For the legislative and political week June 21-25
Welcome to the June 21 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business advocacy team in Sacramento.
- It’s rare that an action taken by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board makes the front page of the Los Angeles Times, but such was the tortuous journey it has taken with promulgating new COVID-19 workplace rules that the spotlight shined on it was justified.
- “California’s circuitous journey to relaxing coronavirus-related workplace safety rules finally reached its destination Thursday [June 17], when the state moved to end physical distancing requirements for all workers and allow most fully vaccinated employees in many workplaces to stop wearing masks,” reported the Times.
- “The 5-1 decision from the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board followed more than two hours of public comment, during which a number of business groups urged board members to go even further and eliminate any additional pandemic-related restrictions on workplaces, while labor representatives said it’s still too early to pull back on the protective measures that have long guided the state’s COVID-19 response.”
- Kudos to Kevin. One of the people contributing to the “two hours of public” comment was the indefatigable Kevin Pedrotti, NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate.
- So, is it all said and done? “Today’s actions are a step in the right direction and we sincerely thank the governor for issuing an Executive Order to help expedite clarity for employers and employees,” said a news release from a coalition of business groups that NFIB is part of. “However, there is still more work to be done and these new Cal/OSHA regulations do not ensure that the economy can ‘roar’ back. Instead, they continue to not align with the CDC and are inconsistent with other large states like New York, which have fully opened without similar confusion and frustration. The California standard continues to raise questions related to privacy, liability and duration of the standards. These must be addressed to ensure businesses can bring their employees back and fully reopen the economy.”
- Stay tuned. In the meantime, NFIB California encourages all small-business owners to read the new workplace rules at the link above.
Busy Week Ahead
- Tomorrow, June 22, begins NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In. Have you registered? If not, you can do so here.
- The Fly-In is small businesses’ premier annual event designed to give small-business owners an opportunity to speak directly to and hear directly from top Congressional leaders on the issues they are currently debating. The Virtual Fly-In is free and open to non-NFIB members as well, so help spread the word.
- Friday, June 25, Zoom call with California Congressman Mike Thompson.
- As part of Fly-In week, NFIB California has arranged a special Zoom call with U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, Friday, June 25, at 9:30 a.m. The Northern California Democrat is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and an influential voice on tax policy.
- Speaking of taxes, do you have a compelling story to share with the congressman and other small-business owners? Congress is deciding whether to extend the 20-percent small-business tax deduction due to expire in a few years. How would this affect you? How would repeal of the stepped-up basis in the estate tax affect you? Click here for the tax issues NFIB is targeting for the highest attention.
- Interested in telling your story and learning more about the Fly-In, send an email or call NFIB Grassroots Manager Taylor Criddle at [email protected], 916-448-9904.
NFIB California Joins New Coalition
- Last week, NFIB lent its support to the Don’t Sink Sportfishing campaign, which is aiming to stop California Air Resources Board regulations that not only imperil sportfishing but also whale watching excursions and school science trips. Check out its Fact Sheet here.
For Another Coalition NFIB is Part of …
- NFIB California State Director John Kabateck penned a guest editorial for The Orange County Register talking about the need for the state to foster not drive away innovative businesses. NFIB is a member of the Protecting California’s Business and Innovation Economy coalition, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of growing the state’s economy as we emerge from the pandemic.
Latest NFIB Podcast
- Check out the latest NFIB California podcast with special guest Tara Lynn Gray, the new director of the California Office of Small Business Advocate. Director Gray discusses with NFIB California State Director John Kabateck what resources were made available to small-business owners and what lessons were learned from the pandemic. The story also has a link to all prior podcasts.
- Today begins a busy week for NFIB. See the ‘Busy Week Ahead’ section above.
- Last week, NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends survey (SBET) was released, showing that taxes rank only behind labor quality as the top small business problem.
Next Main Street Minute June 28.