including reducing workforce, in order to fund higher education that will benefit all of California. In Assembly Higher Education Committee; no hearing date set.

AB 1512 (McCarty; D-Sacramento) Targeted Tax on Opioids: Unfairly imposes an excise tax on opioid distributors in California, which will increase their costs and force them to adopt measures that include reducing workforce and increasing drug prices for ill patients who need these medications the most, in order to fund drug prevention and rehabilitation programs that will benefit all of California. In Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee; no hearing date set.

ACA 4 (Aguiar-Curry; D-Winters) Lowers Vote Requirement for New Tax Increases: Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on real property by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, to fund construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure or affordable housing, or the acquisition or lease of real property for public infrastructure or affordable housing, and lowering the vote threshold to impose such new taxes from two-thirds to 55%. Referred to both the Assembly Local Government Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee; no hearing date set.

ACA 11 (Caballero; D-Salinas) Targeted Retail Industry Tax Increase: Exposes the retail industry to increased taxes by imposing a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund affordable housing and homeless shelters, without creating greatly needed market rate housing. Referred to both the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee; no hearing date set.

SB 567 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Multiple Tax Increases on California Employers: Proposes multiple tax increases on California employers, including requiring payment of capital gains on the inheritance of a family business as well as eliminating a deduction for corporations with regard to CEO compensation, when California already has the highest personal income tax and sales tax rates in the country, as well as one of the highest corporate tax rates, which will discourage job growth in California. Senate Inactive File, 6/1/17.

SCA 6 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases: Adds 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%. Held under submission in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File, 5/25/17; no hearing date scheduled.

Recently Stopped

A job killer bill discriminating against arbitration agreements in hospital contracts was never brought up for a hearing in the Assembly Health Committee, missing the deadline to advance this year. SB 538 (Monning; D-Carmel) would have restricted the formation of antitrust arbitration agreements in hospital contracts, leading to costly litigation over preemption by the Federal Arbitration Act.

CalChamber identified SB 538 as a job killer because if enacted, it would have led to many legal challenges regarding its validity, resulting in more litigation tying up the court system, increasing litigation costs and driving businesses out of business.

The bill is eligible to be reconsidered in January 2018.

Next Deadline

The next significant deadline for the job killer bills is September 1, the date by which fiscal committees must send the bills along for consideration by the entire Senate or Assembly.

For more information on the remaining job killer bills, visit www.CAJobKillers.com.

Reminder: Law Requires Electronic Filing/Payment of Payroll Taxes
U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Input on Federal Overtime Exemptions
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