Suspense File Recap: Many Harmful Bills Stopped, But Many Remain; Several Helpful Bills Move

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Strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce helped to stop numerous harmful bills from continuing past the appropriations committees on Friday to reach the Senate or Assembly Floors; however, CalChamber continues to fight a number of proposals that if passed could hurt job creation.

Of the 25 identified job killer bills, just four are still actively moving.

The following is a list of bills that were on the suspense files and considered by the Senate or Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday, September 1.

Legislators have until Friday, September 15 to pass and send legislation to the Governor’s desk for consideration.

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

AB 425 (Caballero; D-Salinas) Roads — Facilitates forest management and dead tree removal by allowing temporary roads for use with the Forest Fire Prevention Pilot Program. Support. To Senate Floor.

AB 816 (Kiley; R-Granite Bay) Small Business Participation — Encourages small business and farmers to participate in regulatory hearings through webcasts to provide input on proposals that affect them. Support. No vote taken. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

SB 188 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Lost Oil Production — Threatens oil production in the state by prohibiting any new production and eventually forcing closure of existing oil-related infrastructure. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

Education

AB 1111 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella) Workforce Development — Increases California’s skilled workforce by authorizing a competitive grant program to assist individuals who face multiple barriers to employment and provide them with remedial education and work readiness skills to prepare them for training, educational, apprenticeship or employment opportunities. Support. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17. CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

SB 574 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Jeopardizes State Workforce Goals — Unnecessarily impedes the ability of the University of California (UC) to use its restricted state funding in the most efficient manner possible to continue expanding enrollment without compromising on the quality of the education it provides or substantially increasing the state’s General Fund contribution by placing unreasonable restrictions on when the UC may contract for services. Oppose. Amended in Assembly Appropriations Committee, 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Assembly Floor.

SB 769 (Hill; D-San Mateo) Expands Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program — Optimizes capacity and performance by extending a pilot program in the California Community College System allowing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree programs in a subject area related to an unmet workforce need in its local community that does not overlap with any degree programs offered at nearby postsecondary institutions. Support. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

Energy

SB 100 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Increased Energy Costs — Increases the cost of energy by creating an ambiguous zero-carbon energy by 2045 planning goal and requirements for regulatory agencies in the state. Oppose. To Assembly Floor.

SB 356 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Threatens Grid Reliability and Safety — Threatens the safety and reliability of California’s transmission grid by requiring the release of security-sensitive and market-sensitive data. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

SB 520 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) Increased Energy Costs — Increases the cost for energy in California by allowing for intervenors to collect compensation for engaging at the California Independent System Operator. Oppose. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

Hazardous Waste

AB 245 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Increases Costs to and Creates Uncertainty for Hazardous Waste Permit Operators — Imposes unnecessary new costs on hazardous waste permit operators by requiring a public hearing be held within 90 days of the submittal of a hazardous waste permit renewal application, notwithstanding the multiple existing opportunities for public review; and creates uncertainty regarding the application of ambiguous language relating to the adequacy of financial assurances to be reviewed every five years. Oppose. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

AB 246 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Increased Indirect Costs and Likely Processing Delays for Hazardous Waste Permit Operators — Imposes unnecessary and substantial new indirect costs on hazardous waste permit operators and will likely result in further delays in permit processing by requiring the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), in consultation with air pollution control and air quality management districts, to assess all hazardous waste permitted facilities to determine if fence-line or other monitoring is necessary or available, and to provide a report on the assessment to the Legislature by September 1, 2018, notwithstanding the fact that DTSC has existing authority to require such conditions on a case-by-case basis. Oppose. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing proposed amendments. Bill referred to Senate Rules Committee.

AB 1179 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Increased Costs and Likely Processing Delays for Hazardous Waste Permit Operators — Prematurely and unnecessarily imposes new costs on hazardous waste permit operators and will likely result in further delays in permit processing by arbitrarily setting inspection frequencies for certain facilities and directing the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to adopt regulations setting inspection frequencies for all facilities, notwithstanding the fact that DTSC is currently reforming its enforcement program at the regulatory level. Oppose. To Senate Floor.

AB 1646 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Burdensome Regulations — Requires additional burdensome regulations to refineries by mandating they install audible alarm systems as well as an emergency alert system for residents, schools, public facilities, hospitals and residential care homes for an unspecified distance around a petroleum refinery to be determined by the relevant local unified program agency. Oppose Unless Amended. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17. CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) JOB KILLER: 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 without public participation or input, 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. Oppose. Amended in Assembly Appropriations Committee 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Assembly Floor.

SB 465 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Repeals Technical Advisory Group on Oil and Gas Development — Inappropriately repeals a long-standing effective advisory group providing technical advice to the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources on production efficiency and reservoir protection and replaces it with an advisory council of at least 16 members, envisioned to include individuals with no technical expertise in such pertinent functions. Oppose. To Assembly Floor.

SB 774 (Leyva; D-Chino) Upends Organizational Structure at Department of Toxic Substances Control — Creates substantial uncertainty for hazardous waste permit operators by establishing the California Toxic Substances Board within the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), with hiring/firing powers over the Director and various powers and duties relating to hazardous waste facilities permits and sites, including the ability to, following a review of documents submitted, information presented, and testimony taken at a hearing, direct the Director to require that certain conditions be placed on a permit to address perceived hazards to public health or the environment, notwithstanding the extensive record compiled and developed by staff during the preceding years. Oppose. To Assembly Floor.

Health

SB 349 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Increases Health Care Costs — Increases health care costs by setting dialysis clinic staffing ratios to the most stringent in the country and mandating transition times between patients leading to patient access issues with no clear evidence of clinical benefit to dialysis patients. Oppose. To Assembly Floor.

Housing and Land Use

AB 915 (Ting; D-San Francisco) Creates Disincentive to Housing Development — Increases the cost of housing development by requiring local governments to count the added density bonus units when they calculate the total number of affordable units required for the development and, thereby, forcing a developer to include an additional number of affordable units in exchange for a density bonus. Oppose. No vote taken. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

AB 943 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Discourages No Growth/Development Ordinances — Discourages no growth/development ordinances and promotes new housing construction by requiring that an ordinance to curb, delay, or deter growth or development in certain areas of a city and/or county, and under certain conditions, receive a 55% vote to become effective. Support. No vote taken. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

Immigration

AB 450 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Employer Liability — Places employers in a no-win situation between federal immigration enforcement and state enforcement by punishing employers—rather than providing tools and resources for employees when federal immigration enforcement appears at their workplace regardless of whether a violation of law has been committed by the employer. Oppose. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17. CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

Labor and Employment

AB 569 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Pregnancy Discrimination — Creates a new mandate in the Labor Code, prohibiting employers from taking any adverse employment action against an employee due to the employee’s use of various medical options for reproductive health, even though the Fair Employment and Housing Act currently provides these protections to employees, thereby creating inconsistencies and confusion amongst employers with regard to interpretation and enforcement of these competing provisions. Oppose. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

AB 1008 (McCarty D; Sacramento) Increased Litigation — Exposes employers to increased litigation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for utilizing relevant criminal history of an applicant in its employment decisions to maintain safety in its workplace. Oppose Unless Amended. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher D; San Diego) JOB KILLER: Public Shaming of California 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. Oppose. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee 9/01/17, CalChamber is reviewing the proposed amendments. To Senate Floor.

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) JOB KILLER: 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. Oppose. To Assembly Floor.

SB 306 (Hertzberg; D-Van Nuys) Labor Commissioner Enhanced Authority — Unnecessarily allows the Labor Commissioner to seek injunctive relief before completing an investigation and determining retaliation has occurred, as well as requiring an employer to pay the costs and fees of the Labor Commissioner to pursue a civil action for retaliation, even if the claim lacks merit, as well as exposes employers to a daily $100 penalty, capped at $20,000 for a posting violation. Oppose. To Assembly Floor.

Legal Reform and Protection

AB 814 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Unfair Competition Litigation — Unnecessarily expands the significant authority to issue pre-litigation subpoenas to city attorneys in cities with more than 750,000, even though the District Attorney and Attorney General have this authority and there is no need to expand it to any further agencies. Oppose. To Senate Floor.

AB 859 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Reduction of Evidentiary Standards for Elder Abuse — Increases unnecessary litigation for alleged elder abuse by allowing the opportunity for a plaintiff to reduce the evidentiary standard from clear and convincing evidence to preponderance of evidence if evidence is lost or destroyed. Oppose Unless Amended. To Senate Floor.

Privacy and Technology

AB 1513 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Licensee Private Information — Inappropriately makes the contact information for all home healthcare licensees available to labor organizations for the stated purpose of unionizing. Oppose. To Senate Floor.

Government Contracting

AB 86 (Calderon; D-Whittier) Entrepreneur Assistance to State — Creates the opportunity for government operations to improve policies in new and efficient ways from volunteer entrepreneurs, at no cost to the state. Support. No vote taken. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles) Costly County Contractor Process — Imposes a cost to contractors with county contracts, subjects contractor and subcontractor employees’ private information to Public Records Act requests, and seeks to severely limit options for these counties to determine the most appropriate solution to providing efficient and effective public service by establishing significant and costly obstacles for agencies and for vendors contracting for personal services. Oppose. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee, 9/01/17. CalChamber is reviewing proposed amendments. Referred to Senate Rules.

Product Regulation

AB 1583 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) Greater Transparency in Proposition 65 Cases — Promotes transparency and fairness by allowing the alleged Proposition 65 violator to obtain the factual basis for the Certificate of Merit through normal civil discovery procedures. Support. To Senate Floor.

Telecommunications

SB 649 (Hueso: D-San Diego) 5G Wireless Rollout — Maintains California’s leading edge of new technology by providing more uniform permit cost and procedure for 5G small cell installation in public rights of way. Support. Amended in Senate Appropriations Committee. CalChamber is reviewing proposed amendments. To Assembly Floor.

Tourism

SB 187 (Berryhill; R-Twain Harte) Tourism Stimulus — 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. Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

Water Supply and Quality

AB 1000 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Water Conveyance — Prohibits new water projects in a specific part of the state by adding more unnecessary and unreasonable permit requirements for water conveyance. Oppose. No vote taken. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File.

SB 623 (Monning; D-Carmel) Water Tax — Unfairly imposes a discriminatory tax on businesses to fund projects for which they receive no benefit. Oppose. The bill has been made a 2-year bill and referred to the Assembly Rules Committee.

Workers’ Compensation

AB 570 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Apportionment to Pre-existing Disability — Violates the fundamental agreement between worker and employers by requiring employers to compensate injured workers for disability that has not, with medical certainty, resulted from a workplace injury. Oppose. To Senate Floor.

Dialysis Clinic Staffing Ratio Bill Stopped
Bill Attacks Equal Pay Deal, Expands Litigation Chances
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