Daily Headlines for June 25, 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.
Today’s Top Story
CalChamber Objects to Massive Expansion of Air Emissions Reporting Mandate
Small businesses, including many without in-house air specialists, may soon be required to report air emissions, according to a draft regulation that is advancing without a public hearing.
Does Public Banking Loom in California?
It is opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce, California Bankers Association, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and six other financial industry lobbying groups. Capitol Weekly
Lawmakers—Cutting Big Checks to Combat the Housing Crisis—Fight Over Who Gets the Money
California lawmakers have approved more than $2 billion in new state spending on housing and homelessness. If that sounds like a big number, it is. CALmatters
What Time Is the Democratic Presidential Debate? Who Gets to Be on Stage?
There are several reasons for the exceedingly large field: Changes to the nominating process — which all but eliminated the gate-keeping role of the major political parties — and the advent of social media have made it much easier to wage at least a semiserious run for president. Los Angeles Times
Human Resources / Health & Safety
California Legislature OKs Health Insurance Mandate
The California Legislature voted Monday to tax people who refuse to buy health insurance, bringing back a key part of former President Barack Obama’s health care law in the country’s most populous state after it was eliminated by Republicans in Congress. Associated Press
Feds Don’t Want Pot-Smoking Truckers Driving, but Struggle with Drug Testing Rules
The federal government has been trying for three years to figure out a way to test truck drivers for drug use on the job. Experts estimate it will take another three years for any guidelines to be in place. The Sacramento Bee
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Obamacare Cases with Billions of Dollars at Stake
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge from health insurers who argue the federal government owes them hefty Obamacare payments, stoking the possibility the Trump administration could be forced to pay out billions of dollars for a law it’s tried to dismantle. Politico
Federal Debt on Track to Reach Unsustainable Level in 30 Years, CBO Reports
The nation’s federal debt by the end of the year will reach the highest level since shortly after World War II and is on pace to reach historic and unsustainable levels within 30 years, according to a government report released Tuesday. Los Angeles Times
U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls in June; Home Sales Weak
U.S. consumer confidence fell to a 21-month low in June, with households a bit more pessimistic about business and labor market conditions amid concerns about a recent escalation in trade tensions between the United States and China. Reuters
U.S. Companies Brought Home More Profits from Overseas
Firms repatriated $776.51 billion in foreign profits last year following tax-law overhaul, $111 billion more than previously reported. The Wall Street Journal
Environmental / Agriculture
Checkmate? House Blocks Money for New Offshore Oil Drilling Off California Coast
When President Trump boldly announced that he was going to expand oil drilling off coastlines across the United St ates, including California’s, he drew cheers from the oil industry and dread from environmentalists and coastal tourism leaders. The San Jose Mercury News
Farm Deluge Starts to Seep Into America’s Fragile Rural Economy
The wet weather is presenting farmers with other purchasing dilemmas. Growers are weighing whether to trade up to the latest technology to protect crops and businesses, or use prior versions, according to Mark Patrick, chief financial officer of agro-chemical giant Syngenta AG. Bloomberg
Emergency Projects Aim to Protect California’s Most Vulnerable Areas from Catastrophic Wildfires
After battling the most destructive wildfires in California’s history over the past two years, Cal Fire is rolling out emergency fuel reduction projects to help protect the state’s most vulnerable communities. The Sacramento Bee
‘Storm Approaching’: Firms Fear for Deliveries in Shipping Shakeup
The tougher regulations, set by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), come into force on Jan 1. Costs will rise for ships towards the end of this year and there will be a knock on effect for trucks and other transporters that move goods around the world. Reuters
Russian Gas Pipeline to Germany Sows Divisions in Europe and Beyond
Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom says it is nearing completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, set to stretch 765 miles under the Baltic from a port north of St. Petersburg, Russia, directly to Germany. Los Angeles Times
Pain from Trump’s China Tariffs Spreads, Reshaping Global Trade
Global commerce is “being hit by new trade restrictions on a historically high level,” World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a report Monday that pointed to an increase in protectionist measures by G20 countries. “This will have consequences in increased uncertainty, lower investment and weaker trade growth.” Bloomberg
Infrastructure / Education
Trump Administration Proposes New Type of Apprenticeship
The Labor Department released its proposal Monday to create a new type of apprenticeship that would be run by business groups, colleges and other entities, rather than by the federal government. The Wall Street Journal
How the Fight Against Climate Change Is Exacerbating San Diego’s Affordable Housing Crisis
The San Diego region is on the front lines of a statewide push to abandon suburban development in favor of building denser urban communities — a vision many California leaders have called for to curb greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. The San Diego Union-Tribune
PG&E Owns Land Across California. What Will Happen to It?
PG&E owns hundreds of miles of tunnels and canals, a patchwork of parcels surrounding its ubiquitous transmission lines, and more than 200 square miles of watershed lands in 16 river basins — plus several thousand acres of land outside the watersheds, including field offices, substations, training facilities and its huge headquarters in downtown San Francisco, which may be worth close to $1 billion. San Francisco Chronicle
SB 1 Would Wreak Havoc on Water Management Progress
According to the CalChamber, this bill contains “vague, ambiguous, and broad language and lack of due process in the rulemaking process [that] would negatively impact the growth, employment, and investment decisions of almost every major California business.” Gordon Webster, Jr. in The Business Journal
LA Business Poll Says Raise Commercial Property Taxes, Lose Businesses
Increased rents for certain businesses and direct tax increases for others according to the business leaders would translate into fewer jobs, increased costs for goods and services, payroll cuts or lost jobs if the businesses pull up stakes in California. Those realities would directly affect the voters. Joel Fox in Fox and Hounds Daily
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