This report for the second year of the 2017–2018 legislative session focuses on California legislators’ floor votes on California Chamber of Commerce priority bills.
This is the 44th 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 14 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.
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
• AB 2528 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Land Use Restrictions. Potentially limits private land use by expanding areas protected for non-endangered species. Punishes landowners who managed their lands in a way to enhance the habitat of nearby species. Passed Assembly, May 29, 42-32. Passed Senate, August 22, 23-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments August 27, 44-32 (vote shown). Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
• SB 826 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Unconstitutional Board Mandate for Publicly Traded Corporations. Requires a publicly traded corporation to satisfy quotas regarding the number of women on its board or face significant penalties, which is likely unconstitutional, a violation of California’s Civil Rights statute, and a violation of the internal affairs doctrine for publicly held corporations. Passed Assembly, August 29, 41-26. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 30, 23-9. Signed—Chapter 954. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 2361 (Weber; D-San Diego) Onerous Disclosure Requirements. Imposes onerous disclosure requirements on contractors of the University of California that will force public reporting of proprietary information as well as personal employee data, with the threat of barring the contractor from bidding on any contract for five years if the contractor makes a mistake or omission. Passed Assembly, May 31, 54-22. Passed Senate, August 24, 23-13. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 64 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Increased Rates. Arbitrarily requires the Public Utilities Commission to consider elimination of electric-generating facilities that produce any air emissions. Threatens the reliability of the electric grid by eliminating generation needed to meet peak demand. Failed passage in Assembly, August 29, 33-37. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 100 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Increased Energy Costs. Increases the cost of energy and threatens the reliability of the grid by mandating an ambiguous zero-carbon energy by 2045 planning goal and requirements for regulatory agencies in the state. Passed Assembly, August 28, 44-33. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 29, 25-13. Signed—Chapter 312. CalChamber Opposed.
Health Care Costs
• AB 2384 (Arambula; D-Kingsburg) Increases Health Care Premiums. Before amendments, increased health care premiums by mandating medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders and by eliminating all quality control and cost containment mechanisms. Job killer tag removed due to June 14, 2018 amendments, but CalChamber remains opposed. Passed Assembly, May 31, 58-17. Passed Senate August 28, 26-9. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 29, 68-6 (vote shown). Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer 2018.
Housing and Land Use
• AB 2343 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Amends Unlawful Detainer and Eviction Notice Process. Before amendments, would have driven up the cost of providing rental housing in the state by tripling the amount of notice a landlord is required to provide a tenant in order to begin a lawful eviction process, extending the due date for rent to the middle of the month, and allowing a tenant who has joined a “tenant association” to stop paying rent merely by claiming landlord retaliation. Opposition removed due to June 25, 2018 amendments. Passed Assembly, May 31, 42-27 (vote shown). Passed Senate, August 20, 25-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 23, 46-27. Signed—Chapter 260. No Position.
• AB 2732 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) New Labor Code Requirement Subject to Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Creates new onerous requirements for employers to provide a worker bill of rights document to all employees, have them sign it, give them a copy of the signed document, keep the original for three years, and post the document. Passed Senate, August 31, 24-8. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 31, 59-13. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
Industrial Safety and Health
• AB 2963 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Usurps Cal/OSHA Priorities. Requires Cal/OSHA to treat as a serious violation a rule that does not constitute any violation of Cal/OSHA rules, and redirects Cal/OSHA resources which will undermine existing Cal/OSHA priorities. As a result of a blood lead level of employees reported to the Department of Public Health, the bill requires a workplace inspection by Cal/OSHA within three days, as if a serious violation has been reported where none exists. Passed Assembly, May 30, 41-30. Passed Senate, August 28, 23-13. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 30, 43-31 (vote shown). Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
Labor and Employment
• AB 1870 (Reyes; D-Grand Terrace) Extension of Statute of Limitations. Unnecessarily extends the statute of limitations from one year to three years for all discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Passed Assembly, May 29, 57-4. Passed Senate, August 27, 25-10. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 29, 61-9 (vote shown). Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
• AB 2770 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Sexual Harassment Employer/Employee Protection. Codifies case law to ensure victims of sexual harassment and employers are not sued for defamation by the alleged harasser when a complaint of sexual harassment is made and the employer conducts its internal investigation. This bill also provides additional protections to employers by expressly allowing employers to inform potential employers about the sexual harassment investigation and findings. Reducing the cost of frivolous litigation allows an employer to utilize these financial resources to grow its workforce. Passed Assembly, May 7, 72-0. Passed Senate, June 25, 36-0. Signed—Chapter 82. CalChamber Sponsored/Job Creator 2018.
• AB 2946 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Imposes New One-Sided Attorney’s Fee Recovery. Undermines the essence of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement complaint process by requiring a one-sided attorney’s fee provision that will incentivize further litigation. Failed passage in Assembly, May 31, 19-30. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 1284 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Disclosure of Company Pay Data. Requires California employers to submit pay data to state agencies that could give the false impression of pay disparity where none may exist. Agencies are prohibited from releasing company-specific information. Job killer tag removed due to August 8 amendments helping rectify public shaming aspect of the bill, but CalChamber remains opposed due to administrative burden placed on employers. Passed Senate, May 31, 24-13. Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, August 16. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer 2018.
• SB 1300 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Significant Expansion of Harassment Discrimination and Retaliation Liability. Limits the use of nondisparagement agreements and general releases and, through the codified intent language, attempts to restrict the ability to summarily adjudicate harassment claims and attempts to lower the legal standard for actionable harassment claims by providing a directive to the courts on how they should interpret the law. These provisions will significantly increase litigation against California employers and limit their ability to invest in their workforce. Job killer status removed due to August 20, 2018 amendments, but CalChamber remains opposed. Passed Senate, May 31, 22-11. Passed Assembly, August 30, 41-33. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 31, 25-10 (vote shown). Signed—Chapter 955. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer 2018.
Legal Reform and Protection
• AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Ban on Settlement Agreements and Arbitration Agreements. Significantly expands employment litigation and increases costs for employers and employees by banning settlement agreements for labor and employment claims as well as arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment, which is likely preempted under the Federal Arbitration Act and will only delay the resolution of claims. Banning such agreements benefits the trial attorneys, not the employer or employee. Passed Assembly, May 30, 47-25. Passed Senate August 22, 26-12. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2018.
• SB 1249 (Galgiani; D-Stockton) Risks California Jobs and Limits Consumer Options. Before amendments, jeopardized hundreds of thousands of California manufacturing, distribution and retail jobs by effectively banning for sale any cosmetic product whose ingredient was tested on animals for any purpose, by anyone, anywhere in the world. Opposition removed due to August 28, 2018 amendments. Passed Senate, May 30, 21-9 (vote shown). Passed Assembly, August 31, 80-0. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 31, 39-0. Signed—Chapter 899. No Position.
• SB 822 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Net Neutrality. Preempted by federal law and opens the door to a patchwork of unworkable state regulations that will stymie innovation and potentially undermine the backbone of California’s internet economy. Passed Assembly, August 30, 61-18. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 31, 27-12. Signed—Chapter 976. CalChamber Opposed.