This edition of Alert presents a recap of floor votes taken on job killer bills before the Legislature’s summer recess, as well as 2015 votes on a couple of job killer bills that still could be taken up this year.
Strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and allies has stopped a number of job killer bills, including two that failed in Assembly floor votes. Just nine job killer proposals remain alive for consideration when legislators return from their summer break on August 1.
The full list and current status of the 23 job killer bills identified this year appear at www.CAJobKillers.com.
Below are the bills covered in this interim job killer vote record.
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. Passed Senate, June 1, 21-14. Assembly Floor.
• 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. Passed Senate, June 2, 23-13. Held in Assembly Local Government Committee, June 9; Failed Deadline.
• AB 2667 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Consumer Arbitration Agreement 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 consumer contract for goods or services. Failed passage in Assembly, May 31, 38-36.
Burdensome Environmental Regulation
• SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Slows Economic Growth: 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. Passed Senate, June 3, 2015, 24-15. Failed passage in Assembly, September 8, 2015, 30-35. Reconsideration granted. Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing, August 3.
• SB 654 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Creates Unworkable Hazardous Waste Permitting Process: 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. Passed Senate, June 4, 2015, 21-16. Assembly Inactive File, September 8, 2015; Failed Deadline.
Economic Development Barriers
• AB 1611 (Committee on Budget) Increased Permit Processing Costs: Significantly increases the costs of permitting aerospace, recycling, oil and gas, and other critical waste facilities by eliminating permit applicants’ option to be charged a predictable flat permitting fee and instead giving the Department of Toxic Substances Control carte blanche to charge whatever fee it determines, notwithstanding well-recognized and self-acknowledged deficiencies in DTSC’s current permitting program that have resulted in excessive delays in permit processing. Passed Senate, June 27, 23-13. Assembly concurrence in Senate amendments pending.
• SB 839 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Increased Permit Processing Costs: Significantly increases the costs of permitting aerospace, recycling, oil and gas, and other critical waste facilities by eliminating permit applicants’ option to be charged a predictable flat permitting fee and instead giving the Department of Toxic Substances Control carte blanche to charge whatever fee it determines, notwithstanding well-recognized and self-acknowledged deficiencies in DTSC’s current permitting program that have resulted in excessive delays in permit processing. Passed Assembly, June 16, 48-28. Senate concurrence in Assembly amendments pending.
Increased Labor Costs
• SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase: Unfairly imposes a potential 50% increase in the minimum wage by 2022 (actually an 87% increase over an 8-year period when combined with the last increase just implemented in January 2016), and automatically adjusts minimum wage beyond 2018 according to national inflation, with no “offramps” to suspend the indexing if employers are struggling with other economic factors or costs. Passed Assembly, March 31, 48-26. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, March 31, 26-12. Signed April 4—Chapter 4, Statutes of 2016.
• 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. Passed Senate, June 1, 22-14. Failed passage in Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, June 22.
• AB 2748 (Gatto; D-Glendale) Increases Environmental Litigation. Eliminates incentives to settle lawsuits and instead exposes 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.” Job killer tag removed due to June 2 amendments, which 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. Failed passage in Assembly before amendments, May 5, 30-32 (vote shown). Amended bill passed Assembly, June 2, 53-18. Passed Senate Environmental Quality Committee, June 29, 5-2
• SB 899 (Hueso; D-San Diego) Increased Frivolous Litigation: 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. Passed Senate, May 26, 22-12. Held in Assembly Judiciary Committee, June 28.