NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: August 23, 2021

For the legislative and political week August 23-27

Welcome to the August 23-27 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

Prop. 22 Unconstitutional?

  • So, after $224 million was spent, the most for an initiative in California history, to successfully pass Proposition 22 in 2020 by 58%, which exempted rideshare and food delivery drivers from having to labor under Assembly Bill 5, a Superior Court Judge in Alameda County on Friday (August 20) ruled it unconstitutional. This Sacramento Bee article explains more.
  • Needless to say, but we’ll say it anyway, the judge’s decision will be appealed. Were not so many independent contractors harmed, it would be amusing to see the case wind up in the Supreme Court of California, which lit the fuse on the powder keg that became AB 5, when the court, in its Dynamex decision, established its ABC test for determining who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor. The case that was supposed to have cleared the matter up once and for all.
  • Are those the chants of “Bring Back Borello” we hear? And you’re really on your game with this issue if you know the reference.

Legislative Update

  • Reports Kevin Pedrotti, NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate, “While the legislature is back in Sacramento, legislating has hit a pause button as we all wait for final actions of the Appropriations Committees to decide which bills make it to the floor for final consideration.
  • “Thursday, August 26 is the big day when the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees make final judgement on the Suspense Files. The chairs of the two powerful committees single handedly decide if bills are passed, held, or amended before being sent to the respective floors for consideration. While we are giving legislators a heads-up of client’s desire on various bills, the real hard lobbying will begin once bills hit the floor and the playing field is clear and known.
  • “In addition to the Appropriations Committee, we are closely watching for new budget trailer bills that could emerge overnight and be considered on the floor with little notice.”

Such an Honor

  • This December the American Tort Reform Association will release its latest Judicial Hellholes report. In celebration of the report’s 20th year, ATRA last Thursday launched a media campaign calling attention to the anniversary by naming seven states as “Everlasting” Judicial Hellholes. Want to guess if California made the list?
  • Click here for more information about the … ah … er … honor, which includes a short video from American Tort Reform Foundation President Tiger Joyce.

Unemployment Update

  • Saturday, September 4, the extra $300 a week the feds have been adding to state unemployment benefits ends.
  • Monday, September 6, the interest clock on the money California has borrowed from the federal government to keep its unemployment trust fund solvent starts ticking at a 2.27% interest rate.
  • Worried you might get socked with astronomic raises in your UI taxes? If it’s any consolation, the Legislature and governor are not.

Media Update

  • “Are small business owners angry enough at Gavin Newsom to throw him out of office?” ran the headline to a lengthy story in Cal Matters that included a few quotes from State Director John Kabateck.
  • In a story about California’s job market surging before the Delta variant, Kabateck tells the Los Angeles Times, “Glad to see big businesses starting to hire again, but on the main streets of America, it’s a different story.”

Federally

  • The House is back in session this week, and it’s anticipated it will take up both the infrastructure deal and budget resolution, both of which the Senate recently passed. NFIB did not weigh in on the infrastructure bill, but it did key vote South Dakota Sen. John Thune’s amendment to the budget resolution protecting stepped-up basis. It passed 99-0.
  • The Thune amendment is non-binding but politically valuable because it puts senators on record as being for or against this reduction in capital gains.
  • If you missed NFIB’s last webinar, EIDL Microloans and PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal: Updates with the SBA, you can watch it here.

Next Main Street Minute, August 30.

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