NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: November 08, 2021

For the legislative and political week November 8-12

Welcome to the November 8-12 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

A lot of important federal news at the end of this report, but first to the home front, which the lull in legislative news until Jan. 3, 2022, gives us an opportunity to look at some other areas of small-business interest.

Important

  • The eight new laws taking effect on January 1 that are vital for small-business owners to know are discussed in a 25-minute NFIB California podcast with special guest Ben Ebbink, one of the state’s top labor and employment experts. This will be worth sharing with your network of fellow business owners.

Ballot Initiative Update

  • The state attorney general’s office has a list of 40 “active measures” either awaiting title and summary or have been given title and summary, the first step toward gathering signatures for placement on the November 2022 ballot.

  • Three of them have gathered the necessary signatures and will be on the November ballot. Of the three, a tax on producers of single-use plastic bags and changes in medical malpractice awards hold some interest for small-business owners.

  • Of the remaining 19 that have been cleared for signature-gathering takeoff, the one that “Eliminates property tax reassessment for certain family real property transfers” is of immediate interest to small business. Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is the lead proponent. The title and summary can be read here.

  • Because you just couldn’t get enough of the great kidney dialysis battles, it will be back on the ballot again for a third time, if it gathers enough signatures. Proposals to abolish public employee unions, spend more on education (imagine that!), and legalize psilocybin mushrooms are some of the other issues looking for ballot placement. For the ones that haven’t been cleared for signature-gathering, a link is provided to comment.

In the News

  • NFIB California sent a news release about the results from the latest Jobs Report, which was picked up by the Citizens Journal of Ventura County.
  • “Add supply-chain disruptions and inflation to the continued bad news on unfilled job openings the report measured and there will be a lot less merry this holiday season,” said John Kabateck, California state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “California and Congress have done pretty much all they can on the loan front, so it’s a matter for the market to work itself out, which will take time and that is something politicians don’t like to wait for. In their hurry to do something, they can’t help but hamper a budding recovery, especially here in California where the so-called progressive agenda has had to take a back seat to the pandemic. We expect to see that pent-up frustration unleashed in 2022.”

All That Gas

  • The big international climate conference in Scotland last week ended with a pledge from visiting nations to do more about reducing methane gas and deforestation.
  • “California has long-standing rules tackling methane from landfills, the oil and gas industry, dairies and other major sources,” reports CalMatters. “California’s methane emissions largely haven’t increased over the past decade, but they also haven’t dropped significantly — signaling the challenge ahead for governments that signed on to the pledge.
     
  • “When it comes to forests, California is losing the ability of its trees to store planet-warming carbon. The state’s forests are no longer burned or razed to clear land for agriculture, as is common in the developing world, but large tracts are burning nonetheless — from wildfires.”

Functionally Unemployed?

  • A new term comes your way. In another CalMatters story, it reports, “Officially, California has 1.4 million unemployed residents, but a new study that takes into account people who can’t find jobs that pay above poverty level says the number of ‘functionally unemployed’ is three times higher at 4.8 million.

  • “The analysis by the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity, an organization focused on studying the economic well-being of middle and lower-income Americans, found 25.7% of California workers are functionally unemployed, meaning they are seeking, but unable to find, full-time employment paying above the poverty level. That’s compared to the state’s 7.5% unemployment rate.”

  • How, we can’t help but wonder, have so many of the “functionally unemployed” missed walking into so many NFIB-member small businesses offering plenty of well-paying jobs? See the latest Jobs Report below.

On the Federal Front

  • The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the U.S. House late Friday and now goes to President Biden for his signature. California will get $5.8 billion of the moolah over five years, reports The Sacramento Bee.

  • Meanwhile, another vote on the scaled-down $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act (it was originally $3.5 trillion), which NFIB is deeply involved in, was postponed.

  • Last week’s Main Street Minute reported on some of the harmful proposals in the Build Back Better Act that NFIB helped win removal of. But more anti-small-business provisions remain, such as:
    • the “Small Business Surtax,” would negatively impact more than 750,000 pass-through businesses and over half of pass-through business income

    • a four-week federal paid family and medical leave program for all workers without regard to employer size, which would be a significant change to small employers (fewer than 50 employees) who are currently not subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

    • increases civil monetary penalties on small businesses with isolated errors when trying to comply with complicated federal employment law9 and increases penalty exposure for employers by expanding the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.
  • NFIB has sent this letter to Congress letting them know the Build Back Better Act will be scored as a Key Vote in lawmakers’ report cards.

Vaccines

  • It was made official November 4. Employees at companies with 100 or more workers must be vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022, or be tested weekly. NFIB issued this response to the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new emergency temporary standard requiring COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Two days later on November 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary halt to the rule.

Research

  • Last week, NFIB released the results of its latest COVID-19 poll of the membership. The next day, it released its latest Jobs Report and tomorrow, it will release its latest Small Business Economic Trends report.

Next Main Street Minute November 15.

State Sen. Mike McGuire welcomes Santa to Sacramento. Photo snip courtesy of California State Senate website

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