For the legislative and political week March 14-18
Welcome to the March 14-18 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
- The talk in Sacramento last week was almost all about gas prices. Gov. Gavin Newsom mentioned them in his State-of-the-State speech and State Senate President Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon sent out a joint tweet letting people know they were aware, concerned, and ready to do something about the problem.
- Hey, how about suspending the state tax on gasoline? A very tall order, that. Not having to pay the 51.1-cents-a-gallon levy multiplied by the number of gallons Californians buy would help blunt the force of soaring fuel prices.
- Still, Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (Yuba City), Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) are going to give it a try today (March 14) beginning with a news conference at a gas station in Sacramento, followed by forcing votes on proposals to suspend the gas tax and backfill projects from the state’s $45 billion surplus.
- NFIB California issued a news release with a few ideas and followed it up with this letter to the state’s top policy makers.
- By the way, AAA has this handy resource for those who want to compare gas prices across the nation. Scroll down to the pull-down menu of states to find California’s.
In Other Legislative Business …
- Monday, March 21 is the first day a committee of the Legislature can hear newly introduced bills. There were more than 2,000 submitted before the February 18 deadline.
- On one of the new bills, NFIB will send this letter to Assembly Member Evan Low today (March 14) about his Assembly Bill 1949 making it unlawful for an employer to refuse an employee up to five days of bereavement leave.
- “We acknowledge that AB 1949 has undergone numerous changes from last year’s AB 95 which makes the bill less onerous; however, California has a multitude of leaves available to employees. Many businesses do include unpaid leave on their own for employees to attend funerals and other related services. That said, the layering of various leaves makes it especially difficult for small businesses to comply and continue the operation of a small business,” wrote NFIB California State Director John Kabateck in the letter.
- As reported in a previous Main Street Minute, NFIB has narrowed to 153 the number of bills with some small-business impact. Click here to scan them.
Thanks to All Who Attended
- NFIB thanks all its members who attended this year’s virtual Small Business Day event on March 8. And we gratefully appreciate Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk and Assembly Member Vince Fong for giving us their insights.
Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report
- Last week, the NFIB Member Ballot launched. Issues include worker shortage, overtime pay regulations, taxes, big tech and antitrust, and wage and hour compliance assistance. We encourage NFIB members to vote their ballot here: NFIB/VoteMyBallot.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed the U.S. inflation rate rose by 7.9% in February, the fastest pace of acceleration in 40 years. Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB vice president of Federal Government Relations, issued this statement in response.
Next Main Street Minute March 21.