Daily Headlines for September 19, 2018

We scan major news sources* and compile selected articles to keep you up-to-date on current issues affecting California business – the economy, health care, environment, transportation and more. Receive Daily Headlines by Email

Today’s Top Story

Updated FMLA Forms Are Now Available
The federal Department of Labor (DOL) has released updated forms for managing leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Public Affairs/Politics

Gov. Brown Rejects Ban On Paying Initiative Circulators For Each Signature
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have banned campaigns from paying initiative, referendum and recall petition signature-gatherers on a per-signature basis. Capital Public Radio

It’s Getting Ugly in California Races that Hold Key to House Control
With six weeks to go before the Nov. 6 election, the TV and digital battle for California House seats is heating up. But it’s not the congressional candidates who are doing most of the spending. San Francisco Chronicle

Supreme Court Refuses to Block Dark Money Court Ruling
Dark money groups will be required to disclose the identities of some anonymous donors after the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stop a lower court’s ruling from taking effect. Associated Press

Human Resources / Health & Safety

NLRB Proposes Rule to Change Joint-Employer Standard
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made good on its promise to revisit the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) through the rulemaking process. Because joint-employer status can have significant implications for an employer, the newly proposed rule, which clarifies and narrows the standard for who is considered a “joint employer,” should provide some relief to employers. HRWatchdog

Appeals Court Sides with Bartenders and Waiters in Fight Over Tips
Restaurants must pay waiters and bartenders minimum wage when they are engaged in tasks such as cleaning toilets that are unrelated to their main jobs and do not offer tips, a divided U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday. Associated Press

Long Beach Cargo Logistics Firm to Pay $3.5 Million in Back Wages and Benefits
The U.S. Department of Labor said logistics firm California Cartage Co. will pay $3.5 million to nearly 1,500 warehouse workers, after investigators found the Long Beach company failed to pay wages and benefits required under federal law. Los Angeles Times

Selling Home-Cooked Food Will No Longer be Illegal Under Measure Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Tuesday that would allow people to sell food they make themselves, a practice that was previously outlawed due to health concerns. Los Angeles Times

Economy

Senate Passes Spending Measure, Step Toward Preventing Shutdown
The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to pass a mammoth spending package including $675 billion for the Defense Department and a measure to keep the entire federal government open until Dec. 7, a step toward avoiding a Sept. 30 shutdown. Reuters

Tax Law Limit on Deductions Looms Large in Some House Races
Congressman Leonard Lance voted last December with the interests of his northern New Jersey district in mind when he opposed his own party’s sweeping tax overhaul. Associated Press

U.S. Housing Starts Rise More Than Forecast While Permits Slump
U.S. new-home construction rose more than forecast to a three-month high in August, while permits unexpectedly saw the biggest drop since February 2017, adding to signs that homebuilding is struggling to stabilize, government figures showed Wednesday. Bloomberg

Environmental / Agriculture

California Sues Trump Administration Over Repeal of Methane Release Rule
California and New Mexico sued the Trump administration on Tuesday over its action to repeal requirements aimed at reducing methane leakage on federal and tribal lands, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said. Los Angeles Times

Sacramento, West Sacramento Aim to Eliminate Carbon Emissions by 2045
The mayors of Sacramento and West Sacramento announced Tuesday they are forming a joint commission that will look at ways the two cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045. The Sacramento Bee

A Farm’s Workers Voted 5 Years Ago on Ousting the UFW Union. Today, the Ballots are Being Counted
California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board is finally counting ballots cast five years ago by workers at the state’s largest producer of peaches and other stone fruit, after the ballots were impounded over irregularities in the campaign to oust the United Farm Workers union from Gerawan Farming. Los Angeles Times

International

China’s Premier Appeals for Free Trade Amid Tariff Battle
China’s No. 2 leader appealed Wednesday for support for free trade and promised to improve conditions for foreign companies following tit-for-tat U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes in a battle over Beijing’s technology policy. Associated Press

China Says Won’t Weaken Currency to Boost Exports, as U.S. Tariffs Mount
China will not stoop to competitive devaluation of its currency, Premier Li Keqiang stressed, hours after China hit back, with a softer punch than the one landed by the United States, in an escalating tariff war between the world’s largest economies. Reuters

U.S. Companies Repatriated $169.5 Billion in Second Quarter
U.S. corporations are required to pay a one-time tax on their offshore profits, but don’t expect those stockpiled funds to come onshore quickly — or ever. Bloomberg

Infrastructure / Education

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor to Retire at the End of the Academic Year
Blumenthal’s unusual longevity at UC — first as a doctoral student and then as a faculty member and administrator — has made him one of the leaders most knowledgeable about the system’s institutional history, politics and culture. Los Angeles Times

Proposed Bullet Train Routes Through San Fernando Valley to be Whittled Down to One
The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s preferred route for the Palmdale-to-Burbank segment of the state’s controversial bullet train plan will be revealed on Wednesday, Sept. 19, during a noon webcast. All of the three remaining route proposals would travel through the northeast San Fernando Valley, where the rail plan has faced some opposition from residents. They’d all end at a station near Hollywood Burbank Airport. Los Angeles Daily News

Financially Ailing Oakland Schools Will Get Cash Infusion Under New State Law
State lawmakers are coming to the aid of the financially embattled Oakland Unified School District, which is bracing for the effects of budget cuts over the next three years. On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Education Trailer Bill, which will provide financial relief to cash-strapped school districts across the state. San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion/Editorial

Prop 1 Builds the Affordable Housing Families Need
Proposition 1 would authorize a $4 billion bond to be spent on the state’s most critical housing needs. It includes $1.8 billion for construction or renovation of affordable housing for low-income, working families. The money would be put into action through loans to local governments and both non-profit and for-profit developers. Jim Beall in The East Bay Times

President Trump’s Increasing Chinese Tariffs Threaten the U.S. Economy
Despite serious misgivings from expert economists, the U.S. business community and even some members of his own staff, President Trump’s misguided trade war shows no sign of slowing down. San Francisco Chronicle

The Missing China Trade Strategy
President Trump on Monday imposed a long-threatened 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports, effective next week, with the rate set to increase to 25% at the end of the year. The Wall Street Journal

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