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Inside the Capitol features hot legislative issues for the week along with CalChamber call to action requests on business legislation. To receive Inside the Capitol, sign up here.

Hot Issues for the Week of April 24, 2017

Economic Growth Incentives

SUPPORT AB 912 (Obernolte; R-Big Bear Lake) JOB CREATOR: Small Business Penalty Relief — Recognizes the challenges small businesses face in implementing complex state rules by allowing adjustment of civil penalties based upon specific mitigating factors. Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee hearing April 26.

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Tax Increases

OPPOSE AB 43 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) JOB KILLER: Targeted Tax on Contractors — Unfairly targets one category of taxpayers to fund a benefit for all of the state by imposing a tax on contractors for the privilege of doing business with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and requires the contractor to absorb the cost while maintaining a price of lowest responsible bidder. Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee hearing April 24.

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OPPOSE AB 1356 (Eggman; D-Stockton) JOB KILLER: Targeted Tax on High Earners — Unfairly increases the personal income tax rate to 14.3%, the highest in the country, on one category of taxpayers (including sole proprietors), who already pay over half of the income tax revenue to the general fund, forcing them to mitigate costs through means including reducing workforce, in order to fund higher education that will benefit all of California. Assembly Higher Education Committee hearing April 25.

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Economic Development Barriers

OPPOSE AB 1645 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) JOB KILLER: Gas Price Increase — Jeopardizes the production of California-based fuel by banning the use of hydrogen fluoride and hydrofluoric acid at refineries that use more than 250 gallons and are located within two miles of a residence, notwithstanding the fact that there are significant safety regulations in place at the local, state and federal levels. Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee hearing April 25.

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Increased Unnecessary Litigation Costs

OPPOSE SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) JOB KILLER: Creates Uncertainty and Increases Potential Litigation Regarding Environmental Standards — Creates uncertainty for businesses with respect to the federal environmental standards proposed to be incorporated into California law if backsliding occurs at the federal level in the future, and increases the potential for costly litigation by creating private rights of action under California law when certain events occur. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing April 25.

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Arbitration Discrimination

OPPOSE SB 538 (Monning; D-Carmel) JOB KILLER: Arbitration Discrimination — Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements by prohibiting arbitration between a hospital and a health care plan or contracting agent, leading to confusion and litigation over preemption by the Federal Arbitration Act. Senate Health Committee hearing April 26.

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Increased Labor Costs

OPPOSE SB 562 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) JOB KILLER: Government-Run Health Care — Creates a new single-payer government-run, multibillion-dollar health care system financed by an unspecified and undeveloped “revenue plan” which will penalize responsible employers and individuals and result in significant new taxes on all Californians and California businesses. Senate Health Committee hearing April 26.

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Labor and Employment

OPPOSE SB 306 (Hertzberg; D-Los Angeles) Labor Commissioner Enhanced Authority —  Unnecessarily allows the Labor Commissioner to seek injunctive relief before completing an investigation and determining retaliation has occurred, as well as requiring an employer to pay the costs and fees of the Labor Commissioner to pursue a civil action for retaliation, even if the claim lacks merit, as well expose employers to a daily $100 penalty, capped at $20,000 for a posting violation. Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee hearing April 26.

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Product Regulation

OPPOSE SB 258 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) State-Only Labeling —  Drives up the cost to consumers of cleaning products by requiring state-only ingredient disclosure on the labels of such products, which fails to protect confidential business information, exacerbates the “overwarning” problem, imposes vague requirements, and undermines existing consumer and worker protection laws and product innovation. The bill further imposes an unworkable secondary container labeling requirement on businesses. Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee hearing April 26.

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Industrial Safety and Health

OPPOSE SB 772 (Leyva; D-Chino) Increased Cal/OSHA Costs on Employers —  Blatant attempt to impose excessive costs on employers without transparency and without consideration of alternatives of Cal/OSHA regulations by exemption from Major Regulation statutory requirements for economic analysis of the most costly regulations. Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee hearing April 26.

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