Saturday, November 26, 2022

Final Status Report on Major Business Bills

The following list summarizes the final status of California Chamber of Commerce priority bills sent to the Governor this year or resolutions adopted by the Legislature.

Bills signed by the Governor will become law on January 1, 2023. Urgency, tax and budget-related measures go into effect immediately upon being signed. In those cases, the date the Governor signed the bill is noted.

The CalChamber will publish a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate on October 21. Generally, the bills selected for the vote record have appeared in one of the status reports.

A print-friendly version of the Final Status Report is available here.

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Product Restrictions. AB 2146 (Bauer-Kahan; D-Orinda) Imposes restrictions on use of pesticide important for combatting citrus disease. Circumvents science-focused regulatory processes. Oppose.

Vetoed


Air Quality

Carbon Capture Projects. SB 905 (Caballero; D-Salinas) Requires California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create the Geologic Carbon Sequestration Demonstration Initiative but caps the number of demonstration projects at 3 and limits the projects to a very narrow list of industries, thereby stifling the ability of carbon capture technology to become more prevalent and help to reduce additional greenhouse gases (GHGs). Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 359


Sustainable Aviation Fuel Incentives. AB 1322 (R. Rivas; D-Hollister) Requires state agencies to develop a plan to incentivize the production of sustainable aviation fuel to no less than 1.5 billion gallons per year by 2030 and implement said plan by July 1, 2024. Support.

Vetoed


Carbon Capture Sequestration Expansion. AB 2101 (Flora; R-Ripon) Adds whole orchard recycling projects to the list of eligible Carbon Capture Sequestration Registry projects that are eligible to seek funding from state agencies or private entities. Support.

Signed—Chapter 117


Banking and Finance

Credit Availability. AB 2424 (B. Rubio; D-Baldwin Park) Prevents frivolous and false disputes made by credit repair services that delay credit availability. Updates the Credit Repair Services Act to provide transparency for costs of services rendered and expected results. Support.

Signed—Chapter 965


Budget

California Employer Economic Relief. SB 113 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Restores Net Operating Loss deduction and lifts cap placed on business incentive tax credits that were suspended in 2020’s state budget. Support.

Signed—Chapter 3
2/9/22


Performing Arts. SB 1116 (Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge) Provides funding to increase performing arts jobs throughout California. Support.

Signed—Chapter 731
9/29/22


California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

CEQA Streamlining. SB 886 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Streamlines the CEQA process for housing development around University of California campuses to increase student housing. Support.

Signed—Chapter 663


Climate Change

Threatens Oil and Gas Development Operations. SB 1137 (Lena Gonzalez; D-Long Beach) Threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying California jobs and force California to import even more foreign oil by politicizing and undermining the California Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) Division’s ongoing regulatory process regarding new requirements near oil and gas extraction sites by predisposing what setback requirements should be before the agency even begins its analysis. Oppose/Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 365


Limits Technological Development. AB 1279 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) 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. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 337


Government Regulation of Natural Lands. AB 1757 (C. Garcia; D-Bell Gardens) Requires the State’s Natural Resources Agency to come up with unattainable targets for carbon sequestration on various public and private lands while doing nothing to streamline the deployment of carbon sequestration projects that would help the state achieve its climate goals. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 341


Education

Inland Rising Fund. AB 2046 (Medina; D-Riverside) Establishes Inland Rising Fund to support development, operation and maintenance of new research into medicine and climate change at the University of California Riverside, and the University of California Merced. Support.

Signed—Chapter 526


STEM Partnership Academies. AB 1923 (Mathis; R-Visalia) Reprioritizes existing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) grant funding to prioritize education for pupils that are underrepresented in STEM, including rural populations, economically disadvantaged populations, as well as other populations. Support.

Signed—Chapter 114


Energy

Grid Regionalization. ACR 188 (Holden; D-Pasadena). Encourages the California Independent System Operator to report on the impacts of grid regionalization with other organizations in Colorado, Nevada and other regional states. Grid regionalization is an effective policy to help ensure that energy is delivered in an efficient and effective manner. Support.

Resolution Chapter 138


Diablo Canyon Powerplant. SB 846 (Dodd; D-Napa) Extends for a limited time the operation of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which supplies 8.6% of California’s total electricity supply and 17% of the state’s carbon-free electricity supply. Ensures supply reliability and safeguards residential health and safety, as well as investment in new industries that depend on a reliable electricity supply. Support.

Signed—Chapter 239
9/2/22


Undergrounding Mandate. SB 884 (McGuire; D-Healdsburg) The bill attempts to incentivize investor-owned utilities (IOU) to underground their poles and wires, but in reality it simply reduces the IOU’s ability to generate a rate of return for the massive investment that this would require. Additionally, it requires telecommunications companies to underground their equipment on any site that is collocated with the energy companies. This would slow the pace of undergrounding that is currently being proposed while dramatically increasing the cost of energy for consumers — residential, commercial and industrial. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 819


Environmental Regulation

Ban on Enhanced Oil Recovery. SB 1314 (Limón; D-Goleta) Prohibits enhanced oil recovery produced by a carbon dioxide capture project or a carbon dioxide capture and sequestration project into a Class II injection well, including the facilitation of enhanced oil recovery from another well. This prohibits an important tool to potentially reduce greenhouse gases. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 336


Health Care

CARE ACT Services for the Mentally Ill. SB 1338 (Umberg; D-Santa Ana) Changes the state’s process for caring for those facing extreme mental illness or drug addiction. Creates a system with advocates for those who need care, but also provides wraparound services to ensure those most in need get the treatment that’s needed. Support.

Signed—Chapter 319


Health Care Cost Increase. AB 1859 (Levine; D-San Rafael) Before amendments, increased health care costs by requiring health plans and insurers to schedule outpatient appointments within an extremely short period of time. Amendments allowed plans more time to schedule follow-up appointments. Neutral.

Vetoed


Health Care Cost Driver. AB 1880 (Arambula; D-Fresno) Increases health care costs for employers by requiring prior authorization and step therapy denial appeals be reviewed by clinical peers in addition to expensive new reporting requirements for health plans and insurers. Oppose Unless Amended.

Vetoed


Expensive Diagnostic Imaging Mandate. SB 974 (Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge) Increases premiums for employers and employees by mandating plans and insurers provide coverage without imposing cost sharing for follow-up screening mammography and medically necessary diagnostic breast imaging. Oppose.

Vetoed


Health Care Cost Driver. SB 999 (Cortese; D-San Jose) Increases health care costs for employers by requiring plans and insurers to retain expensive health care providers to review step therapy and prior authorization appeals and denials. Oppose Unless Amended.

Vetoed


Housing and Land Use

Los Angeles County Tax Authority. SB 679 (Kamlager; D-Los Angeles) Creates new agency with broad taxing authority on various entities in Los Angeles County under the guise of creating a new low-income housing program. However, the County already has jurisdiction over this issue and has billions in unspent funds to build affordable housing. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 661


Labor and Employment

Publication of Pay Data. SB 1162 (Limón; D-Goleta) Encourages litigation against employers based on the publication of broad, unreliable data collected by the state. Undermines employers’ ability to hire, imposes burdensome administrative and record keeping requirements, and subjects employers to a private right of action. Job killer tag removed due to August 15, 2022 amendments removing requirement to publish individual pay data reports online. Oppose/Former Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 559


State of Emergency. SB 1044 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) Allows employees to leave work or refuse to show up to work if employee feels unsafe regardless of whether employer has provided health and safety protections and subjects employers to costly PAGA lawsuits if they dispute the employee’s decision or need to have another employee take over any job duties. Job killer tag and opposition removed due to amendments taken on August 15, 2022 narrowing the scope of the bill and recognizing existing health and safety regulations. Neutral/Former Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 829


Forced Unionization Process for Agricultural Employees. AB 2183 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Limits an employee’s ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace and forces employers into union submission, by eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with card check or requiring employers to waive certain rights to proceed through an untested ballot procedure under which the ballot can be filled out by labor organizations. Also, unfairly limits an employer’s ability to challenge the cards submitted 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. Oppose/Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 673


Fast Food Industry: Franchises; Wage and Hour. AB 257 (Holden; D-Pasadena) 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. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 246


Significant Expansion of Family Leave and Paid Sick Leave. AB 1041 (Wicks; D-Oakland) Prior to amendments, would have significantly expanded multiple existing leave requirements in California that apply to employers of five or more, including small employers with limited employees who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, by allowing an employee to take leave to care for any family member or any person of their choosing without limitation, and subjecting the employer to costly litigation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act or the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), for any alleged interference, interruption, discouragement, or denial. Job killer tag removed due to April 22, 2021 amendments narrowing the bill so that the only additional persons that an employee can take leave to care for is one designated person per 12-month period. Oppose/Former Job Killer 2021.

Signed—Chapter 748


University of California: Vendors. SB 1364 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) Discourages small businesses and other vendors from contracting with the University of California to the detriment of students, faculty, and the local community, especially as it relates to the UC hospitals that provide vital healthcare services. Oppose.

Vetoed


Call Centers. AB 1601 (Weber; D-San Diego) Improperly seeks to penalize California companies who move their call centers out of the country. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 752


Background Checks. SB 1262 (Bradford; D-Gardena) Preserves access to work by removing roadblocks to timely completion of employment background checks. Support.

Vetoed


Disability Access: Funding. AB 2164 (Lee; D-San Jose) Benefits small businesses and consumers by providing funding to small businesses to ensure their properties are accessible. Support.

Signed—Chapter 895


Legal Reform and Protection

Sexual Assaults Claims Reviver. AB 2777 (Wicks; D-Oakland) Formerly created vague liability for any “inappropriate conduct” going back decades, including comments which may have been appropriate at the time. Amendments limited liability to sexual assault, eliminating the risk of conversations or other nonphysical conduct creating liability. Due to these significant amendments, opposition removed. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 442


Changes to Judgments and Debts. SB 1200 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Previously provided for complete end of ability to renew judgment debts and created confusing system of applicable interest rates. Opposition removed with amendments protecting ability for one renewal filing on judgments for five years, and providing a clearer, simpler 5% interest applicable to renewals. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 883


Wage Garnishment. SB 1477 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Adjusts formula for permissible wage garnishment in California. Initially included a doubling of the baseline discretionary income for which garnishment was allowed. Amendments greatly reduced baseline threshold, resulting in a significantly reduced effect for the bill. Due to this change in the formula, opposition removed. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 849


Changes to Unfair Competition Law. AB 2766 (Maienschein; D-San Diego) Previously provided relatively unchecked new authority for city attorneys to enforce statute presently reserved for district attorneys and Attorney General. With amendments, limitations were placed on use of power by city attorneys. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 698


Privacy and Cybersecurity

Political Purpose Disclosures. SB 746 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Originally expanded the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) to require a business that collects personal information about a consumer and uses that information for a political purpose to make certain disclosures, among other things. Opposition removed after amendments struck all changes to the CPRA and instead ensure that existing disclosure requirements, prohibitions, and limitations of the Political Reform Act generally apply to any business entity that intentionally uses its products or services to disseminate communications made for political purposes. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 876


Restrictions on Smart Speakers. AB 1262 (Cunningham; R-San Luis Obispo) Establishes significant prohibitions on the use of information from smart speakers, including sharing, selling or using that information for advertising. Creates an opt-in requirement for smart speakers and places limitations on how voice data can be used by manufacturers, all while requiring smart speakers to continue functioning, subject to significant liability. Oppose.

Vetoed


Student Test Taker Privacy Protection Act. SB 1172 (Pan; D-Sacramento) As amended, adds a new provision to the Business and Professions Code to prohibit a business providing proctoring services in an educational setting from collecting, retaining, using, or disclosing personal information except to the extent strictly necessary to provide those proctoring services and in other specified circumstances. Enforceable per existing law, Business and Professions Code Section 17200. Opposition removed after June 29, 2022 amendments. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 720


Age-Appropriate Design Code. AB 2273 (Wicks; D-Oakland) Creates overinclusive and difficult to interpret/implement standard for designing online services, products or features for young people by importing requirements used in United Kingdom without the guidance UK regulators make available to companies. Provides fewer opportunities to fix mistakes and a more aggressive approach to fines and penalties than the UK model. Uses subjective standard for the children to be protected rather than a well-established federal standard under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 320


Cyberbullying. AB 2879 (Low; D-Campbell) Requires social media platforms, as defined and subject to specified exceptions, to disclose all “cyberbullying,” reporting procedures in the social media platform’s terms of service and requiring a social media platform to establish a mechanism within its internet-based service that allows an individual to report cyberbullying or any content that violates the existing terms of service. Delayed enactment of penalties. Starting September 1, 2023, intentional violations are subject to specified civil penalties or injunction, to be prosecuted in a court of competent jurisdiction by the Attorney General. Specifies that its provisions shall not be deemed to create a private right of action or limit any existing private right of action. Opposition removed after June 21, 2022 amendments. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 700


In-Vehicle Cameras. SB 346 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) Prohibits outright any images or video recordings collected through the operation of an in-vehicle camera from being used for any advertising purpose or being sold to third parties for any purpose. Establishes overly restrictive prohibitions against sharing data, thereby significantly hindering the ability of automakers and technology providers to provide safety technology. Confusingly, prohibits automakers from denying any consumer the goods, services or benefits of the vehicle technology, while simultaneously prohibiting automakers from updating or repairing inoperable or flawed technology or software (that is, denying the benefit of the technology) unless the consumer opts in. Ultimately undermines and complicates compliance with the Consumer Privacy Rights Act. Oppose.

Vetoed


Platform Accountability and Transparency Act. SB 1018 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Requires social media platforms to disclose statistics regarding the extent to which items of content that the platform determined violated its policies were recommended or amplified by its algorithms, not only after a violation of their terms of service was identified, but before. States that this does not require the dissemination of confidential business information or trade secrets. Any violation is subject to enforcement by the Attorney General, city attorneys and district attorneys (as well as city prosecutors with the consent of the district attorney) for civil penalties of up to $100,000 for each violation. Oppose Unless Amended.

Vetoed


Mandatory Content Moderation Reporting and Auditing. AB 587 (Gabriel; D-San Fernando Valley) Requires all social media companies to make detailed disclosures on a quarterly basis detailing content moderation practices and procedures, including details that could threaten the security and efficacy of content moderation practices currently in place. Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 269


Procurement

Equity in State Procurement. AB 2019 (Petrie-Norris; D-Laguna Beach) Promotes equity and inclusion in the state’s public contracting process by ensuring consideration for disadvantaged business enterprises. Support.

Signed—Chapter 730


Product Regulation

State Regulation of Household Products. AB 2247 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Sets up an unprecedented level of state regulation for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) including duplicating oversight already done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Oppose.

Vetoed


Disrupts Personal Care Products. AB 2771 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Negatively affects aerosol personal care products that are transitioning from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to lower Global Warming Potential refrigerants. Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 804


Recycling

Circular Economy and Recycling. SB 54 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Creates the first Extended Producer Responsibility program in California for single-use packaging in order to create a circular economy that significantly increases recycling, reduces superfluous packaging, and mitigates any environmental impacts associated with improper disposal or recycling of single-use plastic packaging. No Position.

Signed—Chapter 54 6/30/22


Battery Recycling. AB 2440 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Updates and streamlines the process for batteries to be recycled throughout the state. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 351


Thermoform Containers. AB 2784 (Ting; D-San Francisco) Sets out unreasonable timelines and percentages for thermoform plastic containers to achieve recycled plastic goals while also requiring producers to pay arbitrary and excessive fees. Oppose Unless Amended.

Vetoed


Taxation

Manufacturing Tax Credit Expansion. AB 1951 (Grayson; D-Concord) Expands investment and production in California by expanding the sales and use tax exemption for the purchase of manufacturing and research and development (R&D) equipment. Support.

Vetoed


Special Tax Authority Expansion. SB 852 (Dodd; D-Napa) Allows a climate resiliency district, which is a kind of Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD), to levy taxes due to a new and expanded special tax authority which exceeds current EIFD law. Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 266


Telecommunications

Broadband Deployment Streamlining. AB 2749 (Quirk-Silva; D-Fullerton) Streamlines the state’s California Advanced Services Fund grant application process which will hasten the deployment of broadband to all communities within the state. Support.

Vetoed


Streamline Broadband Deployment. SB 717 (Dodd; D-Napa) Requires the state Department of Technology to create a report identifying obstacles to, opportunities for and investment in broadband access points. This will allow for a more rapid deployment of broadband infrastructure throughout the state. Support.

Signed—Chapter 813


Transportation and Infrastructure

Reducing Harassment of Women on Public Transit. SB 1161 (Min; D-Irvine) Requires the Mineta Transportation Institute to help transportation agencies gather consistent data on the prevalence of harassment of women on their vehicles and in their stations. Support.

Signed—Chapter 318


Unemployment Insurance

Work Sharing Plans. AB 1854 (Boerner Horvath; D-Encinitas) Extends availability of workshare programs to allow employers the option of taking advantage of program when attempting to reduce workforce while minimizing salary loss for employees. Support.

Signed—Chapter 112


Self-Employed Individuals. SB 1138 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Originally sought to provide unemployment insurance to self-employed individuals without any funding stream, effectively charging unrelated employers for self-employed individuals’ benefits. Opposition removed after amendments to provide for a study by Employment Development Department of the issues surrounding self-employed individuals. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 836


Water Supply and Quality

New Water Quality Permit Requirement. AB 2106 (R. Rivas; D-Hollister) Imposes new permitting requirements on stormwater discharges from commercial and institutional facilities that may expose permittees to citizen lawsuits. Constrains State Water Board discretion in addressing stormwater that may have unintended consequences on regulated entities. Oppose.

Vetoed


Water Quality Regulation. AB 2108 (R. Rivas; D-Hollister) Imposes unnecessary requirements on the composition of State and Regional Water Boards. Injects burdensome analyses and mitigation requirements for State and Regional Water Board decisions on water quality planning and permitting decisions. Oppose Unless Amended.

Signed—Chapter 347


Water Rights Permits. SB 1205 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Requires development of standardized methods for determining water availability for those seeking water rights permits. Support.

Signed—Chapter 369


Workers’ Compensation

Review of Claims. SB 1127 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Fundamentally alters longstanding rules and timeframes related to investigation of eligibility of workers’ compensation claims such that it substantially reduces the time an employer has to investigate a claim. Significantly increases mandatory penalties that will be leveraged to increase litigation costs. Oppose.

Signed—Chapter 835


Extends COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Presumption. AB 1751 (Daly; D-Anaheim) Originally extended sunset date on existing workers’ compensation presumption for COVID-19 for two years. Opposition removed based on August 25, 2022 amendments reducing extension from two years to one year. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 758


Workplace Safety

Workplace Marijuana Testing. AB 2188 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Requires saliva (or other non-metabolite) testing be used when conducting marijuana testing in pre-employment or workplace settings, along with prohibiting discrimination based on marijuana usage. Job killer status removed due to June 30, 2022 amendments which, among other provisions, protected pre-employment testing and handled federal/state conformity issues surrounding marijuana’s legality. Oppose/Former Job Killer.

Signed—Chapter 392


Cal/OSHA Regulatory Suggestions. AB 2243 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella) Suggests Cal/OSHA consider various updates to the Wildfire Smoke Regulation and Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor Places of Employment regulations, but does not compel action. Previously included duplicative and ambiguous provisions, as well as compelling Cal/OSHA to approve the listed changes. Due to significant amendments limiting its scope and making such changes optional, opposition removed. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 778


COVID-19 Workplace Notice. AB 2693 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino) Formerly required individual written notice for all employees after a case entered the workplace and maintained emergency-level notice requirements until 2025, despite COVID-19 becoming an endemic disease and considerable medical improvements related to vaccination and treatment. Amended for a shorter duration and more feasible notice provisions, resulting in significantly shorter and more feasible requirements for California businesses. Due to these amendments, opposition removed. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 799


Access to Non-Public Restrooms for Certain Health Conditions. AB 1632 (Weber; D-San Diego) Originally allowed individuals with certain health conditions to have access to non-public restrooms in virtually all businesses based on vague standards, and potentially created new construction obligations, and potentially prevented discipline of employees who denied legally required access. Opposition removed after August 1, 2022 amendments to address concerns. Neutral.

Signed—Chapter 893

CalChamber
CalChamber
The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable and easy-to-use compliance products and services.

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