CalChamber in the News


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

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An Updated Analysis of the Cal Chamber’s ‘Job Killer’ Bill Program
The California Chamber of Commerce is well-known for its annual “Job Killer” designation that has been in existence for just over a quarter century. How have bills fared with the Job Killer designation during the past five gubernatorial administrations? Let’s take a look generally as well as at those governors’ final actions. California Globe, October 12, 2023

Governor Newsom Puts Historic Mental Health Transformation on March 2024 Ballot
…California Chamber of Commerce CEO Jennifer Barrera: “We applaud Governor Newsom and the legislature for taking these bold steps to address the social crises manifesting on our streets. California employers, especially retailers, public-facing leisure and hospitality businesses, and health care, are at the front lines, and many struggle daily to stay open and provide a safe and welcoming business environment for their workers and customers. This ambitious response provides the necessary resources to enable a more effective response by service providers and get help to those most in need.” Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, October 12, 2023

Newsom Vetoes Layoff Notice Bill That Would Have Protected Contract Workers
…The California Chamber of Commerce opposed Haney’s bill throughout the legislative process, writing in a July letter that it unnecessarily expands notice requirements, and that “the new group of workers that would fall under the WARN Act requirements is far too broad.” San Francisco Chronicle, October 9, 2023

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Law Requiring Big Businesses to Disclose Emissions
…But the California Chamber of Commerce, agricultural groups and oil giants that oppose the law say it will create new mandates for companies that don’t have the experience or expertise to accurately report their indirect emissions. They also say it is too soon to implement the requirements at a time when the federal government is weighing emissions disclosure rules for public companies. The Associated Press, October 7, 2023

California Workers Will Get More Paid Sick Days
…But the California Chamber of Commerce, which had the bill on its “job killer” list, warned of the impact on small businesses. The Chamber, in a statement: “Our concern is that far too many small employers simply cannot absorb this new cost, especially when viewed in context of all of California’s other leaves and paid benefits, and they will have to reduce jobs, cut wages, or raise consumer prices to deal with this mandate.” CalMatters, October 5, 2023

It’s Crunch Time for California Climate Bills
…But the California Chamber of Commerce remains opposed. Brady Van Engelen, a policy advocate for the chamber, said the bill would add costs to doing business in the state, which already has some of the highest housing and energy prices in the country. The Washington Post, September 12, 2023

As Hollywood Strikes Drag On, California Lawmakers Consider Unemployment Pay for Striking Workers
…“This is going to hit employers, even those who have no involvement at all in any labor dispute and never have, but they’re still going to pay increased taxes,” said Robert Moutrie, a policy advocate at the California Chamber of Commerce. Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2023

The Top 100 Turns 15
…20. Jennifer Barrera
Jennifer Barrera, president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber of Commerce, commands the state’s most powerful pro-business political group. Capitol Weekly, August 16, 2023

Should California Require Buffer Zones Around New Oil Wells? Voters May Be Asked Twice
…The California Chamber of Commerce has said companies are turning to the referendum process, in part, in response to the overwhelming supermajority of Democrats in the Legislature. The chamber has defended the use of the referendum process, comparing the few referendums that qualified for the ballot over the last decade to the thousands of laws approved in the same time period. Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2023

California High Court Rejects Arbitrating Group PAGA Claims
…The pro-business Californians for Fair Pay and Employer Accountability, whose members include the California Chamber of Commerce, California New Car Dealers Association, and Western Growers Association, got the initiative onto the November 2024 ballot, when turnout for the presidential election is expected to be high. Bloomberg Law, July 17, 2023

Newsom Takes on the CEQA Beast, Proposes Expediting Transit, Climate Projects
…But the governor did secure some early support from the business community, including the powerful California Chamber of Commerce and GOP legislators. In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones, R-Santee (San Diego County), said his caucus was “thrilled that Gov. Newsom is finally taking action.” San Francisco Chronicle, May 19, 2023

California Democrats at Odds Over How to Close Growing Budget Deficit
…However, business groups denounced the proposed corporate tax increase. “Now is not the time to test California’s ability to withstand the impact of an economic downturn or a recession by placing our economic success at risk,” said Jennifer Barrera, president of the California Chamber of Commerce. CalMatters, May 1, 2023

Businesses Sue to Stay Enforcement of California Privacy Law
The California Chamber of Commerce is suing the California Privacy Protection Agency over missed deadlines to implement regulations, seeking a delay of enforcement of the state’s new privacy law. The legal action took place March 30, a day after the first set of regulations for the California Privacy Rights Act—a voter-passed initiative that strengthens and updates the state’s privacy protections—went into effect. Bloomberg, April 3, 2023

The California Bills on a Business ‘Kill List’
…At the same time, the California Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobbying group, has honed a specific strategy with a high success rate — labeling bills it deems most burdensome “job-killers” and tracking them on an annual list. This week, the chamber announced its initial list for 2023. Among the bills are…CalMatters, March 31, 2023

Court Upholds California Prop. 22 in Big Win for Gig Firms Like Lyft And Uber
…“Voters knew what they were voting on,” said Jennifer Barrera, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business group which supported Prop. 22. “They wanted to maintain the flexibility for these gig workers and provide them the opportunity to do this work. And I think that’s ultimately, what the judge did is to uphold that flexibility.” CalMatters, March 13, 2023

Allan Zaremberg, Dean of State Business Community, Remembered as Advocate For California
As the leader of the California Chamber of Commerce, Allan Zaremberg was the dean of the state’s business community and guided the policies that affected one of the largest economies in the world for more than two decades. Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2023

Why California’s Well-Intentioned PAGA Labor Law Needs Reform
A California law helping workers file labor code violations claims, known as the Private Attorneys General Act, often hurts workers and employers alike. A proposed reform will appear on the 2024 November ballot. Jennifer Barrera in CalMatters, February 2, 2023


Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Jennifer Barrera
When we last visited Jennifer Barrera, she was executive vice president of the California Chamber of Commerce. Now, she is president and chief executive officer, replacing Allan Zaremberg, who had held the position for years. Capitol Weekly, August 9, 2022

College or Career? California Invests $500 Million in Program that Tackles Both
A question that has long vexed American secondary education is whether to prepare students for college or a career. With the creation of the Golden State Pathways Program, California has decided to invest in both. EdSource, July 07, 2022

The effort to reform PAGA — law that facilitates employees to sue employers
The California Chamber of Commerce also argues most of the money from these lawsuits goes to attorneys, while workers don’t see much of the cash themselves. President of the California Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Barrera spoke to 17 News about the changes the chamber hopes to enact with the new initiative. KGET, April 1, 2022

Abounding PRIDE: Future Looks Bright Despite Challenges
As pandemic lockdowns began, California’s unemployment rate spiked from 4.3 percent to 16 percent. The economic collapse might have devastated one of the Sacramento region’s major organizations—PRIDE Industries, with 5,500 employees and revenue of $300 million. But PRIDE marched forward, bolstered by its legacy of providing essential services in areas such as facility maintenance, custodial and landscaping. INSIDE Sacramento, March 2022


New CEO Jennifer Barrera Takes the Helm of California Chamber of Commerce
Whether it’s climate change, Covid-19 or affordable housing, Jennifer Barrera knows that almost every issue discussed at California’s Capitol ends up affecting businesses. And lately, several hot topics seem to be coming up at once. Sacramento Business Journal, December 4, 2021

After Decades in California Politics, Allan Zaremberg Has Some Parting Advice for the GOP
California is changing, so politicians and voters must change with it or lose. That’s the parting advice of Allan Zaremberg, the retiring California Chamber of Commerce president, after four decades of dealing with lawmakers in Sacramento. Los Angeles Times, November 25, 2021

Cal/OSHA Prepares Updates to COVID-19 Workplace Rules; Federal Rules Due Soon
State regulators have released draft text of the updates to Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for workplaces, which are scheduled to be in place until a proposed two-year provision takes effect next spring. Stakeholder review of the ETS began late last month; there has been no public discussion such as an advisory committee, but stakeholders can submit written comments, Robert Moutrie, policy advocate with the California Chamber of Commerce, said in an email response to the Northern California Record. Northern California Record, November 4, 2021

Allan Zaremberg Reflects on Two Decades as California’s Top Business Advocate
Scott and Marisa discuss Governor Gavin Newsom’s push to ban new oil drilling near schools and homes, and the local recalls heading to the ballot in San Francisco and Shasta. Then, Allan Zaremberg, the president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, joins to discuss his career working for two governors and representing business interests at the state capitol, before his planned retirement at year’s end. KQED, October 29, 2021

Newsom, Legislature Push the State Leftward
…AB 616 was just one of two bills on the California Chamber of Commerce “job killer” list to reach Newsom’s desk intact. While he vetoed it, he signed the other, Assembly Bill 62, also a union-sponsored measure than bans piecework pay in the garment industry. Dan Walters in CalMatters, October 12, 2021

Job Killers Reach Newsom’s Desk
The California Legislature recently wrapped up its session, sending three questionable bills to Gov. Newsom that would negatively impact businesses. One is AB 616, identified by the California Chamber of Commerce as a job killer, which would limit an employee’s ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace by essentially eliminating a secret ballot. The Business Journal, September 21, 2021

6 Bills on Recycling, Plastic Await Newsom’s Signature
…However, the most wide-reaching proposal, SB 54, was tabled for the third consecutive year in the face of opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and a host of packaging and plastics interests. Those groups say the bill would unreasonably raise costs on businesses and consumers. The Orange County Register, September 21, 2021

CalChamber Appoints New CEO
The California Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of Jennifer Barrera as the organization’s next President and CEO, effective October 1. Barrera will succeed retiring CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg, who will remain on the job until the end of 2021. Zaremberg served as CalChamber president and CEO for 23 years. The Business Journal, September 17, 2021

Newsom’s Call: Governor’s Final Say on the Top 21 Bills of ’21
…Vote-by-mail for farmworker union elections…Business groups, like California Chamber of Commerce, and groups that represent the interests of farm owners, like the Western Growers Association, oppose the bill. They say they’re concerned about workers being pressured into voting a certain way if this bill is enacted. Workers are allowed to have a witness present when they vote at home under this bill. CalMatters, September 8, 2021

New Vaccine Mandates Falter in California Legislature as Protesters Gather in Sacramento
Low said he reached a deal with the California Labor Federation and the California Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, appearing to clear the way for the COVID-19 workplace proposal to be amended into a bill and put to a vote in the Legislature this week. Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2021

Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: The Year of Living Dangerously
…12 Allan Zaremberg
Allan Zaremberg has been with the California Chamber of Commerce for nearly 30 years, and its top dog – president and CEO – for more than 20. He’s a perennial figure on this list, and for good reason: He heads the state’s most politically powerful business group, and is aggressive about picking and winning political fights. Capitol Weekly, August 25, 2021

California’s Top Business Leader Retires on High Note
Allan Zaremberg, the Capitol’s top business leader as CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, is retiring with an enviable track record. Dan Walters in CalMatters, August 18, 2021

Here’s to a Year of Beating Job Killers
The California Chamber of Commerce and its allies are taking a well-deserved victory lap for ending the legislative sessions stopping 23 or the 25 job killer bills identified this year in Sacramento. Gordon Webster, Jr. in The Business Journal, August 6, 2021

Back to the Office? The Complaints and Lawsuits Are Already Trickling In
…Managing the transition back to the office is likely to involve delicate negotiations. Getting people back to work side by side with colleagues is “going to be tough, just like it was tough getting us home,” attorney Jennifer Shaw said in a recent California Chamber of Commerce podcast. “I’ve been saying to employers, try to have empathy.” Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2021

California Delays Debate on Easing Virus Rules for Workers
…Having two conflicting enforcement dates would be “a huge source of confusion and problems,” California Chamber of Commerce policy advocate Rob Moutrie told the board. The Associated Press, May 20, 2021

What California Leaders Are Saying About Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $268 Billion Spending Plan
…“California’s record budget surplus represents a once in a generation opportunity to remedy our most pressing issues. We need to invest in education and create opportunities to improve outcomes as well as make quality higher education a priority so we can continue to be a magnet for the best talent in the world. We look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to make sure California remains a top tourist destination, trading partner and leader in innovation as well as the best state in the nation to live and work.” – Allan Zaremberg May 14, 2021

California Governor Seeks $1.5B Boost for Small Businesses
…California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg praised Newsom’s announcement and urged lawmakers to support it. But he warned them to not pass what he called “costly, onerous new regulations,” including a measure that would force employers to provide paid bereavement leave and give bonuses to some health care workers, among other proposals. “Let’s not forget, it is California’s successful businesses that have provided a once-in-a-generation budget surplus that will allow the state to address some of its most pressing needs,” Zaremberg said. The Associated Press, May 13, 2021

Newsom Proposes COVID Grants Up to $25,000 for Thousands More California Businesses
…“Small businesses intimately understand the pain and stress of the last year — directly understand it — and the struggle now to reopen with all of the dust settling around us,” Newsom said during a virtual address to a meeting of the California Chamber of Commerce. Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2021

Holding the Line Against New Taxes Will Improve California’s Economic Future
Significant tax increases proposed in the Legislature would make California less competitive when seeking to attract jobs and investments. Allan Zaremberg and Robert Gutierrez in CalMatters, May 11, 2021

Sacramento DA to Challenge AG Rob Bonta + Bakersfield on Fracking + Jenner’s In
…The California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg said in a statement that fossil fuels will continue to play a crucial role in our economy for the foreseeable future.”
“Oil production in California reduces our reliance on foreign fuel imports and provides good paying middle-class jobs in the Central Valley. Oil production in California is highly regulated and more environmentally friendly than having to import the energy that will be required if we do away with in-state production. Thus, the Central Valley will unnecessarily suffer a loss of good paying middle-class jobs for no additional environmental benefit,” Zaremberg said. The Sacramento Bee, April 26, 2021

California ‘Job Killer’ List Reignites Old Conflict
Annually, the California Chamber of Commerce chooses a relative handful of the hundreds of bills pending in the Legislature and labels them “job killers” that would impose new regulatory or taxation burdens. Dan Walters in CalMatters, April 12, 2021

Court Issues Injunction Enjoining New Prop 65 Acrylamide Lawsuits
…The California Chamber of Commerce filed suit against the state, arguing that by compelling a Proposition 65 warning on consumer food products with regard to cancer risks from acrylamide exposure is counter to the First Amendment, by forcing false speech. The court agreed, and analyzed the issue under the standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Council, 471 U.S. 626 (1985). JDSupra, March 31, 2021

Ah, It’s Bill Passing Season in California Again – and No Employer is Safe!
…The California Chamber of Commerce has just identified a host of recently introduced “Job Killer” Bills from the California Legislature. This year’s list includes 18 bills that would expand Cal/OSHA authority and enforcement; create a new single-payer health care system; impose new mandatory leave requirements; and further increase taxes. As is often the case, many of these measures seem to be “solutions in search of a problem,” according to Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg. The National Law Review, March 29, 2021

Chamber of Commerce Urges California to Ease Restrictions on Employers
The California Chamber of Commerce and nearly 200 other organizations joined in a January 13 letter to the Governor and the leadership of the state Senate and Assembly, urging them to stave off a growing exodus of businesses by loosening the California’s regulatory yoke on employers. The National Law Review, March 4, 2021

Get to Know Mark Jansen, a Most Admired CEO Honoree
…Join us as we honor the area’s top CEOs as selected by their peers. These are individuals who have made a positive impact through their dedication and leadership inside their company and in the business community as a whole. Sacramento Business Journal, February 26, 2021

Is Unaffordable California Still the Land of Economic Opportunity?
…The California luxury tax falls hardest on poor and working Californians. We have among the highest utility rates, gasoline prices, housing and rental costs, consumer taxes and insurance premiums in the nation — and public policy is making it worse. Loren Kaye in The Sacramento Bee, February 24, 2021

California Workers Could Get 2 Weeks of Sick Leave for COVID, Quarantines Under New Proposal
…The California Chamber of Commerce is fighting the proposal, contending employers can’t afford “the immediate payroll costs necessary to pay for the 80-hour leave requirement mandated by” the bills. California should reimburse its businesses for the cost of giving workers paid sick days, Chamber of Commerce policy advocate Ashley Hoffman wrote. The Sacramento Bee, February 24, 2021

Prop. 65 Reform Sorely Needed in California
The first line in a recent alert from the California Chamber of Commerce is tongue-in-cheek, but clearly represents how things are in the Golden State when it comes to business regulation. “WARNING: Everything in California May Cause Cancer.” The Business Journal, February 18, 2021

Californians with Low Incomes to Receive $600 Checks Under $9.6-Billion COVID-19 Economic Package
The assistance was also hailed by Denise Davis, spokeswoman for the California Chamber of Commerce. “California’s small businesses are reeling from the economic fallout of COVID-19 shutdowns and need the financial bridge that grants, tax breaks and fee waivers offer so that they can stay afloat until our economy recovers,” Davis said. Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2021

We’ll Need to Replace the Gas Tax in Transition to ZEVs
California should reinvigorate effort to research and introduce a road users charge – in effect trading a gas tax for a fee on miles traveled. Loren Kaye in CalMatters

California Expects Record Revenues in Stunning Covid Budget Reversal
“Any and all efforts to provide relief for small businesses, alleviate regulatory burdens and eliminate costs for them as they struggle through this pandemic should continue to be the priority of the Governor and policy makers,” California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg said in a statement. “The Legislature must act quickly on these proposals.” Politico, January 8, 2021

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