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.
CalChamber stopped 18 of 19 job killer bills identified this year. While most bills were stopped during the legislative process, either by bills being held in committee or on the floors of either house, three bills made it to the Governor’s desk and two were vetoed.
On October 11 the Governor vetoed AB 465 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina), which would have increased litigation, and SB 406 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which would have significantly expanded the California Family Rights Act.
Just one job killer bill, AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego), dealing with grocery workers and sent to the Governor in August, was signed into law.
The Governor signed two job creator bills this year, one limiting frivolous litigation against employers and another streamlining infrastructure development.
Signed by the Governor on October 2 was AB 1506 (R. Hernández; D West Covina), which provides employers with a limited opportunity to cure technical violations in an itemized wage statement before being subject to costly and devastating litigation.
In July, Governor Brown signed job creator AB 323 (Olsen; R-Modesto), which streamlines infrastructure development by extending until January 1, 2010 the current California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption for certain roadway repair and maintenance projects.
The Governor’s continued attention to fiscal prudence led to vetoes of two job creator bills that contained tax credits, AB 35 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), an expansion of the low-income housing tax credit program, and SB 251 (Roth; D-Riverside), dealing with disability access; and a third job creator whose purpose the Governor said could be achieved by other means less burdensome to the state, SB 249 (Hueso; D-San Diego), authorizing enhanced driver licenses.
Among other bills vetoed by the Governor were CalChamber-opposed SB 682 (Leno; D-San Francisco), which would have put constraints on the courts’ ability to become more efficient as they try to effectively manage reduced appropriations; and AB 1017 (Campos; D-San Jose), which would have prohibited employers from obtaining relevant information important in the hiring process, with little benefit to the applicant and increased risk of litigation to the employer.
Final Status of Major Bills
Within each subject area, the CalChamber list presents bills in order of priority, with the highest priorities at the top.
The CalChamber published a preliminary status report in July and a second status report on September 18, following the Legislature’s adjournment for its interim recess.
October 11 was the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before it began its interim recess. The Legislature will reconvene for regular session on January 6, 2016.
On November 6, the CalChamber will publish a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate. 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, 2016. Urgency and budget-related measures go into effect immediately upon being signed.