The California Chamber of Commerce has published its final status report on the top priority bills for California’s business community, showing the ultimate fate of legislation sent to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. this year.
For the California employer community, the 2016 legislative year will have a variety of impacts, depending on the industry and size of business.
Small businesses benefit from the disabilities access reform bill that will limit litigation, but smaller firms most likely will bear the impacts of the minimum wage increase that phases in over the next eight years.
Minimum wage phases in for small employers over next seven years (goes to $15 an hour as of 1/1/2023). On the plus side, the Governor vetoed a bill that would have expanded the family leave mandate to small businesses.
For businesses of all sizes and industries, the most significant impacts will come from the expansion of the state’s carbon (greenhouse gas) reduction program. Although the new limit on greenhouse gases affects immediately the industries that emit carbon today, the law’s implementation will expand the consequences far beyond those industries.
The new emissions limit is of high concern due to the command-and-control approach that fails to take into consideration population growth, cost, lifestyle and economic impacts. How the mandate is implemented could have serious implications for the mobility of Californians, goods and services, as well as affordable housing.
The California Chamber of Commerce advocacy team and its allies stopped dozens of harmful bills, won amendments removing the most onerous provisions in other proposals, and helped pass many bills that will increase certainty and reduce competitive disadvantages for California businesses.
In 2016, the CalChamber tracked 227 California bills, stopping 85 (including 20 job killer bills), securing amendments to 38 bills, and backing 29 bills that were signed into law (including four job creators).
Final Status Report
The following list summarizes the final status of priority bills for the CalChamber that were sent to the Governor this year.
Within each subject area, the CalChamber list presents bills in order of priority, with the highest priorities at the top.
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.
Bills signed by the Governor will become law on January 1, 2017. Urgency, budget-related and tax levy measures go into effect immediately upon being signed.