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

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2018

June

Welcome To The Jungle: Experts Divided Over California’s Top-Two Primary System
But the system does have fans across the political spectrum. The California Chamber of Commerce, for example, has used the system to elect more moderate Democrats to the Legislature. “I think we made the right decision at the time,” said chamber president Allan Zaremberg. “And in hindsight, a number of years later, I still think it’s the right decision.” (Capital Public Radio, 6/02/18)

May

California’s Top-Two Primary Could be Rendered Useless Thanks to a Hyper-Polarized Electorate
Marty Wilson, political strategist for the California Chamber of Commerce, says there’s talk of scuttling open primaries for statewide races but retaining them for legislative and congressional contests. “It’s a little premature to say the system is not working,” he says. “Let’s see how it comes out this year.” (George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times, 5/17/18)

State Senator Renewing Push for Business-to-Business Service Tax
After testing the waters for the last three years, state Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) is making his strongest push yet to pass legislation that would impose a tax on services provided to businesses. “A lot of small businesses depend on services to stay in businesses,” said Sarah Boot, a policy advocate for CalChamber. “Larger businesses can bring those services in-house, but not small businesses.” (Sacramento Business Journal, 5/16/18)

Bill Would Make Employers Keep Sex Misconduct Complaints
The bill would be overly burdensome on businesses because it does not align with other record-keeping regulations and isn’t clear, said Laura Curtis, a policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is asking that the requirement be changed from 10 years to the length of a person’s employment plus three years, which Curtis said is in line with other for records retention. (The Associated Press, 5/14/18)

From LED Factory to Nut Trees: California Businesswomen Concern About U.S.-China Trade Disputes
“Margaret Wong has been a good and gracious friend to California. Her deep roots in both China and California have enabled her to build strong bridges between us,” Susanne Sterling, Vice President of International Affairs for the California’s Chamber of Commerce, has told Xinhua. (Xinhua, 5/13/18)

Passing of Governor George Deukmejian
George Deukmejian, a two-term governor of California died on Tuesday at his home in Long Beach according to friends and family. “The word ‘compassionate conservative’ has no better definition than George Deukmejian,” said Allan Zaremberg who worked for 10 years with “the Duke” as an advisor and legislative secretary. (CBS 13, 5/08/18)

George Deukmejian Dead at 89, Public Safety and Law-and-Order Dominated Two-Term Governor’s Agenda
“Gov. Deukmejian’s humility and passion for doing what was best for California is a model for all who seek public service,” said Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce and Deukmejian’s former legislative affairs secretary. (Los Angeles Times, 5/08/18)

April

Protect Harassment Victims, Employers from Defamation Suits
In 2016, 554 Californians filed sexual harassment complaints with the state civil rights agency, and many other employees have complained directly to employers without involving a state agency. (Nancy Lindholm and Jennifer Barrera in The Ventura County Star, 04/21/18)

‘Job Killer’ List Frames Annual Battle
However, the cream of the crop – the measures that are the highest priorities of their sponsors – also tend to have the greatest economic effect on California’s business and employer community, a motivation for the latter to exert maximum effort to defeat or at least water them down to an acceptable level. The age-old conflict over such bills was formalized nearly two decades ago when the California Chamber of Commerce created its annual “job killer” list of bills it wanted to block. Each year, the chamber picks a couple of dozen bills for its hit list and over the years has been remarkably successful in blunting their potential effects, killing or neutralizing about 90 percent. (Dan Walters in CALmatters.org, 04/18/18)

California Bill Could Force Businesses To Submit Salary Data To State
A controversial new bill could soon force California businesses to submit their salary data to the state in an effort to achieve equal pay for women. “Our concern is that the information in 1284 won’t actually get the data they are looking for. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison,” said Laura Curtis with the California Chamber of Commerce who spoke before the committee. (CBS 13, 04/17/18)

No More Job Killers; We Need Some Job Creators
Sadly, while most of us are busy working, raising families and trying to improve our lives, politicians in Sacramento can’t seem to help but introduce bills that put everyday Californians further behind. You don’t have time to track every bill that could jeopardize your job, but you will be affected by them. (Justin Salters in The Bakersfield Californian, 04/16/18)

California’s Most Powerful Business Group Plans to Kill These 21 Bills
The California Chamber of Commerce’s “job killer” list is back, highlighting 21 bills the state’s most powerful business coalition plans to slay in the Legislature this year. (The Sacramento Bee, 04/05/18)

State Chamber Lists 21 Bills as ‘Job Killers’
The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual initial list of 21 “job killer” bills on April 4. (Los Angeles Business Journal, 04/04/18)

March

California Would Be on Front Lines of US-China Trade War
With trade tensions between the two countries rising, China’s consul general in San Francisco, Luo Linquan, hosted a dinner for local business leaders Wednesday. He told them that China planned to further open its economy to foreign products and investment, said Susanne Stirling, vice president of international affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce, who attended the dinner. She, in turn, pressed him on the need for more openness and transparency from his government, she said. (San Francisco Chronicle, 03/23/18)

Ontario, California Businesses Push for NAFTA Renewal
In a show of cross-border business bonding, the Chambers of Commerce in both California and Ontario have come together to publicly support ongoing trade talks, stressing the “billions of dollars at stake” for the two jurisdictions. Ontario Star, 03/07/18)

February

California Chamber Doesn’t Condone Wage Theft
Mark Schacht’s recent op-ed on wage theft (“Let California’s workers recover stolen pay,” Viewpoints, Feb. 9) falsely portrays the California Chamber of Commerce. To be clear, CalChamber deplores wage theft and supports vigorous enforcement against dishonest companies. In fact, we supported the state labor commissioner’s efforts and statewide campaign to vigorously pursue wage theft and other labor code violations. (Jennifer Barrera in The Sacramento Bee, 02/16/18)

January

‘Extreme’ Rent Control Could be Coming to California Soon
The state Chamber of Commerce labeled a bill that also sought to repeal Costa-Hawkins a “job killer.” It died earlier this year in the Assembly, setting up the ballot box fight. “I expect it to qualify,” said Allan Zaremberg, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We’re concerned about increases in the cost of housing and being able to keep people in California. The consequences of a strong economy and an inability to keep up with the demand for housing is a problem we need to solve, but we believe that rent control diminishes investment in housing opportunities. (The Sacramento Bee CapitolAlert, 01/31/18)

 

Why California Employers are Still Paying for Recession-Era Jobless Benefits
In 2012, California’s debt was three times the next-biggest state debt, said Marti Fisher, policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce. She traces the problem to late 2001 when the Legislature passed a bill to increase unemployment benefits (for the first time since 1992) without increasing taxes, changing eligibility requirements or making any changes to make the system more efficient. “The chamber was opposed at the time,” she said. “We said the fund is going to become insolvent.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 01/22/18)

California Assembly Bill Seeks to Reform Private Attorneys General Act
Attorneys who defend businesses against lawsuits filed under the Private Attorney Generals Act, or PAGA, are quick to argue that the law does not give employers a fair opportunity to correct alleged violations before having to fight off legal action.  “AB 281 creates a balance between protecting employees and their rights under the Labor Code while also protecting employers from financially devastating litigation over alleged minor violations,” the California Chamber of Commerce stated in a recent letter of support. (Sacramento Business Journal, 01/10/18)