This report for the first year of the 2017–2018 legislative session focuses on California legislators’ floor votes on California Chamber of Commerce priority bills.
This is the 43rd vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators.
No vote record can tell the entire story of a legislator’s attitude and actions on issues of importance to business. To fully evaluate your legislative representative, consult the legislative journals and examine your legislator’s votes in committee and on floor issues.
You can view these via links at www.calchambervotes.com.
Many anti-business bills were rejected by legislators in policy or fiscal committees, thus stopping proposals before they reached the floor for a vote. The vote record does not capture these votes.
Most bills in this report cover major business issues that are of concern to both small and large companies.
The CalChamber recognizes that there are many bills supported or opposed by business that are not included in this vote record and analysis.
The CalChamber considers the following factors in selecting vote record bills:
• The bills and votes reflect legislators’ attitudes toward private enterprise, fiscal responsibility and the business climate.
• Each bill was a CalChamber priority in a particular field. Priority bills have appeared in the “Status Report” sections of Alert.
• The bills were voted upon by either the full Senate or Assembly. This year, the vote record covers 16 votes in the Senate and 15 votes in the Assembly.
• Unless otherwise noted, final floor votes are shown. Concurrence votes are considered final votes.
When ‘Not Voting’ Helps
Sometimes a legislator is unwilling to vote against a colleague, but is willing to support the CalChamber’s opposition to a bill. In such cases, a legislator may abstain from voting, which will hinder passage of a bill, just as a “no” vote does.
To recognize that not voting can aid the CalChamber’s opposition to a bill, the vote record includes the number of times legislators did not vote “aye” on a CalChamber-opposed bill in the total for the column listing actions “in accord with” the CalChamber’s position, if the legislator was not absent for the day.
• 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. Passed Assembly, June 1, 45-30. In Senate Rules Committee, Sept. 5. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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. Passed Assembly, Sept. 14, 50-26. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, Sept. 15, 26-11. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 378 (C. Garcia; D-Bell Gardens) Increased Compliance Costs. Increases the cost for compliance and creates additional regulatory burdens for businesses by relying on direct control measures to meet the state’s climate goals. Failed passage in Assembly, June 1, 35-39. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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 Jan. 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 Jan. 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. Passed Senate, May 30, 24-13. In Assembly Rules Committee, Sept. 12. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• 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. Passed Senate, May 31, 25-13. Hearing postponed by Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee, Sept. 11. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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. Passed Assembly, May 31, 50-17. Passed Senate, Sept. 14, 28-12. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
Health Care Costs
• 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. Passed Senate, May 31, 24-15. Assembly Inactive File, Sept. 12. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 562 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Government-Run Health Care. Penalizes responsible employers and individuals and results in significant new taxes on all Californians and California businesses by creating a new single-payer government-run, multibillion-dollar health care system financed by an unspecified and undeveloped “revenue plan.” Passed Senate, June 1, 23-14. Held at Assembly Desk, June 1. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
Housing and Land Use
• AB 890 (Medina; D-Riverside) Outlaws Certain Local Land Use Initiatives. Eliminates Californians’ local initiative power to pursue changes in land use by giving exclusive authority to city councils and county board of supervisors to adopt or amend land use plans, change specified land use or zoning designations, or allow more intensive land uses within existing land use or zoning designations. Passed Senate, Sept. 6, 22-15. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, Sept. 13, 45-30. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
Industrial Safety and Health
• AB 978 (Limón; D-Goleta) Access to Employer Records. Inappropriately allows organizations unaffiliated with the employer to access an undefined and potentially unlimited scope of employer internal documents and circumvents the rulemaking process now underway to provide for access by employees to their employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Passed Senate, Sept. 6, 24-13. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, Sept. 11, 46-28. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
Labor and Employment
• AB 168 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Exposure to Litigation. Exposes employers to costly litigation for inquiring into an applicant’s prior salary or failing to provide a pay scale upon demand, even though the employee has not suffered any harm or wage loss as a result of the violation. Passed Senate, Sept. 12, 27-10. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, Sept. 14, 57-15. Signed—Chapter 688. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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. Passed Senate, Sept. 12, 27-13. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, Sept. 14, 55-20. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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 difference in 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. Passed Senate, Sept. 7, 23-13. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, Sept. 11, 47-23. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• AB 1565 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Significant Cost Increase on Employers and Costly Litigation. Unnecessarily accelerates the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees, which will significantly increase costs, especially on small employers who currently have a delayed increase under the current minimum wage scheduled increases. Passed Assembly, May 30, 53-27. Senate Inactive File, Sept. 16. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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. Passed Assembly, Sept. 12, 51-15. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, Sept. 13, 25-13. Signed—Chapter 686. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
Legal Reform and Protection
• 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, which is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act and will lead to confusion and unnecessary litigation. Passed Assembly, Sept. 5, 46-23. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, Sept. 6, 25-13. Signed—Chapter 480. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
Privacy and Telecommunications
• 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. Passed Senate, Sept. 11, 21-16. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, Sept. 13, 49-28. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
• 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. Passed Assembly, Sept. 13, 46-16. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, Sept. 14, 22-10. Vetoed. CalChamber Supported.
• 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. Passed Assembly, May 31, 61-15. Passed Senate, Sept. 7, 25-11. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.