This report for the first year of the 2019–2020 legislative session focuses on California legislators’ floor votes on California Chamber of Commerce priority bills.
This is the 45th 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 Alert “Status Reports.”
• The bills were voted upon by either the full Senate or Assembly. This year, the vote record covers 18 votes in the Senate and 20 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 1783 (Robert Rivas; D-Hollister) Farmworker Housing. Imposes a more rigorous process on the development of farmworker housing than all other types of affordable housing. Passed Senate, September 10, 27-10. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 11, 57-16. Signed—Chapter 866. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 347 (Monning; D-Carmel) Warning Labels. Increases frivolous liability claims and exposes beverage manufacturers and food retailers to fines and penalties by mandating state-only labeling requirements for sugar-sweetened drinks. Passed Senate, May 23, 21-11. In Assembly Health Committee. CalChamber Opposed.
Banking and Finance
• AB 857 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Significant Risk to Taxpayer Dollars and Community Investment. Before amendments, jeopardized taxpayer dollars, community banks, and funding for small businesses that create jobs in local communities, by allowing the creation of local public banks. Job killer tag removed due to recent amendments but CalChamber still opposes as public banks would compete with existing commercial banks. Passed Senate, September 11, 25-11. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 13, 42-29. Signed—Chapter 442. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer 2019.
• AB 1195 (O’Donnell; D-Long Beach) Encourages Technological Innovation. Allows credit under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to innovative crude technologies, including carbon capture and sequestration, energy storage, and renewable natural gas or biogas. Passed Senate, September 5, 33-6. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 10, 61-14. Vetoed. CalChamber Supported/Job Creator 2019.
• AB 23 (Burke; D-Inglewood) Workforce Coordination. Establishes the Business Workforce Coordination Unit, which will help provide California with a workforce that is employment-ready and trained in industry sectors that have the greatest workforce needs. Passed Senate, September 11, 40-0. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 12, 79-0. Vetoed. CalChamber Supported/Job Creator 2019.
• ACA 14 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) 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 by placing an unreasonable contract prohibition on the UC for support services. Adopted by Assembly, June 24, 57-12. Refused adoption in Senate, September 14, 23-12. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 1451 (Low; D-Campbell) Prohibits Compensation on a Per Signature Basis. By making it harder to qualify ballot measures, Californians would be denied the right to address grievances with government through initiatives, referendums and recalls. Passed Senate, September 10, 24-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 11, 58-18. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 1083 (Burke; D-Inglewood) Promotes Transparency. Increases transparency and guides development of energy policy by having the California Council on Science and Technology review and provide analysis on pending legislation, thereby disclosing impacts to ratepayers. Passed Senate, September 11, 39-0. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 12, 77-0. Signed—Chapter 818. CalChamber Supported.
• AB 161 (Ting; D-San Francisco) Paper Receipt Ban. Mandates most businesses in California to provide the customer with the option to opt out of any receipt at all, thereby complicating loss prevention and returns for brick-and-mortar retailers. Passed Assembly, May 23, 43-24. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File, August 30. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 1 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Negatively Impacts Water Management and Increases Litigation. Undermines current state efforts to move forward with Voluntary Agreements through a rigid approach to water management that fails to appreciate science-based decision-making to manage and provide reliable water supplies for California and protect, restore, and enhance the ecosystems of the Bay-Delta and its tributaries. Passed Assembly, September 13, 48-22. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, September 14, 26-14. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2019.
• AB 731 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Large Group Rate Review. Threatens employers with higher premiums by driving up administrative costs and imposing a burdensome rate and methodologies review process for health plans and insurers in the large group market. Passed Senate, September 5, 25-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 9, 56-20. Signed—Chapter 807. CalChamber Opposed.
Housing and Land Use
• SB 329 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) Costly Rental Mandate. Imposes additional and unnecessary costs on rental property owners by prohibiting rental property owners from refusing to accept tenants because they have a Section 8 voucher. Passed Assembly, September 10, 46-21. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, September 11, 25-12. Signed—Chapter 600. CalChamber Opposed.
Labor and Employment
• AB 628 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Uncapped New Leave of Absence for Employees and Their Family Members. Significantly expands the definition of sexual harassment under the Labor Code. Also, provides an unprecedented, uncapped leave of absence for victims of sexual harassment and their “family members” which is broadly defined. Failed passage in Assembly, May 29, 36-15. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2019.
• AB 1478 (Carrillo; D-Los Angeles) Expansion of Job-Protected Leave. Significantly amends current law regarding job-protected leave for jury duty, victims of a crime, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking by creating a new private right of action for potential employer violations. Passed Senate, September 10, 24-11. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 11, 45-23. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
Legal Reform and Protection
• AB 51 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Ban on Arbitration Agreements. Significantly expands employment litigation and increases costs for employers and employees by banning 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. Passed Assembly, May 22, 47-20. Passed Senate, September 5, 26-11. Signed—Chapter 711. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2019.
• AB 749 (Mark Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Ban on No-Rehire Provisions. Unnecessarily bans the use of no-rehire provisions in settlement agreements for all employees, including those who have engaged in unlawful or egregious behavior. Passed Senate, September 3, 21-13. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 5, 46-22. Signed—Chapter 808. CalChamber Opposed.
Privacy and Cybersecurity
• AB 25 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) Largely Exempts Employment Data. Largely exempts employee, job applicant, and contractor data from the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which is a necessary fix to prevent huge, additional compliance costs for businesses. Passed Senate, September 12, 40-0. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 13, 78-0. Signed—Chapter 763. CalChamber Supported.
• AB 874 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Provides Two Clarifications of CCPA’s Definition of “Personal Information.” Adds reasonableness standard to the CCPA’s definition of personal information to avoid requiring businesses to compile consumer data in a way that would be hugely wasteful and harmful to consumer privacy. Passed Senate, September 11, 40-0. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 12, 79-0. Signed—Chapter 748. Support.
• AB 1395 (Cunningham; R-San Luis Obispo) Creation of Onerous and Unnecessary Burdens for “Smart Speakers.” Creates unnecessary, unworkable requirements on smart speakers that will ultimately harm consumers’ ability to use this technology to its full potential. Passed Assembly, May 28, 44-6. In Senate Judiciary Committee. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 1080 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego)/SB 54 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Unprecedented Product Regulation in California. Before amendments, substantially increased the cost to manufacture and ship consumer products sold in California by providing CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame that failed to address California’s lack of recycling and composting infrastructure. Job killer status removed due to September 6, 2019 amendments, but CalChamber still opposes. AB 1080 passed Assembly, May 30, 44-19. Senate Inactive File. SB 54 passed Senate, May 29, 28-8. On Assembly Floor. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer 2019.
• AB 1066 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Unemployment During Trade Disputes. Significantly increases costs on employers engaged in a trade dispute by allowing employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than four weeks. Passed Assembly, May 22, 51-19. Failed passage in Senate, September 14, 19-14. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2019.