October 13, 2003 Status Update

Final Tally Shows 11 'Job Killer' Bills Signed, Two Vetoed

Of the 13 "job killer" bills passed by the Legislature this year, Governor Gray Davis has signed 11 and vetoed two.

Earlier in the session, strong opposition from the California Chamber and other members of the broad-based Coalition for California Jobs stopped about half the bills on the longest “job killer” list in coalition history from passing their house of origin and others from moving beyond policy committees in the second house. In addition, the CalChamber was involved in successful efforts to secure amendments to remove "job killer" provisions from a number of bills. Following is a summary of the final fate of "job killer" bills sent to the Governor.
See full list of  "job killer" bills.

1. Expensive, Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens

Of the 16 bills in this category, three were signed and 12 are dead for the year. Amended to remove opposition and later signed into law was AB 47 (Simitian; D-Palo Alto), which originally imposed redundant regulation on timber harvesting plans (THP).

Environmental, energy and other regulatory bills:

  • SB 923 (Sher; D-Stanford). Imposes conditions on waivers for waste discharges. Signed. Chapter 801. 
  • SB 810 (Burton; D-San Francisco). Unnecessarily complicates the ability of landowners to conduct prudent stewardship of private forestlands and will result in the loss of billions of dollars in state taxes, closure of many mills, and the loss of thousands of family wage jobs. Signed. Chapter 900.
  • SB 288 (Sher; D-Stanford). Blocks federal reforms of “new source review” rules and creates new lawsuits. Signed. Chapter 476. 
  • AB 16 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara). Restricts movement of oil produced from offshore platforms to pipelines. Signed. Chapter 420.

2. Expensive Workplace Mandates

Five of the eight bills in this category died this year. Three of the health care mandate bills were sent to a conference committee made of up members from both houses. The committee developed a single, multibillion-dollar health care mandate bill that passed the Legislature and has been signed by the Governor. One of the mandate bills, AB 1528 (Cohn; D-Saratoga), amended to call for state commission to report on health care cost containment strategies, was signed. Another workplace mandate was signed into law.

Health care mandates:

  • SB 2 (Burton; D-San Francisco). Requires employers to provide health insurance or pay tax. Signed. Chapter 673. 

Other workplace mandates:

  • AB 226 (Vargas; D-San Diego). Prohibits the issuance of corporate-owned life insurance. Signed. Chapter 328.   

3. Increases Frivolous Litigation

Four of the 11 bills in this category were signed, two were vetoed, four are dead for the year. AB 76 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) originally made employers liable for the harassment of a worker by a person over whom the employer has no control, such as customers and clients. Amendments narrowing its scope to sexual harassment removed its "job killer" status, but the CalChamber still opposed the bill, which was signed by the Governor (Chapter 671).   

  • AB 274 (Koretz; D-West Hollywood). Presumes that an employer is retaliating against an employee if the employer discharges, demotes, suspends or reduces the hours or pay of an employee within 60 days after an employee makes a claim under the Labor Code. Vetoed.
  • AB 1715 (Corbett; D-San Leandro). Limits use of arbitration in employment contracts. Vetoed.    
  • SB 515 (Kuehl; D-Santa Monica). Denies employers the right to use Anti-SLAPP motions. Signed. Chapter 338.
  • AB 634 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento). No protective orders allowed for settlements of alleged elder abuse. Signed. Chapter 242.
  • AB 223 (Diaz; D-San Jose). Employers pay attorney fees and court costs even if only one penny judgment for employee. Signed. Chapter 93. 
  • SB 796 (Dunn; D-Garden Grove). Allows bounty-hunting private attorneys to sue employers for wage-and-hour Labor Code violations. Signed. Chapter 906.    

4. Expands Government at Employers’ Expense

Four of the five bills in this category are dead for the year, but one passed the Legislature and has been signed by the Governor:

  • SB 20 (Sher; D-Stanford). Imposes fee on manufacturers of any electronic device to fund recycling, and prohibits sale in the state of any device for which a fee has not been paid. Signed. Chapter 526.    

5. Criminalize Business Conduct

Two of the three bills in this category are dead for the year. Amended to remove opposition and ultimately signed was AB 897 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which originally imposed new civil penalties on waste discharges to waters of the state.

6. New Taxes and Fees

All 10 bills on the list were deactivated this year. The harmful provisions, however, could re-emerge in other bills when the new legislative session begins next year.