This report for the first year of the 2021–2022 legislative session focuses on California legislators’ floor votes on California Chamber of Commerce priority bills.
This is the 47th 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.
To help readers assess legislators’ records, the charts group bills into eight subject areas: climate change, health care, housing and land use, labor and employment, privacy and cybersecurity, recycling, transportation and infrastructure, and workplace safety.
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 generally 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 10 votes in the Senate and 12 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 1395 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Limits Technological Development. Proposes to limit the technology necessary to reach our carbon neutrality goals by more than doubling our state goal while also imposing limits on technology-assisted carbon reductions, sending market signal to not develop carbon removal or storage technology. Passed Assembly, June 3, 42-21. Failed passage in Senate, September 10, 14-12. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 524 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Increases Health Care Costs. Increases prescription drug costs for consumers by preventing certain network designs between health plans, insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies. Passed Assembly, September 2, 57-7. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, September 3, 35-0. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
Housing and Land Use
• SB 9 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Pro-Housing Production. Streamlines more infill housing while providing substantial local control to land use development by allowing property owners to convert single-family homes into multiple units or divide the properties and build up to two residential units on each lot, all without triggering the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), so long as all units are consistent with all local land use laws. Passed Assembly August 26, 45-19. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 30, 28-7. Signed — Chapter 162. CalChamber Supported.
• SB 10 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Pro-Housing Production. Provides local cities and counties with full authority to streamline upzoning in their jurisdiction for up to 10 additional middle income density housing units per parcel, without triggering CEQA, if they choose. Passed Assembly, August 23, 44-12. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 30, 28-6. Signed — Chapter 163. CalChamber Supported.
• SB 12 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) Wildfire Housing Bill. Establishes legally treacherous land use hurdles that would provide NIMBY opponents with additional tools to block the development of housing in very high fire severity zones even though housing projects will be required to develop to the highest building code and fire resiliency standards in the world. Passed Senate, June 1, 31-8. Failed passage in Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, July 12, 4-2. Granted reconsideration. CalChamber Opposed.
Labor and Employment
• AB 257 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Fast Food Industry: Franchises; Wage and Hour. Undermines the existence of the franchise model by holding franchisors responsible for all conduct by individual franchisees. Establishes Fast Food Sector Council that would have unprecedented authority to write its own labor and employment laws for fast food restaurant employees, circumventing the California Legislature and other regulatory agencies’ position in establishing such laws. Failed passage in Assembly, June 3, 38-27. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 616 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Forced Unionization Process for Agricultural Employees. Limits an employee’s ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace, by essentially eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with the submission of representation cards signed by over 50% of the employees, which leaves employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations. Also, unfairly limits an employer’s ability to challenge any order by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) by forcing employers to post an unreasonable bond, and then limits an employee’s ability to decertify a union, by forcing them to go through the ballot election process instead of submission of representation cards. Also includes an unnecessary presumption of retaliation that is effectively unlimited in scope because it would apply for the duration of an election campaign, which could last for a year or more. Passed Senate, August 26, 24-11. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 1, 52-19. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2021.
• AB 1074 (Lorena Gonzalez; D- San Diego) Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Prior to amendments, would have imposed an onerous and stringent process that is unlimited in time for specific employers to return employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic, which would have delayed rehiring and employers’ ability to re-open after being forced to close or reduce operations due to COVID-19. Job killer tag removed due to April 19, 2021 amendments eliminating COVID-19 related recall provisions from the bill. The remaining provisions had the potential to cause further harm to the hospitality industry by forcing a new service provider for a hotel to hire the previous contracted provider’s employees and navigate statutory barriers erected around operational positions, staffing redundancies, technical abilities, and staffs’ general ability to meet the hotel’s needs. The mandate would have increased operating costs, threatened small businesses, and represented a significant shift in how the law approaches contracting. Passed Senate, September 10, 23-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, September 10, 51-19. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer 2021.
• SB 62 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) Increased Costs and Liability on Employers. Significantly increases the burden on nonunionized employers in the garment manufacturing industry in California, by eliminating piece rate as a method of payment even though it can benefit the employee, expanding joint and several liability for any wage violations to the entire supply chain, and shifting the evidentiary standards in a Labor Commissioner hearing to limit the ability for an employer to defend against an alleged wage violation. These additional requirements will encourage companies to contract with manufacturers outside of California, thereby limiting the demand and workforce of garment manufacturers in California. Passed Assembly, September 8, 50-19. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, September 10, 26-10. Signed — Chapter 329. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer 2021.
Privacy and Cybersecurity
• AB 13 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) Automated Decision Systems for Procurement. Allows local agencies to require businesses to submit impact assessments to audit automated decision systems as a requirement for successfully submitting bids to cities, but does not clearly define the framework for doing so, and does not account for intellectual property or the effect on businesses that will be excluded from bidding on such contracts because they do not have the resources to conduct such reports. Passed Assembly, June 1, 52-16. Placed on Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File, August 16. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 814 (Levine; D-San Rafael) Limits on Contact Tracing. Prohibits the use of all data that is used to assist with contact tracing and imposes a mandatory deletion requirement, discouraging businesses from using any helpful information or data that can be useful to assist in contact tracing efforts. Passed Assembly, June 1, 60-13. Placed on Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File, August 16. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
• AB 1371 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Packaging Ban. Bans critical packaging materials from being able to be sold or distributed in California without regard for whether any adequate substitutes are available nor how such a policy would lead to more waste created by spoilage and breakage and additional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from much heavier packaging. Failed passage in Assembly, June 3, 36-28. CalChamber Opposed.
Transportation and Infrastructure
• SB 339 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Ensure Transportation Funding. Extends the Road User Charge Advisory Committee and allow the Transportation Agency to conduct pilot studies to evaluate potential replacements for gas tax funding for roads and infrastructure. Passed Assembly, September 1, 51-19. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, September 2, 27-10. Signed — Chapter 308. CalChamber Supported.
• SB 410 (Leyva; D-Chino) Selective Exception from Thorough Financial Analysis for Cal/OSHA Regulations. Specifically exempts Cal/OSHA regulations from the Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) process, which provides thorough economic analysis and Department of Finance oversight for proposed regulations and is presently applicable to all regulations with a financial impact of more than $50 million. Passed Senate, May 17, 22-9. Placed on Assembly Inactive File, September 8. CalChamber Opposed.