28 of 32 ‘Job Killer’ Bills Fail in 2012
Twenty-eight of the 32 “job killer” bills identified by the California Chamber of Commerce in 2012 failed to become law.
Only six “job killer” bills passed the Legislature. The Governor vetoed two.
CalChamber also unveiled this year a new, one-of-a-kind website — CAJobKillers.com — which serves as a clearinghouse for all information related to those bills, regulations and policy makers deemed to be a threat to California’s ability to retain and create jobs.
Click on the bill numbers below for more information.
Barriers to Economic Recovery
AB 278 (Eng; D-Monterey Park)/ SB 900 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Impedes Economic Recovery — Establishes a private right of action that could result in costly litigation which could discourage investment in California’s housing market and make capital more expensive for consumers while creating procedural traps to impede the foreclosure process and delay lenders’ ability to recover collateral legitimately in foreclosure. AB 278 Signed—Chapter 86; SB 900 Signed—Chapter 87, Statutes of 2012.
AB 1543 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Unconstitutional Limit on International Trade — Increases the cost of state contracts by imposing an unlawful prohibition on state and local governments from contracting with businesses that use component parts and materials from other countries in construction projects and to manufacture goods. In Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee. Failed 04/27/12 deadline to move to fiscal committee.
AB 1602 (Eng; D-Monterey Park)/ SB 1470 (Leno; D-San Francisco)/) Impedes Economic Recovery — Delays the recovery of California’s housing market by allowing all borrowers, including strategic defaulters and investors, to abuse the loan modification process to forestall legitimate foreclosures. AB 1602 in Assembly Banking and Finance. SB 1470 in Senate Banking and Financial Institutions. Both bills failed 04/27/12 deadline to move to fiscal committee. Topic referred to legislative conference committee (see AB 278/SB 900 above).
AB 1897 (Campos; D-San Jose) Impedes Development — Originally increased the cost of development and created project delays by requiring that general plans incorporate concepts related to healthy food access and urban agriculture. With 05/17/12 amendments, no longer a "job killer." CalChamber still opposes.
AB 1963 (Huber; D-El Dorado Hills) Targeted Tax on Services — Originally imposed a new sales-and-use-tax base on numerous services, disadvantaging California businesses that will not benefit by the proposed reduction in other tax rates. Amended 04/25/12 to require a study of proposed changes. Opposition and "job killer" status removed.
AB 2408 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Creates Inequity in the Tax Structure — Harms struggling small businesses and start-ups by repealing the Net Operating Loss (NOL) carryback deduction, a lifeline that helps employers stay afloat, retain employees, and continue investing in their businesses in an economic downturn. Died awaiting action on Senate Floor (Third Reading) at end of session.
AB 2425 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles)/ SB 1471 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Impedes Economic Recovery — Delays the economic recovery of California’s housing market by allowing borrowers, including strategic defaulters and investors, to interrupt the foreclosure process to forestall legitimate foreclosures. AB 2425 in Assembly Banking and Finance. SB 1471 in Senate Banking and Financial Institutions. Both bills failed 04/27/12 deadline to move to fiscal committee. Topic referred to legislative conference committee (see AB 278/SB 900 above).
AB 2517 (Eng; D-Monterey Park) Inappropriate Wage Liens — Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees in certain industries to file liens on an employer’s real property or any property where work was performed, based on an alleged but unproven wage claim. Failed passage in Assembly.
AB 2540 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) Targeted Tax on Services — Before amendments, would have imposed a new sales-and-use-tax on numerous services, disadvantaging small businesses that may not necessarily benefit from the proposed tax exemption for the first $10,000 in business income. Amended 04/25/12 to deal with different subject, so no longer a "job killer."
SB 950 (Alquist; D-Santa Clara) Unreasonable and Duplicative Tax Penalties for Employers — Forces taxpayers to overpay their taxes in order to avoid severe penalties. Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing canceled. Failed 04/27/12 deadline to move to fiscal committee.
Costly Workplace Mandates
AB 1313 (Allen; D-Santa Rosa) Increased Cost on Agricultural Employers — Drives up the cost of commodities to consumers by removing the existing overtime exemption allowed for agricultural employers. Assembly refused to concur in Senate amendments, 08/31/12.
AB 1439 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase — Increases the cost of doing business on California employers by annually indexing the minimum wage rate upwards according to the percentage of inflation even during an economic downturn. Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 05/25/12.
AB 1450 (Allen; D-Santa Rosa) Exposure to Costly Discrimination Litigation — Before amendments, subjected employers to unjustified charges of discrimination for legitimately inquiring into an applicant's most recent employment history. Amended 08/22/12 to remove the threat of frivolous litigation for inquiring into an applicant’s most recent employment background. Opposition and "job killer" status removed. Vetoed.
AB 1808 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara) Improper Characterization of Private Employees to Allow Potential Card Check Unionization — Significantly expands the definition of “public employee” to include employees of any private employer where a public agency “shares” in the employment decisions of those private employees, thereby subjecting private employers to petitions of recognition from public employee unions. Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee hearing canceled. Failed 04/27/12 deadline to move to fiscal committee.
AB 1999 (Brownley; D-Santa Monica) Expansion of Discrimination Litigation — Makes it virtually impossible for employers to manage their employees and exposes them to a higher risk of litigation by expanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include a protected classification for any person who is, perceived, or associated with a family caregiver. Held on Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 08/16/12.
AB 2039 (Swanson; D-Alameda) Expansion of Protected Leave Requirements for California Employers — Creates a burdensome, California–only mandated benefit that significantly expands the category of individuals with serious health conditions for whom an employee can take a leave of absence beyond what is currently included under the federal Family Medical Leave Act. Held on Senate Appropriations Suspense File, 08/16/12.
AB 2217 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Targeted Burden on Companies with Call Centers — Discourages businesses from even locating a call center in California by requiring the business to adhere to overreaching mandates. Failed passage in Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, 04/18/2012
AB 2346 (Butler; D-Los Angeles) Increased Cost of Food — Could increase the price of food and force growers to move their crop production to other states and countries, thereby hurting California exports, by creating unprecedented and excessive consequences for perceived and actual violations of heat illness prevention regulations. Vetoed.
Expensive, Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens
AB 2424 (Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge) New State Goals for Forestry — Increases costs of timber production by changing the state’s forestry goals to give equal consideration to each public need when reviewing forestry operations, including Timber Harvest Plans. Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing canceled. Failed 05/11/12 deadline for policy committees to send nonfiscal bills to the floor.
SB 568 (A. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Polystyrene Food Container Ban — Threatens thousands of manufacturing jobs within the state by inappropriately banning all food vendors from using polystyrene foam food service containers, ignoring the numerous environmental benefits associated with polystyrene products. Failed passage in Assembly, 08/31/12.
Fuel Price Increases
AB 1186 (Skinner; D-Berkeley)/AB 1532 (John A. Pérez; D-Los Angeles)/ AB 2404 (Fuentes; D-Los Angeles)/ SB 535 (De León; D-Los Angeles)/ SB 1572 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Illegal Tax Increase — Increases energy costs, including fuel prices, on consumers and businesses by allocating funds from an illegal tax to various programs that are not necessary to cost-effectively implement the market-based trading mechanism under AB 32. AB 1186 Vetoed. AB 2404 held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 05/25/12. SB 1572 on Assembly Second Reading, 08/31/12. AB 1532 Signed—Chapter 807; SB 535 Signed—Chapter 830, Statutes of 2012.
Inflated Liability Costs
AB 1208 (C. Calderon; D-Montebello) Court Inefficiency — Creates uncertainty, inefficiency and unpredictability for litigants, further aggravating California’s reputation as a bad place to do business, by decentralizing control of trial court funds. In Senate Rules Committee. Failed 07/06/12 deadline to pass policy committee.
AB 2149 (Butler; D-Los Angeles) Discourages Settlement Agreements — Before amendments, would have inappropriately interfered in the contractual relationship between two parties by allowing the sharing of certain information contained in settlement agreements. Opposition and job killer status removed due to amendments. Signed, Chapter 644, Statutes of 2012.
SB 491 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa) Anti-Arbitration Legislation — Creates uncertainty for businesses regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements and dramatically increases litigation costs by encouraging more class actions and potentially pushing more cases into the courts. Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary Committee, 07/03/12.
SB 1528 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) Inflates Litigation and Insurance Costs — Artificially inflates medical damage awards in personal injury cases by allowing an injured party to recover expenses never actually incurred, which will ultimately increase legal costs as well as insurance rates. Failed passage in Assembly, 08/31/12.
Early Activity on 'Job Killer' Bills in 2012
SB 810 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Government-Run Health Care
Creates a new government-run, multibillion-dollar socialized health care system supported by an unspecified "premium structure" to be determined by 2014 and by prohibiting the sale of any private health care insurance. Failed passage in Senate.
AB 832 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Hidden Tax Increase
Before amendments, would have raised taxes on businesses and individuals by imposing a hidden tax on exempt software when the software is purchased in a bundle with hardware. Opposition and job killer status removed due to amendments.
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