NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: October 02, 2021

For the legislative and political week October 4-8

Welcome to the October 4-8 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

Now it’s Down to Three

  • Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom acted on one of the four remaining bills NFIB has been monitoring when he signed Assembly Bill 1033 into law, which incorporated some changes NFIB lobbied for in the Small Employer Family Leave Mediation Program within the California Family Rights Act.
    • “Existing law requires the department to create a small employer family leave mediation pilot program, for alleged violations of these family care and medical leave provisions, applicable to employers with between 5 and 19 employees,” according to the bill.

    • Among other clarifications, “this bill would recast those provisions to require the department, when an employee requests an immediate right to sue alleging a violation of the above-described family care and medical leave provisions by an employer, to notify the employee in writing of the requirement for mediation prior to filing a civil action, if mediation is requested by the employer or employee.

    • “The bill would also require the employee to contact the department’s dispute resolution division, in the manner specified by the department, prior to filing an action and to indicate whether they are requesting mediation.”
  • That leaves only three bills of interest to small business:
    • Assembly Bill 570, which sought to allow dependent parents and stepparents to be added to employer-sponsored health plans at an estimated cost of $1 billion. NFIB and its coalition partners succeeded in amending AB 570 to say dependent parents could only be added to individual policies, not on employer-sponsored plans.

    • Assembly Bill 654, which drew NFIB’s strong opposition at first, because it would have blacklisted businesses by requiring the state Dept. of Public Health to publish on its website a list of every workplace in the state where a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred. When the bill changed from a punitive measure to a positive one that made only technical clean-ups of existing law, it allowed NFIB to take a neutral position on it. More about AB 654 can be read in this Sacramento Bee article.

    • Assembly Bill 1177, which called for the creation of a state-owned bank. NFIB joined other business associations in support of amending the bill to, instead, call for establishing a CalAccount Blue Ribbon Commission to conduct a market analysis to determine the feasibility of a state-owned bank.
  • The governor has until Sunday, Oct. 10, to decide on all the remaining legislation put on his desk for approval or veto.

NFIB Officials Lobby Local Congressman

  • Last Wednesday, September 29, NFIB officials from its state leadership council and Washington D.C. federal governmental relations team met with Laurie Saroff, chief of staff to Orange County-area Congressman Lou Correa, to press the case for not harming small business in budget reconciliation negotiations.

In the Media

  • State Director John Kabateck tells The Sacramento Bee that the state should pick up the cost if it wants to extend the paid COVID leave law. “If the state is truly flush with money …if politicians believe this is enough of a mandate to keep on employers … why wouldn’t they pay for it out of government cash registers instead of fragile, struggling employers?”

  • As always, you can find a running compilation of select media hits mentioning NFIB California this year at this story on the NFIB California webpage, NFIB California in the News 2021.

A New Normal?

  • “I’ve never seen these kinds of supply-chain issues, never seen an economy that combines drastic labor shortages with lots of unemployed people. … So, it’s a very fast changing economy. It’s going to be quite different from the one (before).” – U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a Fed Listens session.

  • Said Cheetie Kumar, a restaurant owner in Raleigh, North Carolina, who now pays a minimum $18 an hour, “I think a lot of people wanted to make life changes, and we lost a lot of people to different industries. I think half of our folks decided to go back to school. We cannot get by and pay people $13 an hour and expect them to stay with us for years and years.”

Federally

  • On Wednesday, Oct. 6, NFIB will host a webinar titled, Getting What You Are Owed: Collections 101 for Small Businesses with Special Guest Cliff Ennico, Esq. Register here.

Next Main Street Minute October 11.

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