Legislative Update After Legislature’s House of Origin Deadline

Nine California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills and two job creator bills remain after Friday’s deadline for bills to pass their house of origin in the California Legislature.

Today, SB 220 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), was added to the CalChamber Job Killer List, bringing the current total number of remaining job killer bills to 10.

A number of CalChamber-opposed bills also passed Friday’s deadline, but two problematic bills were stopped and are likely dead for the year.

Bills Stopped

The following CalChamber-opposed bills failed Friday’s deadline:

  • AB 9 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance): Greenhouse Gases. Imposes additional evaluation criteria on California’s cap-and-trade program that will lead to market instability and increased costs for consumers.
  • AB 1290 (Luz Rivas; D-San Fernando Valley): Bans Critical Packaging. Would circumvent the Circular Economy framework outlined in Senate Bill 54 (Allen-2022) by banning critically needed packaging used for products like over the counter medicines and to extend the shelf life of food products.

Remaining Job Killer Bills

The following job killers bills remain active:

  • AB 524 (Wicks; D-Oakland):Expansion of Litigation Under FEHA. Exposes employers to costly litigation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act by asserting that any adverse employment action was in relation to the employee’s family caregiver status, which is broadly defined to include any employee who contributes to the care of any person of their choosing, and creates a de facto accommodation requirement that will burden small businesses.
  • AB 259 (Lee; D-San Jose)ACA 3 (Lee; D-San Jose): Wealth Tax. Seeks to impose a massive tax increase upon all forms of personal property or wealth, whether tangible or intangible, despite California already having the highest income tax in the country. This tax increase will drive high-income earners out of the State as well as the revenue they contribute to the General Fund.
  • AB 647 (Holden; D-Pasadena): Grocery Workers. Significantly expands statute related to successor grocery employers, including disrupting ability for independent small stores to join together, expands number of workers covered under the law, and creates a significant new private right of action.
  • SB 365 (Wiener: D-San Francisco):Undermines Arbitration. Discriminates against use of arbitration agreements by requiring trial courts to continue trial proceedings during any appeal regarding the denial of a motion to compel, undermining arbitration and divesting courts of their inherent right to stay proceedings.
  • SB 399 (Wahab; D-Hayward):Bans Employer Speech. Chills employer speech regarding religious and political matters, including unionization. Is likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment and preempted by the National Labor Relations Act.
  • SB 525 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles):Costly Minimum Wage Increase. Imposes significant cost on health care facilities and any employer who works with health care facilities by mandating increase in minimum wage to $25.
  • SB 616 (Gonzalez; D-Long Beach):Costly Sick Leave Expansion on All Employers. Imposes new costs and leave requirements on employers of all sizes, by more than doubling existing sick leave mandate, which is in addition to all other enacted leave mandates that small employers throughout the state are already struggling with to implement and comply.
  • SB 627 (Smallwood-Cuevas; D-Los Angeles):Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process to hire employees based on seniority alone for nearly every industry, including hospitals, retail, restaurants, and movie theaters, which will delay hiring and eliminates contracts for at-will employment.
  • SB 723 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles):Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic, and removes guardrails on existing law by making mandate permanent and significantly broadening the applicability of the law.

Remaining Opposed Bills

Some of the CalChamber-opposed bills that passed Friday’s deadline are:

  • AB 421 (Bryan; D-Los Angeles): Dismantles Referendum Process. Dramatically changes state’s direct democracy process to essentially eliminate the ability for anyone to qualify a referendum.
  • AB 460 (Bauer-Kahan; D-Orinda): Water Rights. Gives State Water Board broad authority to issue interim relief orders for a wide variety of alleged water use violations, with little or no opportunity to be heard. Prevents judicial review of an interim relief order.
  • AB 594 (Maienschein; D-San Diego): Public Prosecutor Enforcement. Allows all public prosecutors to enforce significant portion of the Labor Code, risking inconsistent enforcement and with no protection against additional recovery under a subsequent Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) lawsuit.
  • AB 1356 (Haney; D-San Francisco): WARN Act Expansion. Significantly expands WARN Act by increasing notice period, changing definition of covered establishment, and expanding applicability to workers under overly broad definition of “employee of a labor contractor.”
  • SB 253 (Wiener; D-San Francisco): Corporate Climate Accountability Act. Imposes a mandatory climate tracking, and auditing on climate emissions that will fall heavily on all California businesses, impacting competitiveness and increasing costs.
  • SB 261 (Stern; D-Canoga Park): Climate-Related Financial Risk. Requires any business with revenues over $500 million annually to prepare a climate financial risk assessment on its holdings including any supply chain assets.
  • SB 497 (Smallwood-Cuevas; D-Los Angeles): 90-Day retaliation Presumption. Implements 90-day retaliation presumption for certain claims, which is unnecessary in light of existing case law and will waste judicial resources by allowing claims to continue regardless of their merit.
  • SB 553 (Cortese; D-San Jose): New One-Size-Fits-All Workplace Violence Regulation. Takes a regulation written for hospitals related to workplace violence and applies it to all workplaces, regardless of size of resources. Also defines “violence” as speech that annoys employees, creating significant obligations even when no violence or actual threat of violence has occurred.
  • SB 729 (Menjivar; D-Los Angeles): Health Care Cost Driver. Increases health care costs by mandating plans and insurers provide coverage for fertility services to diagnose and treat infertility, including in vitro fertilization.

Remaining Job Creator Bills

The following job creator bills passed Friday’s deadline and are active:

  • AB 52 (Grayson; D-Concord):Manufacturing Tax Credit Expansion. Expands investment and production in California by expanding the sales and use tax exemption for the purchase of manufacturing and research and development (R&D) equipment.
  • SB 301 (Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge):Conversion to Zero-Emission Vehicles. Creates an incentive for key components of aftermarket conversion to zero emissions vehicles which will foster innovation and job growth in California.
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