Job Killer Update: Two Bills Pass to Governor, Veto Requested

Only two of the 31 job killer bills identified this year by the California Chamber of Commerce have passed out of the Legislature and been sent to Governor Gavin Newsom.

One of the bills, SB 1  (Atkins; D-San Diego), which the Governor has indicated he will veto, threatened to create adverse consequences by impairing the state’s ability to adaptively manage its water supply. The second job killer bill, AB 51 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego), prohibits arbitration of labor and employment claims as a condition of employment.

SB 1 Veto

It has been reported that Governor Newsom plans to veto SB 1.

“All Californians who rely on a clean, dependable and affordable supply of water should welcome news that Governor Newsom has indicated he will veto SB 1,” CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg said. “SB 1 posed a major threat to California’s water supply and reliability, and the Governor has shown outstanding leadership in announcing his veto of this measure. While Senator Toni Atkins and the Governor are allies, we appreciate the Governor making California water policy the priority.”

Ban on Arbitration Agreements

The CalChamber is asking members to contact the Governor and urge a veto on AB 51 .

The CalChamber has tagged AB 51 as a job killer due to the significant increased costs employers will face as a result of more litigation and the expense of delayed dispute resolutions if the bill becomes law. The bill also proposes to add a new private right of action under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and exposes employers to criminal liability for any violation.

In opposing AB 51, the CalChamber has emphasized repeatedly that the bill will undoubtedly be challenged in court, creating more litigation without providing any benefit to employees as intended. Last year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed a virtually identical bill, AB 3080 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego), citing his recognition that the bill “plainly violates federal law.”

Both the California Court of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court have held specifically that state legislation trying to ban arbitration agreements is preempted by federal law, the Federal Arbitration Act. Numerous opinions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court over the last decade have consistently held that any state law which interferes with, discriminates against, or limits the use of arbitration is preempted by federal law.

Bills Stopped

The bill would have significantly increased costs on employers engaged in a trade dispute by allowing employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasted more than four weeks, incentivizing strikes, burdening employers, and potentially affecting the solvency of California’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) fund.

In opposing AB 1066, the CalChamber and a coalition of employer groups and local chambers of commerce pointed out that the bill would have created additional solvency issues for the California UI system; and would have burdened even nonstriking workplaces, because employers without striking workers would  face increased costs from being forced to pay increased UI taxes.

 The bills would have set impractical recycling rates and deadlines, provided CalRecycle with broad emergency regulatory authority that included significant fee authority with no legislative oversight, draconian penalties for unintentional data reporting errors, and lacked assurances that local jurisdictions and waste haulers would pull material through for all recyclable and compostable materials, among other significant issues.

Both bills ignored the lack of current recycling and composting infrastructure in California and inadequate funding mechanism for deploying the infrastructure at the local level to develop a robust functioning waste management system.

The proposed constitutional amendment would have impeded the ability of the University of California (UC) to use its restricted state funding in the most efficient manner possible to continue expanding enrollment without compromising on the quality of the education it provides or substantially increasing the state’s General Fund contribution by placing an unreasonable contract prohibition on the UC for support services.

The prohibition on contracting out for support services under ACA 14 not only affected UC campuses but would also have affected UC medical centers, clinics and laboratories. With health care costs increasing nationally, California should not make it more difficult for medical centers and clinics to keep health care costs down.

Cumulative Job Killer Vetoes 

2019: 31 job killers identified, 2 sent to Governor Gavin Newsom;

2018: 29 Job Killers identified, 1 sent to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., 1 vetoed;

2017: 27 Job Killers identified, 3 sent to Governor Brown, 2 signed, 1 vetoed;

2016: 24 Job Killers identified, 5 sent to Governor Brown, 4 signed, and 1 vetoed;

2015: 19 Job Killer bills identified, 3 sent to Governor Brown, 1 signed, and 2 vetoed;

2014: 27 Job Killer bills identified, 2 sent to Governor Brown, 2 signed;

2013: 38 Job Killer bills identified, 1 sent to Governor Brown, 1 signed;

2012: 32 Job Killer bills identified, 6 sent to Governor Brown, 4 signed, 2 vetoed;

2011: 30 Job Killer bills identified, 5 sent to Governor Brown, 1 signed, 4 vetoed;

2010: 43 Job Killer bills identified, 12 sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2 signed, 10 vetoed;

2009: 33 Job Killer bills identified, 6 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 6 vetoed;

2008: 39 Job Killer bills identified, 10 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 1 signed, 9 vetoed;

2007: 30 Job Killer bills identified, 12 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 12 vetoed;

2006: 40 Job Killer bills identified, 11 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 2 signed, 9 vetoed;

2005: 45 Job Killer bills identified, 8 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 1 signed, 7 vetoed;

2004: 23 Job Killer bills identified, 10 sent to Governor Schwarzenegger, 10 vetoed;

2003: 53 Job Killer bills identified, 13 sent to Governor Gray Davis, 11 signed, 2 vetoed;

2002: 35 Job Killer bills identified, 17 sent to Governor Davis, 12 signed, 5 vetoed;

2001: 12 Job Killer bills identified, 5 sent to Governor Davis, 3 signed, 2 vetoed;

2000: No Job Killers identified. Of 4 bad bills identified at end of session, Governor Davis signs 2 and vetoes 2;

1999: 30 Job Killer bills identified, 9 sent to Governor Davis, 6 signed, 3 vetoed;

1998: 64 Job Killer bills identified, 11 sent to Governor Pete Wilson, 11 vetoed;

1997: 57 Job Killer bills identified, 9 sent to Governor Wilson, 9 vetoed.

The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable and easy-to-use compliance products and services.