Daily Headlines for March 19, 2019

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

CalChamber Tags SB 1 as Job Killer; Bill Dealing with Environmental Standards Would Create Uncertainty and Increase Potential Litigation for California Companies
The California Chamber of Commerce today announced the second job killer of 2019 — SB 1 (Atkins; D-San Diego). The bill would give broad and sweeping discretion to state agencies to adopt rules and regulations that they determine are more stringent than federal rules and regulations adopted after January 19, 2017.

Public Affairs/Politics

CA120: In 2020, Don’t Forget California’s GOP Primary
With the coming 2020 Presidential primary, all eyes are on the plethora of Democratic candidates joining the fray, and the big possibility that an early California contest could catapult one or more contenders past Super Tuesday. Capitol Weekly

Trump’s 9th Circuit Court Nominee Doesn’t Live in California. Some Say That’s a Problem
9th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Daniel Bress was born and raised in Gilroy, Calif., but has lived all but one year of his adult life on the East Coast. The Sacramento Bee

Meet the Blue Wave Now Representing Orange County in Congress
Long a bastion of Republican power, Orange County is now represented entirely by Democrats. Los Angeles Times

Campus Collision Course: 2020 Democrats Battle for the Youth Vote
The 2020 campaign has arrived on college campuses—and at a few high schools—as Democratic presidential candidates scramble to establish relationships with young people, aiming to cultivate volunteers and stoke enthusiasm before school lets out for the summer. The Sacramento Bee

Human Resources / Health & Safety

March Madness Can Improve Office Morale
Your employees are very likely filling out their March Madness brackets right now. This year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) 81st annual college basketball tournament – dubbed March Madness – runs March 19 through April 8. HRWatchdog

California Truck Drivers Could Become Employees Under Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the California Trucking Association on Monday in a case that could classify tens of thousands of California truck drivers as employees of freight-hauling companies, with the right to minimum wages, overtime pay and reimbursement for business expenses. San Francisco Chronicle


California Has the Jobs, but Not Enough Homes
California’s economy is adding jobs far faster than affordable places to live, forcing some employers to leave the state as they expand. The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Newsom Says Trump-Backed Investment Program Could Boost California
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that a Trump administration program that provides tax breaks meant to spur investment in low-income areas could boost California’s economy. San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Factory Orders Barely Rise; Shipments Fall Further
New orders for U.S.-made goods rose less than expected in January and shipments fell for a fourth straight month, offering more evidence of a slowdown in manufacturing activity. Reuters

Environmental / Agriculture

Carbon-Based Sales Tax Study Bill to Be Considered in Senate Committee
A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed-unless-amended bill that will increase costs and place regulatory burdens on businesses is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee tomorrow. CalChamber

Western Drought Deal Is a Go, Without IID and as Salton Sea Clean-Up Remains Stalled
It’s done. The Colorado River Board of California voted 8-1-1 Monday to sign on to a multi-state drought contingency plan, which, somewhat ironically, might not be needed for two years because of an exceptionally wet winter. Palm Springs Desert Sun

California Prepares to Unleash National Guard to Help with Wildfire Prevention Efforts
California is preparing to mobilize National Guard troops to reduce the threat of wildfires by clearing hazardous dead trees, vegetation and creating fuel breaks, according to Cal Fire. CNBC

EPA Bans Consumer Use of Deadly Paint Stripper, in Rare Step
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday banned consumer use of a popular but deadly paint stripper but stopped short of also banning commercial use of the product by tradespeople. Associated Press


Multitude of Irish-U.S./California Trade, Investment Ties in Spotlight
The strong trade and investment links between Ireland and the United States, as well as California, were celebrated last week at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast held in conjunction with CalChamber Board events. CalChamber

Ship Owners Worry About Clean Fuel Bill as Ports Ban ‘Scrubbers’
More ports around the world are banning ships from using a fuel cleaning system that pumps waste water into the sea, one of the cheapest options for meeting new environmental shipping rules. Reuters

U.K. Reaches No-Deal Brexit Trade Pact With Norway and Iceland
The U.K. reached a temporary deal that secures trade with Norway and Iceland should Britain tumble out of the European Union with no deal at the end of March. Bloomberg

Infrastructure / Education

California’s Real ID Driver’s License? Still Confusing. What You Need to Know Now
What has this to do with you? Maybe nothing, but we’re going to tell you again why it matters, how this happened and why, as a traveler, you should care. Just try not to care too much, lest you implode. Los Angeles Times

Hundreds of New Oil Wells Could Soon Triple Santa Barbara County Production
Environmental groups and local residents are sounding alarms that proposed drilling projects would triple onshore oil production in Santa Barbara County — to which the oil industry says, “What’s wrong with that?” The Sacramento Bee

California Community Colleges Show Little Progress in Student Graduations and Transfers
California’s community colleges are making some gains toward ambitious goals of getting more students to complete degrees and transfer to universities but the small improvements last year were “disappointing” and show that much work remains ahead, the system’s leader said Monday. EdSource


Hyperpartisan Housing: A Common Crisis with Very Different Solutions
The Legislature cannot fix California’s housing crisis operating “business as usual.” On the other hand, the Legislature might consider these five bills that aim to address the housing crisis and reach across the partisan divide. Adam Regele in Capitol Insider

Ma Joad’s Heirs–And the Battle Today Over Independent Contractors
Soon after the decision, the California Chamber of Commerce launched an “I’m Independent” coalition, urging the legislature to revise the state’s labor laws. The Chamber noted that 2 million California workers work as independent contractors. Michael Bernick in Forbes

Tax Conformity Proposals in California
The main purpose of conformity is to reduce the compliance burden of having an entirely separate state tax system. Conformity allows taxpayers, practitioners and state tax administrators to rely on federal statutes, regulations, IRS rulings, etc. Chris Micheli in Fox&Hounds Daily

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