2005 'Job Killer' Bills
Following is the 2005 list of “job killer” proposals. The 40+ proposals will have a negative impact on California’s economy and the competitiveness of employers here. Notes in red identify “job killers” that have been stopped for 2005 or amended to remove opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce. Bill status is the status at the end of the 2005 legislative session. Bills without links to further information have been amended to deal with different subjects. Stalled bills are eligible for consideration in 2006.
- AB 6 (Chan; D-Oakland) Personal income tax increase.* Increases the tax burden on small business by increasing personal income tax rate to 10 and 11 percent and the alternative tax rate to 8.5 percent. Stalled.
- AB 9 (Coto; D-San Jose) Sales tax increase. Increases the cost of doing business by placing a sales tax on certain services. Stalled.
- AB 48 (Lieber; D-Mountain View) Minimum wage increase.* Provides significant disincentive for employers to create jobs in California by giving our state the highest minimum wage in the country. Increases the cost of doing business by billions annually by raising the state minimum wage to $7.25 in 2006 and to $7.75 in 2007, and indexing increases every year thereafter. Vetoed.
- AB 169 (Oropeza; D-Long Beach) Excessive litigation.* Negatively distinguishes California from the rest of the country by exposing every business to excessive litigation and increases the cost of doing business by mandating damage awards and new civil penalties for gender pay equity violations. Vetoed.
- AB 391 (Koretz; D-West Hollywood) UI benefit expansion.* Increases the cost of doing business in California by forcing California employers to subsidize a strike against their own company by providing unemployment insurance benefits to workers unemployed due to a strike. Vetoed.
- AB 528 (Frommer; D-Glendale) Predatory litigation. Increases predatory lawsuits and opens the door to the very type of litigation the voters of California sought to stop through the passage of Proposition 64 by expanding the potential for frivolous litigation on alleged violations of permits, regulations and statutes. Stalled.
- AB 581 (Klehs) New Reasons to Sue. Makes California less desirable as a place to establish or expand a business by opening new avenues to sue employers by establishing a broad new private right of action that permits joint labor management committees to sue any employer for certain Labor Code violations that may have occurred up to four years previously, among other provisions. Stalled.
- AB 802 (Wolk; D-Davis) General plans cost increase. Slows development of affordable housing and increases opportunity for unnecessary litigation by forcing local government to integrate two incompatible planning processes. Failed passage in Assembly.
- AB 875 (Koretz; D-West Hollywood) Government agency potential harassment of employers. Opens the door to potential harassment by government labor and taxing agencies by requiring the referral of an unspecified labor violation to taxing agencies for a tax audit, exposing employers to an expensive, time-consuming fishing expedition for possible employer tax code violations. Vetoed.
- AB 1007 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Potential fuel cost increase. This former “job killer” would have created the potential for a significant fuel cost increase and required the California Air Resources Board to develop and adopt a plan to transition away from petroleum-based products, abandoning the state’s policy of fuel neutrality. As amended, the bill requires only that specified agencies develop plans on how to increase the use of alternative fuels while minimizing the economic costs to the state and decreasing the state’s dependency on petroleum. Chapter 371. Amended to remove opposition.
- AB 1082 (Ruskin) Antiquated Regulations. Stifles innovation and limits consumer choices by imposing antiquated regulations developed for monopolistic landline telephone services on rapidly growing and competitive telecommunications industry. Stalled.
- AB 1101 (Oropeza; D-Long Beach) Ports: regulatory complexity. Hampers operations at ports, rail yards, distribution centers and airports by shifting regulatory authority over mobile emissions from state to local entities, creating a patchwork of potentially inconsistent regulations statewide, creating conflicts with federal law. Failed passage in Assembly.
- AB 1310 (Núñez; D-Los Angeles) Severance offers; increased litigation. Establishes new reasons to sue certain private sector employers by setting in statute a very detailed notice process that an employer must follow exactly in order to be able to utilize any severance agreement. Vetoed.
- AB 1406 (Karnette; D-Long Beach) Ports and harbors: fee increase. When introduced, this former “job killer” would have increased the cost of goods movement by adding a $10 fee on all containers moving through the ports. As amended, the measure no longer has fee authority and simply requires the Office of Homeland Security to establish a grant program to enhance security at the ports. Amended to remove opposition.
- AB 1407 (Oropeza; D-Long Beach) Fuel tax. When introduced, this former “job killer” would have added a 5 cents per gallon tax on the sale of off-road diesel fuel. As amended, the measure requires the state Air Resources Board to study the impacts of imposing a 5 cents per gallon tax on off-road diesel. Amended to remove opposition.
- AB 1430 (Goldberg; D-Los Angeles) Elimination of pro-jobs environmental program. Limits job creation and worsens the state’s air quality problems by eliminating current emissions reduction trading programs, which provide balance between job growth and the environment. Stalled.
- AB 1549 (Koretz; D-West Hollywood) Workers’ compensation; unqualified medical providers. Increases costs and uncertainty in the workers’ compensation system by allowing unqualified medical providers like acupuncturists to determine disability and inappropriately become Independent Medical Reviewers — giving them the power to overrule medical decisions by doctors. Stalled.
- AB 1644 (De La Torre; D-South Gate) Tax credit elimination. Increases taxes, making California unattractive to cutting-edge industries by suspending certain tax credits for one year beginning January 1, 2006, and reduces California’s business competitiveness by restricting the tax treatment of subchapter “S” corporations. Stalled.
- AB 1700 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills). Proprietary information. Exacerbates an already hostile legal environment by impeding a business’ ability to maintain the confidentiality of its proprietary information. Stalled.
- ACA 7 (Nation; D-San Rafael) Tax vote. Gives local governments unprecedented authority to enact a special tax assessed at local level with a simple majority of voters, adding complexity and uncertainty to California’s already complex and uncertain tax structure. Stalled.
- SB 2 (Speier; D-San Francisco/San Mateo). Homeowner’s insurance cost increase. Would have driven up the cost of homeowner’s insurance, contributing to the problem of unaffordable housing, by mandating excessive claims payments to a small group of policyholders. Amended to remove opposition.
- SB 17 (Escutia; D-Norwalk) Property tax increase. Increases property taxes on business when more than 50 percent of ownership changes and imposes burdensome reporting requirements and harsh tax penalties for errors. Stalled.
- SB 27 (Escutia; D-Norwalk) Tax liability increase. Increases taxes on California employers by reducing the amount of tax credits that a corporation may use to reduce its liabilities, making California less competitive for jobs. Stalled.
- SB 44 (Kehoe; D-San Diego) Affordable housing development impediment. Slows development of affordable housing and increases the opportunities for unnecessary litigation by forcing local government to integrate two incompatible planning processes. Failed passage in Assembly.
- SB 109 (Ortiz; D-Sacramento) Excessive litigation. Increases litigation costs and potential lawsuits by allowing for both civil and criminal penalties for specified air quality violations. Failed passage in Assembly.
- SB 150 (Escutia; D-Norwalk) Additional insurance requirements; cost increase. Increases the cost of insurance for business and individuals by adding new burdensome and unnecessary requirements on insurance carriers. Chapter 436. Amended, but Chamber still opposed.
- SB 174 (Dunn; D-Garden Grove) New “sue your boss” lawsuits. Increases employer liability by providing new incentives for plaintiffs and their attorneys to file lawsuits by establishing new types of “sue your boss” lawsuits. Vetoed.
- SB 300 (Kuehl; D-Santa Monica) Leave law abuse. Opens California’s leave law to potential abuse by removing controls that require that the employee actually provides the care, among other provisions. Stalled.
- SB 399 (Escutia; D-Norwalk) Health care cost increase. Increases litigation costs on insurers and the self-insured by requiring medical payments in excess of Medi-Cal reimbursement rates and increasing non-economic damage awards. Vetoed.
- SB 409 (Kehoe; D-San Diego) General plans; increased complexity. Slows development of affordable housing by adding increased complexity and delay to the planning process and creates another opportunity for legal challenges to new housing by inserting new water supply requirements into general plans. Failed passage in Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee.
- SB 459 (Romero; D-Los Angeles) Goods movement; cost increase.* Increases the cost of goods movement and discourages job creation by imposing an air quality mitigation fee on railroad companies that operate in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino. Stalled.
- SB 497 (Simitian; D-Palo Alto) Construction industry; cost increase. Potentially destroys California’s construction industry by requiring specified off-road equipment engines be repowered with newer engines within a specific time frame in order to be eligible to bid for a state infrastructure contract. Stalled.
- SB 518 (Kehoe; D-San Diego). Homeowner’s insurance cost increase. Would have driven up the cost of homeowner’s insurance, contributing to the problem of unaffordable housing, by mandating excessive claims payments to a small group of policyholders. Amended to remove opposition.
- SB 593 (Alarcón; D-San Fernando Valley) Health care cost increase. Increases costs to California’s businesses by unfairly implementing a tax on certain employers to reimburse the state for the costs incurred in providing health care coverage to the employer’s employees and their dependents who are enrolled in the Healthy Families Program or Medi-Cal. Stalled.
- SB 600 (Ortiz; D-Sacramento) Biomonitoring.* When introduced, could have led to the elimination or reduction of use of certain chemicals which have not been scientifically proven harmful, based on mere detection. As amended, authorizes a more modest program consistent with the protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control for implementing a state biomonitoring program. Amended to remove opposition.
- SB 646 (Kuehl; D-Santa Monica) Water discharge; burdensome requirements. Jeopardizes jobs and agriculture and timber industry revenues by imposing mandatory annual fees for water discharge waivers with no accountability requirements. Failed passage in Assembly.
- SB 757 (Kehoe; D-San Diego) Gas tax.* Introduces a new mandate to reduce gasoline use without taking population growth into consideration, which would likely lead to a massive gas tax, causing higher gasoline prices, increased costs for consumer goods and thousands of lost jobs for California. Failed passage in Assembly Transportation Committee.
- SB 760 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Ports: Goods movement cost increase. Increases the cost of goods movement in California by assessing a $30 fee per 20-foot equivalent unit on containers processed through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Stalled.
- SB 762 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Ports: cost increase. Makes California ports less competitive by assessing a fee on motor carriers and creating a government-run bureaucracy to regulate truck movement in and out of the state’s major ports. Stalled.
- SB 764 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Ports: Goods movement cost increase.* Increases the costs of goods movement and drives business and jobs from California ports by requiring the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach to prohibit any growth at their respective ports unless that growth can be accomplished with no air pollution increases. Stalled.
- SB 833 (Bowen; D-Redondo Beach) Onerous fax communication restrictions. Increases costs by placing onerous administrative and economic burdens on businesses by in effect requiring written consent from their own customers and clients prior to sending certain fax communications. Chapter 667.
- SB 840 (Kuehl; D-Santa Monica) Government-run health care.* Imposes a government-run health care system on all Californians. Stalled.
- SB 852 (Bowen; D-Redondo Beach) Business cost increase. Imposes unworkable requirements governing non-electronic data on government agencies, education institutions, businesses and non-profits. Failed passage in Assembly Business and Professions.
- SB 870 (Escutia; D-Norwalk) Employer penalties. Restricts flexibility for local agencies to assess penalties that fit the infraction for certain air quality violations, and directs the majority of those revenues to an unrelated program. Stalled.
- SB 1068 (Escutia) Antiquated Regulations. Stifles innovation and limits consumer choices by imposing antiquated regulations developed for monopolistic landline telephone services on rapidly growing and competitive telecommunications industry. Failed passage in Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee.
*Bill either vetoed or failed last year.