2014 >>

Recent articles and videos from news sources that mention the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber.)



Jerry Brown Signs Nation’s Toughest Gender Pay-Gap Bill
A new California law, described as the toughest equal-pay measure in the nation, puts the state on the forefront of the women’s rights movement, supporters said Tuesday. “Equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, should not be an issue in California,” Allan Zaremberg, the chamber’s president and CEO, said in a statement. The new law provides “guidance to employers to determine appropriate wages for non-gender-related reasons that allow employers to effectively manage their workforce.” San Francisco Chronicle


California Gov. Brown to Sign Expanded Fair Pay Legislation
California’s pending Fair Pay Act stipulates employers can justify higher wages for men only if the pay is based on seniority, a merit system, quantity or quality of production, or any other “bona fide factor other than sex.” It cleared the Legislature with bipartisan support and the backing of the state Chamber of Commerce. (The Associated Press 09/21/15)

Will Aggrieved Workers Get Their Day in Court? Gov. Brown Must Decide Whether to Sign a Bill to End Mandatory Workplace Arbitration
A bill passed by the Legislature last month, AB 465, would make California the first state to ban arbitration agreements as a condition of employment and outlaw retaliation against current employees who refuse to sign them. (The Orange County Register 09/20/15)

All But Three CalChamber ‘Job Killers’ Died
All but three of the 19 bills that had been labeled “job killers” by the California Chamber of Commerce during the 2015 legislative session either stalled or were amended to remove the epithet, the business organization says in a new tally. (Dan Walters in The Sacramento Bee 09/19/15)

Time to Power Up Regional Grid
California Gov. Jerry Brown has embarked on an ambitious climate-change agenda that he hopes will propel other states to take action on reducing carbon emissions. As the governor continues to move his climate-change agenda forward, it will be important for him to work alongside the business community to develop a plan that will be focused on reducing the overall cost of electricity for businesses and consumers. (Allan Zaremberg in the Los Angeles Business Journal 09/07/15)


California Lawmakers Approve Equal-Pay Measure
The measure received backing from the California Chamber of Commerce after the bill’s author, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, agreed to amendments that narrowed the language of some of the provisions to protect employers from lawsuits. “We don’t think this is going to increase litigation, we think it is going to provide an objective criteria where you can have legitimate wage differentials,” said Jennifer Barrera, policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce. “The bill specifies a legitimate basis upon which an employer can have a wage differential, and emphasizes that it cannot be based upon gender.” (The Wall Street Journal 08/31/15)

Lawmakers Squabble Over Reducing Gas Consumption
“How do you plan 35 years out?” asks Allan Zaremberg, president of the state Chamber of Commerce. “We don’t even know what the technology is going to be in 15 years. Sorry, but 2050 is ridiculous.” (George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times 08/31/15)

California Worker Rights Bill On Governor’s Desk
By contrast, Jennifer Barrera of the California Chamber of Commerce said her organization sees the practice as a time and money saver for companies and their employees. The chamber labeled the bill a ‘job killer’ because it could drive up litigation costs. (Capital Public Radio 08/31/15)

Governor Will Decide if Companies Can Require Workers to Waive Lawsuit Rights
The legislation “will neither help California’s litigation environment nor promote businesses’ ability to create jobs as it will drive up California’s employer’s litigation costs,” the Chamber wrote in an opposition letter. (Sacramento Business Journal 08/31/15)

Bill to Raise California Minimum Wage Stalls in Assembly
SB 3, which also would have tied the state’s required hourly rate to inflation beginning in 2019, passed the Senate in June. It faced significant opposition from business groups, however, including the California Chamber of Commerce, which placed the bill high on its annual list of “job killers” that the powerful lobby argues would have a negative economic impact. (The Sacramento Bee 08/27/15)

California Lawmakers Approve Equal Pay Protections for Women
California’s state Assembly on Thursday approved legislation aimed at closing the wage gap between women and men through what proponents describe as the strongest equal pay protection in the nation. The measure won significant support from the California Chamber of Commerce and received bipartisan support. (The Associated Press 08/27/15)


California Task Force Approves Blueprint for Closing Skills Gap​
“There are a lot of jobs out there that need to be filled that don’t necessarily require a four-year degree and the community colleges are at the forefront to educate and prepare a workforce for those jobs,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of CalChamber and Task Force member. “That’s a need that hasn’t been met and I think this task force has the taken first step to ensure that we fill that void.” (California Economic Summit 07/30/15)

A Cynical Farmer’s Devious Plot
Business interests across the state are mobilizing to defeat the initiative. Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, is among those leading the charge. “I don’t think we can let this go unchallenged because the consequences are so severe,” Zaremberg told me this week. “It interferes with the ability to protect our infrastructure throughout the state. It’s shortsighted and it would have significant impact.” (Timm Herdt in the Ventura County Star  07/29/15)

Businesses Worry Ballot Measure Could Block Funding of Big Projects​
The No Blank Checks initiative, which is now gathering signatures for the 2016 ballot, would require any state revenue bond costing $2 billion or more to appear on the statewide ballot. The issue is timely, as state lawmakers prepare to look at financing options for California’s aging roads and bridges. (Sacramento Business Journal 07/28/15)

Obama’s Directive Could Clear Path for California Retirement Plan​
Obama directed Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to develop proposed rules by the end of the year to clarify how state plans could operate without falling under the ERISA umbrella. That is a major concern of employers, said Marti Fisher, a policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce. “ERISA concerns are so huge,” Fisher said. “If ERISA applies, employers are subject to all kinds of requirements.” (Timm Herdt in the Ventura County Star 07/25/15)

Despite Reform, ADA Lawsuits Still Squeeze Small Businesses
“There’s a recognition on both sides that a number of attorneys are using construction-related disability standards to leverage small businesses that don’t have the resources to fight them,” said Jennifer Barrera, a CalChamber lobbyist. (Sacramento Business Journal 07/24/15)

Bill Could Make it Easier to Increase Transportation Taxes
A bill that a taxpayer group is calling an attack on Proposition 13 and which the California Chamber of Commerce has dubbed a “job killer,” was approved by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee last week. (CalWatchdog 07/22/15)

Republicans Open to New Road Fees — With Strings Attached​
California’s business community could support shouldering new costs around transportation. Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, recently told the Los Angeles Times that he was “absolutely fine” with new taxes as long as the money was in fact spent on infrastructure. (Sacramento Business Journal  07/22/15)

Grocery Labor Bill is Bad for Business​
This measure may make for catchy sound bites or appease certain political allies, but it is an unnecessary proposal riddled with unintended consequences that will limit consumer access, lead to job losses and hurt family-owned companies. (Ronald K. Fong and Rex S. Hime in The Sacramento Bee 07/21/15)

Ballot Measure Threatens California Water Tunnels Plan​
Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, said the measure could apply to a range of projects, including reservoirs and university campuses. He accused Cortopassi of “trying to hide the ball from the public” by leaving out of his ballot measure any mention of the tunnels project. “I just think there are so many faults with it,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question that it’s worded this way because I think somebody did some research to show the public likes to vote on debt.” (The Sacramento Bee 07/11/15)

Most Frequent Questions — and Answers — About California’s New Paid Sick-Leave Law​
What are the most frequent questions from employers and HR managers? We asked Jennifer Barrera, policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, to clue us in on the FAQs. (Sacramento Business Journal 07/01/15​)

All California Workers Now Eligible For Sick Pay
Employers have two choices. They can either grant employees three days of paid sick leave up front. Or, have workers accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The California Chamber of Commerce has published information to help employers implement the legislation. (Capital Public Radio​ 07/01/15)


California Action Stripping Due Process, No Help With Drought
Consolidations of water districts may be warranted in some cases, but it should not be dictated by Sacramento bureaucrats who do not have firsthand knowledge of local circumstances. That is why nonpartisan organizations such as the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties, the California Special Districts Association, the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Chamber of Commerce all oppose SB 88. (Patricia C. Bates in The San Diego Union-Tribune 06/24/15)

Are you aware of a website that has templates for the various kinds of employer policies that need to be addressed in writing and given to employees?​
The California Chamber of Commerce has a template that employers can use to create their own policy, containing options allowed under the new law. (San Francisco Chronicle 06/23/15)

Brown Gets Cranking on Highways and Healthcare
“If Republicans want to vote for taxes for transportation, I’m absolutely fine with it,” says Allan Zaremberg, president of the state Chamber of Commerce. “I just want to make sure the money is spent on transportation.” Zaremberg says private polling shows that Californians “think the roads are in terrible shape, but they don’t want to raise taxes. They believe we’re already paying a lot of money and it’s being used for something else.” (George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times 06/21/15)

Chamber Warns Arbitration Bill Will Kill Jobs​
Opposition to the bill was led by Jennifer Barrera, representing the California Chamber of Commerce, which has labeled the bill a “job killer.” She said the bill is unnecessary because the law already requires that contracts be entered into knowingly and voluntarily. (CalWatchDog 06/20/15)

California ‘Job Killer’ Strategy a Big Success​
As it led the strategic pivot for business nearly two decades ago, CalChamber also instituted its “job killer” program, targeting bills it considered to be most noxious – measures that have been, for the most part, high on the liberal groups’ agendas.(Dan Walters in The Sacramento Bee​ 06/10/15)

Golden State Democrats Play Hard to Get on Fast Track​
The California Chamber of Commerce, however, continued its push for the fast-track bill Wednesday, urging its members to step up pressure on the state’s representatives to vote for the measure. “California is a top exporting state with one of the 10 largest economies in the world and a gross state product exceeding $2 trillion,” said Susanne Stirling, vice president for international affairs at the chamber and a member of Brown’s trade council. “This legislation is critical to companies, workers, farmers and ranchers in our state.” (Politico 6/9/15)​

California Assembly Shelves Push for Work-Scheduling Notice​
But business interests assailed the measure, with the California Chamber of Commerce calling AB 357 an unworkable mandate and branding the measure a “job-killer.” (The Sacramento Bee 06/04/15)​

Sweet Treats Can’t Save Holiday Pay Bill​
It wasn’t enough to get Assembly Bill 67 off the Assembly floor. The California Chamber of Commerce did not include the measure in its list of “job killer” bills, but the business organization was opposed. The bill managed only 29 votes, well short of the needed 41. Some of the debate invoked the same holiday spirit conjured by Gonzalez’s pie delivery. (The Sacramento Bee 06/04/15)​

Chamber Earns Statewide Recognition for Seventh Consecutive Year​
The California Chamber of Commerce recognizes the efforts of outstanding local chambers every year with the President’s Circle Award. The Turlock Chamber of Commerce was one of 28 chambers to receive the prestigious award this year — and one of eight to have received the award all seven years it has been presented. (The Turlock Journal 06/04/15)​

Brown Encourages Business To Be Optimistic​
Brown spoke today at a California Chamber of Commerce event. He praised state efforts to create a rainy day fund and change the school funding formula. And he encouraged business leaders to be optimistic about the future. (Capital Pubilc Radio 06/04/15)​

An Illusion of Action in California’s Capitol
Brown, however, has publicly warned against massive new spending and has looked askance at bills considered to be “job killers” by business groups, so when he finally passes the word on what he’ll accept, the agenda will likely shrink. Indeed, about a third of the bills given that epithet by the California Chamber of Commerce have already fallen by the wayside. (Dan Walters in The Sacramento Bee 06/03/15)

Assembly Passes Grocery Employment Mandate
If you purchase a grocery store that is going out of business because its employees have not provided good customer service and sanitary conditions, should you be required to hire those same employees? The answer is yes, according to Assembly Bill 359, which recently passed the state Assembly. (CalWatchdog 06/02/15)


Finally, There’s Action on Pay Equity​
The California Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the bill, partly because gray areas in existing law are confusing and costly for employers. “We agree with Senator Jackson that employees who are similarly situated should receive the same rate of pay for performing substantially similar job duties, ” said Jennifer Barrera, policy advocate with the California Chamber of Commerce. (The Bee Editorial Board 05/31/15)

Brown Encourages Business To Be Optimistic​
Governor Jerry Brown says California faces a lot of challenges, but he still sees the state on an upward trend. Brown spoke Thursday at a California Chamber of Commerce event. He praised state efforts to create a rainy day fund and change the school funding formula. And he encouraged business leaders to be optimistic about the future. (Capital Public Radio 05/28/15)

Brown Makes Case for Tunnels Project to Business, Civic Leaders
Calling it a “challenge we have to respond to,” Gov. Jerry Brown told hundreds of business owners and others Thursday that the state needs to push forward with his administration’s plans for two water diversion tunnels to protect its economy. (The Sacramento Bee 05/28/15)

Governor to Business Leaders: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
At a Thursday breakfast hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Jerry Brown avoided controversial topics such as cap-and-trade spending and high-speed rail and instead focused largely on water policy. (Sacramento Business Journal 05/28/15)

Gov. Brown Highlights California’s Economic Turnaround​
Hundreds attended the 90th Sacramento Host Breakfast at the Sacramento Convention Center Thursday morning, attracting leaders in government, finance, agriculture and military. (KXTV 05/28/15)

California’s Cap-and-Trade Program is Key to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Agenda
It’s an open question how long the money will last, however. A lawsuit by the California Chamber of Commerce calls the program an illegal tax. A state judge rejected that assertion in 2013, but an appeal is pending. Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a think tank affiliated with the Chamber, was asked for an opinion on how Brown is using the revenue. “We don’t really have an opinion on how he’s spent the money,” he said, “because we don’t think he should have the money in the first place.” (Los Angeles Times 05/15/15)

Assembly Committee Rejects Another Soda Tax Bill​
The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday rejected the latest effort by health groups to impose taxes on sugar-flavored soft drinks and other beverages to fight what was described as an epidemic of diabetes. (The Sacramento Bee 05/12/15)

Workers’ Comp Bill Sparks New Battle in California​
Whatever the reasons for labor’s flip, the California Chamber of Commerce has tagged SB 563 as a “job killer,” saying it “undermines the entire medical treatment review process.” (Dan Walters in The Sacramento Bee 05/11/15)​

Another View: There’s No Time to Waste on Gov. Brown’s Delta Plan
There’s no time to waste. We need to move forward with the governor’s plan to secure our limited water supply now and into the future. (Allan Zaremberg and Robbie Hunter in The Sacramento Bee​ 05/05/15)


California Gov. Brown Orders Major Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
“As California continues its leadership role in addressing climate change, costs on business and impacts on jobs and ​competitiveness cannot be ignored,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and chief executive of the California Chamber of Commerce. (The Wall Street Journal 04/29/15)

California Senate Duel Will Affect Jjob Killer’ Bills​
Seasonal rituals abound in the state Capitol and one, publication of the California Chamber of Commerce’s annual list of “job killer” bills, is anticipated with both glee and dread. (Dan Walters in The Sacramento Bee 04/29/15) ​

Good Bills Are Focus of CalChamber Job Creator List​
Since 2008, CalChamber has been identifying bills that will improve the state’s job climate and stimulate our economy.  We put them on our annual “Job Creator” list hoping to put a spotlight on proposals that will encourage investment in our economy. Denise Davis in Fox and Hounds Daily 04/27/15)​

Cal Chamber of Commerce Makes ‘Job Creator’ Bill List​
The California Chamber of Commerce is focusing on these lesser known “job creators,” which they say help to create more jobs than they take away. The list is less known than the Chamber of Commerce’s “job killer” list of bills which they say do more harm than good.(KGO 04/27/15)

Enhanced Driver License to Reduce Border Wait Times​
The state Legislature has so far shown bipartisan agreement on a California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill to create an enhanced driver license, making cross-border travel easier. (Fresno Business Journal 04/21/15)​

The Numbers Crunch: Let’s Accentuate the Positive on Jobs Legislation
Every year, the California Chamber of Commerce puts out its hit list of “job killer” bills. After each legislative session wraps up, it brags about how many it buried. Both pronouncements get plenty of publicity. Who knew the chamber also sends forth a list of “job creator” bills it supports? (The Sacramento Bee 04/18/15)​

CalChamber Plans Another Successful Year of Defeating “Job Killer” Bills​
Sacramento’s been taking care of business. Last week, the California Chamber of Commerce, known simply as CalChamber, announced a preliminary draft of its “job killer” bills, an annual list of proposed legislation that will hurt the state’s business community and economic competitiveness. (CalWatchDog 04/14/15)​

CalChamber Releases 2015 Preliminary Job Killer List​
The California Chamber of Commerce yesterday released a preliminary list of “job killer” bills to call attention to the negative impact that 16 proposed measures would have on California’s job climate and economic recovery, should they become law. (Allan Zaremberg in Fox and Hounds Daily  04/10/15)​

Beware Sacramento’s Job-Killer Bills
“First do no harm,” admonishes the Hippocratic Oath. That’s also a good prescription for the California economy. That’s why we urge the California Legislature to reject the 16 harmful bills on the California Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Preliminary Job Killer List, released Friday. (The Press-Enterprise 04/10/15)

CalChamber Targets Minimum Wage Increase, Employee Scheduling Bills as ‘Job Killers’ ​
The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual list of “job killer” legislation this week, highlighting bills that the powerful business lobby argues will have a negative economic impact for the state. (The Sacramento Bee 4/10/15)

California Considers Stricter Carbon Standards​
California is already working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. But a bill approved by a state Senate committee today would set some new goals to be met by 2030. The California Chamber of Commerce calls the bill a job killer. (Capital Public Radio 04/07/15)

Unions, CalChamber Square Off Over Bill Requiring Notice for Shift Changes​
Assembly Bill 357 is a job killer, writes the California Chamber of Commerce, as it “fails to consider the reality of business demands, fluctuation in customer attendance, or even the expansive list of California-only protected leaves of absence that employers must adhere to.” (Sacramento Business Journal 04/06/15)

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, rejected the idea that the drought and the state’s response to it would prompt industries to move away or stop adding jobs. “The rest of the economy is managing it, learning how to deal with it,” he said. (The New York Times 04/04/15)


Committee Passes Double Holiday Pay Bill
Chamber representative Jennifer Barrera, who also has a law degree, told the committee, “We believe this is a violation of the First Amendment for a lot of business owners who do not recognize Christmas as a holiday, much less as a family holiday, where they will be mandated to either shut down their business or pay their employees double compensation.” (CalWatchDog 03/30/15)

While surveys of business executives still rank California as one of the worst places to do business, the record on job creation has been bright in the Golden State over the last year. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that California led the nation over a twelve-month period ending January 31 creating 498,000 jobs. Part of the credit for this success goes to the California Chamber of Commerce’s effort to rally against bills that would hinder job creation and hurt the economy. (Joel Fox in Fox and Hounds Daily 03/24/15)​

Are Some Companies Labeling Their Products Toxic by Mistake?​
Assembly Bill 543 would allow companies to pay for scientific analysis of a product to see whether it qualifies as hazardous under Proposition 65. The legislation is cast as a good-government reform bill to help companies comply with the law, and is supported by a long list of business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Retailers Association. (Sacramento Business Journal 03/16/15)​

Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Congressional Districts in California​
In California, the state commission’s first effort at redistricting “resulted in the fairest and most competitive elections in California history,” Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, said in January. He joined former Govs. George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all Republicans, in a brief that urges the court to uphold the independent commissions. (Los Angeles Times 03/01/15)


U.S. Supreme Court Should Uphold Redistricting by Citizens’ Commission​
Now the Arizona State Legislature is suing to invalidate the congressional maps, arguing that “the people at large” had no authority to create an independent commission with the power to draw district lines. It posits the Constitution gives that power exclusively to the legislature. If this view is accepted by the court, there may be repercussions far beyond merely Arizona and California. That’s why we joined with three former governors of California and the California Chamber of Commerce in filing an amicus brief with the court in this case. (Bill Mundell and Charles T. Munger, Jr. in the Los Angeles Daily News 02/26/15)


Arizona Redistricting Fight has Big Implications for California
“It’s more than a camel nose under the tent,” says Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, which also signed the brief. “No question, it would be an opportunity for someone to raise the issue of unconstitutionality and come after legislative redistricting.” (Los Angeles Times 01/28/15)

A Gerrymandering Comeback in California … via Arizona?
Several months of quiet whispers have quickly turned into a resounding buzz — and a nervous buzz, no less — about a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that questions whether it’s constitutional for independent state commissions to have the sole power to draw political district maps. “The Arizona litigation,” said California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg, “jeopardizes the will of the California electorate and its embrace of fair redistricting and competitive elections.” (KQED 01/27/15)

3 Former California Governors Back Independent Redistricting
The brief asserts that the Constitution allows voters to use the initiative process — as they did in California and Arizona — to delegate the redistricting power to an independent panel. “The lines drawn by California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission have resulted in the fairest and most competitive elections in California history,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg in a statement. He added that the “Arizona litigation jeopardizes the will of the California electorate and its embrace of fair redistricting and competitive elections.” (Los Angeles Times 01/26/15)​

Trade Groups Urge Longshore Workers, Bosses to Resolve Issues at Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles
The California Chamber of Commerce was among the dozens of trade associations that signed Friday’s letter. “The ports are such a large economic driver in the state; it touches all sectors that affect job and revenue growth,” said Jeremy Merz, Cal Chamber’s policy advocate for transportation and infrastructure issues. “Making sure our ports operate at a high level is critical.” (Long Beach Press Telegram 01/16/15)​

New Workplace Laws: Employer Health Care Mandate, Rules for Contractors and a Medi-Cal ‘List of Shame’
In its legislative roundup, the California Chamber of Commerce noted that of 27 major bills it opposed – which it dubbed “job-killers” – only two passed: the temp worker bill, sponsored by the Teamsters, and a measure making it easier for consumers to file lawsuits despite having signed arbitration agreements. (The Orange County Register 01/12/15)​

State Adds More Than 30 Employment Laws, Including Sick Leave
More than 30 state employment laws take effect this year, according to an annual list put out by the California Chamber of Commerce. (San Francisco Chronicle 01/13/15)​