(July 19, 2012) California Chamber of Commerce-supported job creator bills that advance the state’s environmental policies, help create regulatory certainty and improve workforce development won approval from Assembly policy committees before legislators began their summer recess.
Still alive and awaiting action by the Assembly Appropriations Committee when legislators return are:
- SB 1139 (Rubio; D-East Bakersfield), which promotes job creation by reducing the regulatory burdens for the permitting process of carbon capturing and storage projects.
- SB 1099 (Wright; D-Inglewood), which provides certainty for business by creating a predictable and easy-to-track implementation schedule for new regulations and provides language of new regulations online for easier access.
- SB 1402 (Lieu; D-Torrance), which helps improve alignment of the state’s workforce needs and education resources by reauthorizing the Economic and Workforce Development program within the California Community College System.
All three bills are consistent with the goals of the CalChamber 2012 Renew Agenda and will help position California for economic recovery.
SB 1139: Establishes Framework
SB 1139 encourages job growth by creating regulatory certainty for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects.
In addition, the bill requires the California Air Resources Board to establish methodologies that would recognize these projects as important compliance instruments under AB 32, thereby providing further incentive for economic investment in this safe and proven method of capture and storage.
California is aggressively working to meet its ambitious environmental goals set forth by AB 32, The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
SB 1139 helps realize these goals by recognizing the important role that CCS projects play in achieving overall greenhouse gas emission reductions. Establishing a regulatory framework for the planning, construction, and operation of CCS projects will enable several projects to move forward that have been stalled due to existing regulatory uncertainties that were identified by the California Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Commission. Removing the gaps in the permitting process sends the confidence signal necessary to spur investment in CCS projects.
SB 1099: Regulatory Certainty
SB 1099 provides that all regulations must go into effect quarterly on January 1, April 1, July 1 or October 1, while still allowing for the adoption of emergency regulations when necessary.
The bill also requires the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to make available on its website a list of regulations awaiting implementation. State agencies must post on their website each regulation filed with the Secretary of State and provide OAL with electronic links to those regulations.
Each year, state agencies draft and implement numerous regulations that go into effect 30 days after being filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. Keeping track of these regulations throughout the year presents a difficult challenge for California businesses, especially small businesses that employ small staffs and have limited resources.
The current regulatory process often results in businesses being out of compliance and administrative penalties being levied.
SB 1099 addresses this issue by creating a single, reliable source for businesses to learn about any pending regulations.
SB 1402: Workforce Needs
SB 1402 reworks the Economic and Workforce Development program to help it better meet its objectives in light of significant funding cuts in recent years.
Over the last five years, funding for the program has fallen by more than 40%, making it harder for program managers to meet market needs and coordinate with the various entities working toward the same mission.
SB 1402 establishes a revised program to operate until January 1, 2018. The revisions include making the program more accountable by strengthening the evaluation framework for grants and programs; and encouraging better integration and communication with career technical education programs.
Long-term and short-term programs to be funded include advanced transportation, biotechnology, environmental technologies, health care delivery and international trade.
Reauthorizing the redesigned program will help ensure that students continue to have access to a program targeted toward employable career paths, and that employers have access to a growing pool of qualified workers trained in the subjects in highest demand.
SB 1139 unanimously passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on July 2, 8-0.
Ayes: Brownley (D-Santa Monica), Chesbro (D-North Coast), Dickinson (D-Sacramento), Grove (R-Bakersfield), Halderman (R-Fresno), Huffman (D-San Rafael), Knight (R-Antelope Valley), Monning (D-Carmel).
Absent/abstaining/not voting: Skinner (D-Berkeley).
SB 1099 passed the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee on a unanimous vote of 9-0 on June 19.
Ayes: Allen (D-Santa Rosa), B. Berryhill (R-Ceres), Butler (D-Los Angeles), Eng (D-Monterey Park), Hagman (R-Chino Hills), Hayashi (D-Hayward), Hil (D-San Mateo), Ma (D-San Francisco), Smyth (R-Santa Clarita).
SB 1402 passed two policy committees on July 3 with no opposition.
The 6-0 vote in the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee was:
Ayes: Beall (D-San Jose), Block (D-San Diego), Grove (R-Bakersfield), Hueso (D-San Diego), Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), V. M. Pérez (D-Coachella).
The 8-0 vote in the Assembly Higher Education Committee was:
Ayes: Block (D-San Diego), Brownley (D-Santa Monica), Fong (D-Cupertino), Galgiani (D-Livingston), Lara (D-Los Angeles), Miller (R-Corona), Olsen (R-Modesto), Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge).
Absent/abstaining/not voting: Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo).
Staff Contact: Brenda M. Coleman, Marc Burgat, Amy Mmagu