NFIB California Main Street Minute
For the legislative and political week April 25-29
Welcome to the April 25-29 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
Mandatory COVID Pay Extended
- Cal/OSHA last week (April 21) announced that the mandatory pay requirement for workers affected by the coronavirus would be extended to the end of the year. The Legislature restored the benefit two months ago, but only until September 1.
- “I don’t think we’re done with this yet,” Cal/OSHA official David Thomas said in a report by the Associated Press. “There’s going to be a surge in a week or so. This is the best … protection we have.”
- Not so happy with the Cal/OSHA Standards Board decision is the Cal Chamber’s Robert Moutrie, who told the San Francisco Chronicle, “This incentivizes employees to refuse testing after (they’re) exposed because they will receive more exclusion pay.”
- The mandatory pay requirement, also called exclusion pay, is on top of COVID-related sick leave an employee can take. Click here to read the 72 pages of changes not only to mandatory pay, but also other Cal/OSHA requirements.
- So, what’s a major contributor to spiking gas prices? What does California do to hurt itself by exacerbating the energy crisis? How better could it meet its climate goals? Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president and CEO of the Western States Petroleum Association, has 40 years of expertise in the energy field and shares her thoughts on this NFIB California podcast.
- Last week was the first full week of business for the Legislature after returning from Spring Break. As reported in prior Main Street Minutes, NFIB by itself or in concert with coalition partners has sent a flurry of letters of opposition or support for certain bills. The work now turns to in-person lobbying, committee testimony, phone calls, Action Alerts from the membership, and some media attention. A different era of lobbying from the Artie Samish days of persuasion.
- “Standing 6 feet 2 and weighing 300 pounds, he bragged that he could tell in an instant whether a lawmaker needed ‘a baked potato, a girl, or money.’ The self-styled ‘secret boss of California’ loved to boast about how he once got a transient elected to the Assembly and about his prowess at getting bills passed to benefit railroads, the liquor industry, racetracks and others who paid him big bucks to lobby.
- “But his outsized ego also proved to be his undoing. Boastful statements in a 1949 magazine series soon cost him his lobbying career and eventually helped put him in prison for tax evasion.” — From the Los Angeles Times.
- Lawmakers will depress the gas pedal a bit more, as the deadline season approaches. This Friday, April 29, is the last day for policy committees to hear and report to fiscal committees the fiscal bills introduced in their house.
- As a reminder, all past Main Street Minutes can be read on the www.nfib.com/california webpage, or, for an even shorter link, www.nfib.com/ca.
Ballot Initiative Update
- One measure for sure will be on the November 8 General Election ballot, a referendum seeking to overturn the prohibition on certain flavored tobacco products.
- Three others are eligible (their signatures have been collected and verified by county election officials) and will qualify for the November ballot 131 days prior (July 31) to the General Election:
- One would adjust the medical malpractice award of $250,000 for inflation and allow judges and juries to exceed that cap in cases of death or permanent injury.
- Another seeks to reduce plastic waste by, among other things, taxing producers of single-use plastic products.
- A third would authorize tribal casinos to have a monopoly on sports wagering, denying card rooms and clubs the opportunity to compete in the state.
- Thirty-seven other ballot proposals have been cleared for circulation and are in the signature-gathering process or have stalled or run out of gas.
- Today, April 25, NFIB will release the results of its special survey on inflation. Check the national NFIB website for the news release and survey.
- Also today, Congress returns to work after taking a break.
- Last Thursday, April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Boechler, P.C. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, agreed with NFIB’s brief, holding that a 30-day deadline to file a petition in the Tax Court for review of an IRS collection assessment is not a jurisdictional bar. More about it here.
Next Main Street Minute May 2.