The California Chamber of Commerce this week added four more bills to its job killer list, bringing the total number of bills identified this year to 28.
The job killer bills that will lead to higher energy prices and transform unemployment insurance into a political tool won approval from legislative policy committees this week. Still to be considered are one of the steepest tax increases ever considered in California and a bill exposing businesses to costly litigation for alleged gender-based price discrimination.
The new additions to the list are:
• AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Would eliminate thousands of high-paying California jobs and require California to import even more foreign oil by banning new oil and gas development, re-drilling operations, and rework operations if they are located within 2,500 feet of specified structures and facilities and authorizes local governments to enact even farther setback requirements that can exceed 2,500 feet with no limitation.
The CalChamber has identified AB 345 as a job killer because energy policies aimed at banning in-state natural gas and oil production will result in increased oil and gas imports, higher energy costs for residents, less tax revenue for the state, fewer in-state jobs and negative environmental and labor practices.
AB 345 passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 22, 7-3, and will be considered next by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
• AB 1066 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Would significantly increase costs on employers engaged in a trade dispute by allowing employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than two weeks, incentivizing strikes and transforming unemployment insurance into a political tool in trade disputes.
The CalChamber has identified AB 1066 as a job killer because it will expose employers to a significant cost increase during a time in which they are already struggling with the financial impact of labor negotiations and a strike, thereby jeopardizing the employers’ ability to maintain existing jobs and wages as well as the increased wages and benefits demanded by the union.
AB 1066 passed the Assembly Insurance Committee on April 24, 8-2, and will be considered next by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
• SB 37 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Proposes one of the steepest corporate tax increases ever contemplated in California. The bill requires that for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, the rate for corporations with net income of $10 million or more be revised to instead impose a tax rate from 10.84% to 14.84%, or for financial institutions, from 12.84% to 16.84%, based on the compensation ratio of CEOs to employees of the corporation. This measure would bring the top tax rate for some companies to 22.26%, about 150% higher than today’s rate. The bill goes beyond what was contemplated in last year’s SB 1398 (Skinner; D-Berkeley), also tagged a job killer, which failed to pass out of the Senate policy committee.
The CalChamber has identified SB 37 as a job killer because the measure will result in companies offsetting the costs of these steep tax increases by reducing their presence (and taxable exposure) in California.
SB 37 has not yet been scheduled for hearing.
• SB 320 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Exposes businesses to costly litigation for a consumer’s assertion that any price difference on “substantially similar” goods, even a nominal amount, is based on gender and therefore the consumer is entitled to a minimum of $4,000.
The CalChamber has identified SB 320 as a job killer because of the private right of action with an automatic $4,000 for any violation. Although a business may very well be able to prove the price charged for a particular product was based on a gender-neutral reason, the cost of litigation to prove that defense would be significant.
SB 320 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 30. Similar versions of this proposal have failed to pass through the Legislature.
For more information on the bill, see the Capitol Insider blog post at capitolinsider.calchamber.com.