NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: May 24, 2021

For the legislative and political week May 24-28

Welcome to the May 24 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business advocacy team in Sacramento.

The Suspense is Over

  • The big legislative news of last week was Thursday’s announcement of the bills to make it out of the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees’ Suspense File.

First, the Good News

  • Assembly Bill 1119, which would expand “the list of protected characteristics under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to include ‘family responsibilities,’ ” was held in committee, meaning it is dead for this year. AB 1119 was a priority bill for NFIB.
  • As explained by NFIB California chief legislative advocate Kevin Pedrotti, “any bill costing the state a token amount is held on this file. Once the policy committee deadline has passed and those bills held on Suspense are tallied, bill authors prioritize their Suspense-held bills and submit their list to the Appropriations Committee Chair. And this week, the big reveal.
  • “The year was dealt an unexpected surprise … when legislative leaders Toni Atkins and Anthony Rendon jointly directed their respective house members to advance just 12 bills each. If adhered to, the total number of viable bills would shrink from around 2000 to 1,416. Depending on your perspective, this announcement is either a cork-popper or a time of fear and loathing—If, of course, the membership follows direction.
  • “Bear in mind this is the first year of the two-year session, so if the members do in fact follow direction and Sophie’s Choice their bill packages, the held bills will simply be stalled until next year, likely yielding a zesty 2022.”

So, What is NFIB’s Focus now?

  • Unfortunately, the Suspense File gave way to a very bad small-business bill:
  • Assembly Bill 995 would expand the state’s paid sick leave program from three days to five days. AB 995 will now come up for a full vote by the Assembly. NFIB is part of a coalition that sent this letter of opposition to all Assembly members. AB 995 is a high-priority bill for NFIB since more employee leave is not needed at a time when businesses are recovering from a year of shutdowns and having to contend with other leave mandates recently imposed.
  • Stopping AB 995 is a top priority for the rest of the legislative year.
  • NFIB is also opposing a measure that could increase workers’ compensation costs. Senate Bill 335 would:
    • reduce the time period an employer has to deny liability for a workers’ compensation claim from 90 to 45 days
    • reduce the time period an employer has to deny liability for a workers’ compensation claim for specified presumptive injuries from 90 to 30 days
    • require that a compensation claim which has been unreasonably delayed or refused have its award increased by 10 percent.

Not out of the Woods, yet

  • Another measure of note was also held on the Suspense File and will not be considered until next year is Assembly Bill 95, it would require an employer, including any public sector employer, to provide up to 10 business days of unpaid bereavement leave upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild or domestic partner.

Podcasts

  • Did you catch the latest NFIB California podcast with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top business adviser, Dee Dee Myers? Click here to see it and all past podcasts, and keep an eye out for this week’s discussion with Assembly Member James Ramos, who will discuss his small-business background and his bill to provide liability protection against unfair COVID lawsuits.

Ready for the June 15 Reopening?

Nationally

Big 3 Federal Loan Windows Closing

  • May 31 is the last day to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which you can only find at participating community banks. Click here for a list of them.
  • December 31, or until existing funds run out, is the deadline for applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Even if you already have one, you can apply for an increase. More about EIDL here.

… And, California’s 2 Big Windows?

  • The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is now closed.

Remember, both federal and state governments have other loan, grant, and tax credit offerings for specific purposes. The federal government is offering an Employee Retention Tax Credit, and California has a grants portal where you can “find grants relevant to you.”

Small Business Survival Campaign Launched

  • Read the Fox Business report on the launch “Small Business Advocacy Group Launches ‘Survival Campaign’ Against Biden’s Policies.”

Virtual Fly-In

  • On Wednesday, May 26, registration for NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In opens.

Next Main Street Minute, May 31.

 

 

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