For the legislative and political week June 1-5
Welcome to the June 1 issue of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
- Look for your email invitation to join U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for an exclusive conference call arranged by NFIB for its California members, this Thursday, June 4, 2 p.m., to discuss federal action and resources for small business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to NFIB California Leadership Council Chairman Darrel Feil for putting it together.
- It’s official: an initiative aimed at raising small business property taxes will be on the November ballot. “The so-called ‘split roll’ initiative would change how California taxes properties,” reports The Sacramento Bee, “retaining a limit on tax increases for residential properties but allowing new assessments of commercial sites worth more than $3 million … Proponents could still strike a deal with lawmakers to remove it from the ballot before a mid-June deadline, an option Gov. Gavin Newsom has expressed interest in brokering.”
- So, why is this a small-business issue? According to an NFIB poll, only 20 percent of small-business owners own their business premises. Property tax increases on landlords mean higher rents and leases.
State Capitol Update
- Assembly Bill 1107, which would have raised unemployment payments by $600 a week, was gutted last week and now has nothing to do with unemployment insurance costs. Had it passed, the measure would have cost employers $40 billion over the next 10 years. NFIB publicly opposed this small business tax increase.
- Warning to gougers. Senate Bill 1196 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would include pandemics on the list of disasters under which California’s existing price gouging statute kicks in upon declaration of a state of emergency. It would also codify the 50% markup limit on sellers of new items. The 10% cap on goods previously for sale was already state law for other types of emergencies. Different from the executive order and embedded in the bill is a provision that would allow prosecutors to file felony charges against sellers who make at least $10,000 or more on items deemed to be in violation of price gouging laws.
- Senate Democrats proposed an alternate approach to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s on the state budget. Their plan would avoid further (and many proposed) cuts—particularly with health care— regardless of federal support. How? By drawing more on reserves and relying further on deferrals and assumptions to reconcile the shortfall.
- NFIB’s endorsement of Young Kim for Congress in the 39th District was covered by the Orange County Breeze, and its support for delaying the minimum-wage increase noted in The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert.
- Sad farewell. Friday was Luke Wake’s last day at NFIB. The loss of this Sacramento-based staff attorney for the NFIB Small Business Legal Center is incalculable. Luke’s knowledge of California-specific issues will not be easily replaced. His help to NFIB members during the most trying time in their lives provided both valuable guidance and needed comfort. The NFIB family in California wishes Luke well in his new job at the Pacific Legal Foundation, and our NFIB Legal Center will remain an invaluable resource for members with legal questions and challenges.
- This Wednesday, June 3, NFIB will host another of its webinars, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Part III: 10 Keys to Loan Forgiveness & Your Questions Answered Live, 9 a.m. PT. Click here to register.
- Last Thursday, May 28, the House passed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, 417-1. Reports NFIB HQ in D.C., “The Senate will likely consider the bill [this] week. Senator [Marco} Rubio issued some concerns about technical language and is seeking answers from Treasury. Should he receive a satisfactory answer, the bill will likely pass by unanimous consent.”
California Main Street Minutes are published every Monday and put on the NFIB California webpage. Two additional updates are published the first and third Wednesday of each month for inclusion in the first and third Thursday newsletters. Next California Main Street Minute is June 8.