Three California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills, including one that would have raised taxes by more than $160 billion annually to fund a single-payer health care system, were stopped in the state Legislature this week and are likely dead for the year.
In a statement, the CalChamber expressed relief that the single-payer health care proposal, AB 1400 (Kalra; D-San Jose), failed to pass before a key legislative deadline, but warned the proposal will likely resurface in the future.
“We stand ready — alongside a large, diverse and growing coalition — to oppose proposals like AB 1400 that will levy huge taxes on Californians and disrupt the health care that 40 million residents rely on,” the CalChamber said in its statement released on January 31, the deadline for bills to pass the house in which they were introduced.
Assemblymember Ash Kalra said in a January 31 statement that he decided not to bring up AB 1400 for a vote because “it became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage.” He described AB 1400’s failure to move as “only a pause for the single-payer movement” and promised that the single-payer coalition, including the California Nurses Association, would continue the fight.
According to Protect California Health Care, a coalition of doctors, nurses, hospitals, employers and others, AB 1400 would have dismantled the state’s current health care system and replaced it with an untested new system built on a shaky financing scheme that would have cost California taxpayers at least $160 billion a year in higher taxes and increased the cost of nearly every good and service offered in the state.
“Californians are already facing higher inflation and taxes while struggling with the many difficulties and hardships that the pandemic has caused. They should have the right to choose the coverage they want and deserve a stable health care system they can always rely on,” the coalition stated.
The following job killer and oppose bills missed the January 31 deadline to pass their house of origin and are likely dead for the year:
• Job Killer: AB 995 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego): Would have imposed new costs and leave requirements on employers of all sizes, by expanding the number of paid sick days employers are required to provide, which is in addition to all of the recently enacted leave mandates (COVID-19 sick leave, Cal/OSHA emergency paid time off, California Family Rights Act leave, workers’ compensation, etc.) that small employers throughout the state are already struggling with to implement and comply.
• Job Killer: AB 1192 (Kalra; D-San Jose): Would have placed new onerous administrative burdens on employers by requiring them to publish extensive, private salary and benefit information on the Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s website. Public disclosure of completely lawful policies and conduct could give the false impression of wage disparity where none may exist and subjects employers to frivolous litigation and settlement demands.
• Job Killer: AB 1400 (Kalra; D-San Jose): Would have penalized employers, eliminated individual choice, and resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on all Californians and California businesses by creating a new single-payer government-run, multibillion-dollar health care system.
• Oppose: AB 416 (Kalra; D-San Jose): Would have required any companies submitting bids for state procurement contracts involving a range of common goods, including wood, rubber, paper, and others, to adopt new internal policies regarding sourcing of materials for all contracts, not just state-related contracts, and provide potentially proprietary information regarding their supply chain to the state as part of the application process.
• Oppose: AB 854 (Lee; D-San Jose): Would have upended the Ellis Act and property rights by forcing rental property owners to stay in business even when they can no longer afford to stay landlords, interfered with a family’s ability to move into their own property and created an arbitrary 5-year restriction on an owner’s ability to move into their own property.
• Oppose: AB 1218 (McCarty; D-Sacramento): Would have imposed a “feebate” structure on manufacturers, which has the effect of increasing the cost of all vehicles in a manufacturer’s fleet, including the cost of light duty vehicles used by commercial and industrial businesses.
• Oppose: SB 582 (Stern; D-Canoga Park): Would have threatened substantial increases in the cost of goods and services of entities subject to cap-and-trade by doubling our 2030 carbon emissions reduction goals.
• Oppose: SB 342 (Lena Gonzalez; D-Long Beach): Would have expanded board membership and imposed limitations on the types of appointees to the local air districts.
2 Job Killers, 1 Oppose Bill Pass
Two job killer bills and one CalChamber-opposed bill passed out of the house in which they were introduced and will continue moving through the legislative process:
• Job Killer: AB 1001 (Cristina Garcia; D-Los Angeles): Creates new highly subjective, non-quantifiable and litigation-bait standards in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that will threaten California’s economic recovery and ability to construct much-needed housing. It also removes local government discretion regarding how to analyze and mitigate proposed project impacts, thereby making projects more expensive, harder to build and more likely to be thrown into courts by NIMBY opposition.
• Job Killer: SB 213 (Cortese; D-San Jose): Significantly increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace and establishes an extremely concerning precedent for expanding presumptions into the private sector.
• Oppose: AB 257 (Holden; D-Pasadena): 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.
Job Killer List
Three of four job killer bills first identified last year have been stopped. The two remaining job killer bills still require multiple hearings and votes in the second house.
For more information on the CalChamber’s job killer list, including links to job killer lists from previous years, visit www.calchamber.com/jobkillers.