Nineteen of 24 job killer bills identified this year by the California Chamber of Commerce were stopped before the 2016 legislative session came to a close on August 31, thanks to concerted efforts of CalChamber, local chambers and the business community.
Many job killer bills were the focus of rigorous debate and controversy. Below is a recap on the highest profile job killer bills that were still active in the last two weeks of session.
To Governor; Action Needed
Four job killers are on the Governor’s desk. The CalChamber is urging its members to contact Governor Brown and ask him to veto SB 654, SB 839 and SB 1150. Sample letters at calchambervotes.com.
Below is a summary of each bill:
• SB 654 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which threatens to significantly harm small businesses in California who employ as few as 20 employees by imposing yet another protected leave of absence mandate, passed the Senate on August 31. CalChamber has identified SB 654 as a job killer because it will significantly harm small businesses in California who employ as few as 20 employees by requiring them to offer six weeks of protected leave for baby bonding. This proposed mandate comes on top of the current requirement that employers with only 5 employees allow 16 weeks of protected pregnancy-related leave.
• CalChamber-opposed language that significantly increases permit processing costs has been inserted into a budget trailer bill, which has been designated as a job killer. SB 839 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) 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 (DTSC) 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.
• SB 1150 (Leno; D-San Francisco) has been identified as a job killer because it increases liability risk and the cost of residential loans by subjecting the violations of overly complex and burdensome requirements to a private right of action.
The availability of credit will be compromised. If lenders must assume more risk for loans, which they will under the mandates in SB 1150, mortgage loans will become more expensive. These costs will be passed on to many Californians, pricing them out of homeownership. Some lenders may choose to leave the mortgage lending market, leading to job losses and even more limited loan availability. Already the high cost of housing in California makes it difficult for employers to attract and retain a workforce.
2030 Carbon Caps to Become Law
The California Legislature moved swiftly in August to adopt legislation expanding climate change emission goals.
SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) mandates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 with no consideration of the economic side effects or ongoing oversight for the Legislature.
The CalChamber labeled SB 32 a job killer because it requires the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to impose severe command-and-control regulations to further reduce GHG emissions.
Also passed was a CalChamber-opposed companion measure, AB 197 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella), which creates the guise of regulatory accountability and legislative oversight regarding the blank check granted to the ARB for implementing the post-2020 climate change goals.
Following final passage of both bills, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), joined the authors of both bills at an August 24 press conference to tout the state’s leadership in combating climate change.
The Governor signed both bills, which passed by simple majority votes, on September 8.
For more detailed information on SB 32 and AB 197, see the August 26 CalChamber Alert story on the bills.
Held on Senate Floor
A job killer bill that would have exposed employers to excessive, costly litigation was held on the Senate Floor inactive file.
AB 2895 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina) would have inappropriately exposed employers to increased litigation costs by adding a private right of action, the risk of class action lawsuits and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims related to the employer’s written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) by requiring employers to provide their employees or their representative a written copy of the IIPP, a violation of which, in certain circumstances is subject to injunctive relief.
CalChamber identified AB 2895 as a job killer because the bill imposed a new private right of action, an enforcement action that provides free discovery for trial attorneys, and increased the risk of class action lawsuits—all at a cost to employers where there is no risk or harm to employees.
Job Killer Signed
One job killer bill, SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco), which will increase the minimum wage in California to $15 per hour by 2022 (2023 for companies employing 25 or fewer people since there is a one-year implementation delay for small business), was sent to the Governor in April and was signed into law.
Cumulative Job Killer Vetoes
• 2016: 24 job killers identified, 5 sent to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., 2 signed, and 3 pending action;
• 2015: 19 job killer bills identified, 3 sent to Governor Brown, 1 signed, 2 vetoed;
• 2014: 27 job killer bills identified, 2 sent to Governor Brown, 2 signed;
• 2013: 38 job killer bills identified, 1 sent to Governor Brown, 1 signed;
• 2012: 32 job killer bills identified, 6 sent to Governor Brown, 2 vetoed;
• 2011: 30 job killer bills identified, 5 sent to Governor Brown, 4 vetoed;
• 2010: 43 job killer bills identified, 12 sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 10 vetoed;
• 2009: 33 job killer bills identified, 6 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 6 vetoed;
• 2008: 39 job killer bills identified, 10 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 9 vetoed;
• 2007: 30 job killer bills identified, 12 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 12 vetoed;
• 2006: 40 job killer bills identified, 11 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 9 vetoed;
• 2005: 45 job killer bills identified, 8 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 7 vetoed;
• 2004: 23 job killer bills identified, 10 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 10 vetoed;
• 2003: 53 job killer bills identified, 13 sent to Governor Gray Davis, 2 vetoed;
• 2002: 35 job killer bills identified, 17 sent to Governor Davis, 5 vetoed;
• 2001: 12 job killer bills identified, 5 sent to Governor Davis, 2 vetoed;
• 2000: No job killers identified. Of 4 bad bills identified at end of session, Governor Davis signs 2 and vetoes 2;
• 1999: 30 job killer bills identified, 9 sent to Governor Davis, 3 vetoed;
• 1998: 64 job killer bills identified, 11 sent to Governor Pete Wilson, 11 vetoed;
• 1997: 57 job killer bills identified, 9 sent to Governor Wilson, 9 vetoed.