Just Four Job Killers Move to Second House by June 3

JobKillerOnly four job killer bills subject to the June 3 deadline for bills to pass the house in which they were introduced have moved on to the second house. The remaining four subject to the deadline were stopped or amended on the Assembly Floor.

The deadline was waived for a fifth bill before amendments led to the California Chamber of Commerce removing the job killer tag while remaining opposed.

Job Killers Stopped

Strong opposition from the CalChamber and the business community helped to stop the following two job killers from passing the Assembly:

AB 2667 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Arbitration Agreements Discrimination: Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements and therefore is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act, which will lead to confusion and litigation, by prohibiting arbitration of Unruh Civil Rights violations made as a condition of a contract for goods or services. Fell short of votes needed to pass Assembly.

AB 2879 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Employment Arbitration Agreements Discrimination: Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements and is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act, which will lead to confusion and litigation, by prohibiting an employer from requiring an individual who is a member of the military to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. Never brought up for a vote by entire Assembly and therefore missed deadline to pass house in which it was introduced.

Job Killers Amended

Two job killer bills were amended on the Assembly Floor to remove the job killer tags.

• Before the June 1 amendments, AB 2748 (Gatto; D-Glendale) eliminated incentives to settle lawsuits and instead exposed businesses to multiple rounds of litigation at great expense to the parties and the courts by creating statutory prohibitions on “release” clauses in settlements pertaining to “environmental disasters.”

The amendments made clarifications and narrowed the bill to apply only to the Porter Ranch area gas leak or to contamination surrounding the Exide Technologies facility, but CalChamber remains opposed.

• Also amended on the Assembly Floor was AB 2729 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara/ Thurmond; D-Richmond), which would have jeopardized the production of California-based fuel supply and increased costs to the industry by revising the definition of an idle well and requiring permanent closure of 25% of California’s long-term idle wells each year.

The June 1 amendments establish a reasonable closure rate by requiring operators with 250 to 1,000 wells to close 5% of their long-term idle wells each year until they have no more long-term idle wells.

CalChamber has no position on AB 2729.

AB 2502 (Mullin; D-South San Francisco/Chiu; D-San Francisco) was granted a rule waiver by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and therefore will return to the Assembly Local Government Committee. This action also exempts the bill from the June 3 deadline to pass the house in which it was introduced. The CalChamber removed the job killer tag for AB 2502 following June 2 amendments clarifying that the terms of the bill do not apply to for sale housing, but remains opposed.

AB 2502 increases the cost and reduces the supply of housing by authorizing local governments as a condition of development to impose a costly and inflexible price-controlled inclusionary housing requirement and, in doing so, legislatively repeals an established court decision upholding developers’ ability to set initial rental rates for new dwelling units.

Job Killers in Second House

Moving on to the second house are the following CalChamber-opposed job killer bills:

Affordable Housing Barriers

SB 1150 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Erodes Housing Availability: Increases liability risk and the cost of residential loans by allowing a party not on the mortgage loan to interfere with appropriate foreclosures and creates a private right of action for violations of overly complex and burdensome requirements. To Assembly.

SB 1318 (Wolk; D-Davis) Erodes Housing Affordability: Inappropriately leverages necessary affordable housing in order to solve infrastructure issues with the consequence that the housing won’t be built by imposing requirements on water or waste water districts to serve certain communities first. To Assembly.

Increased Labor Costs

SB 1166 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate: Unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers with as few as 10 employees, as well as large employers with 50 or more employees, by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for maternity or paternity leave, and exposes all employers to the threat of costly litigation. To Assembly.

Meritless Litigation

SB 899 (Hueso; D-San Diego) Increased Meritless Litigation Costs: Drives up consumer costs and increases frivolous litigation similar to the disability access lawsuits in California, by prohibiting a retailer or grocery store from discriminating against a person on the basis of gender with the price of goods and subjecting them to a minimum $4,000 of damages for each violation. Assembly Judiciary Committee.