For the legislative and political week March 28-April 1
Welcome to the March 28-April 1 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
Public Access to Non-Public Areas of a Business
- NFIB joined with the California Chamber of Commerce, California Retailers Association, California Business Properties Association, and the Family Business Association of California in sending a letter of opposition to Assembly Bill 1632, which would allow members of the public access to non-public areas of a business.
- “Other states that have passed their own version of ‘Ally’s Law,’ it is usually limited to retail establishments. In sharp contrast, AB 1632 applies to all ‘place of business open to the general public for the sale of goods or services.’ Functionally, that means AB 1632 applies to almost all businesses, including a bank (with significant security concerns) or a mechanic’s shop (with heavy equipment). This expansion is quite significant because it heightens safety concerns for employees and liability concerns for employers as the affected individual will have to potentially walk through more dangerous areas than may be present in a retail setting,” according to the letter.
- The Assembly Business and Professions Committee will take up AB 1632, tomorrow, March 29.
Retail Theft Bill Fails
- Of the 14 retail theft bills circulating the Capitol, it was assumed that Assembly Bill 1603 had the best chance for passage, sponsored as it was by a member of the majority party. But it was not to be. It failed to clear its first committee March 21 on a 2-3 vote.
- Among other things, AB 1603 called for reducing the felony threshold for grand theft and shopping offenses to $450 from $900.
On Other Legislative Matters
- Depending on how fast bills move through the process, NFIB’s lobbying efforts adjust. Right now, in addition to AB 1632 above, nine of them are particularly troubling to small business and have commanded most of NFIB’s attention. They are:
- Senate Bill 1044, which would allow an employee not to show up for work because he or she feels unsafe.
- Senate Bill 1127, which would alter long-established timeframes for filing workers’ compensation claims.
- Assembly Bill 1949, which calls for adding yet another reason for requesting leave time: bereavement.
- Assembly Bill 1993, which would mandate every employee be vaccinated. This is set for a hearing Wednesday, March 30. In a letter to the bill’s author, Assembly Member Buffy Wicks, NFIB California State Director John Kabateck asks her, “Why now? Overall, 71% of California’s population have been fully vaccinated. And California, along with the rest of the country, is opening back up after a long, business crushing period of shutdowns and business restrictions. California’s COVID numbers are approaching record lows and by all indications, cases are still dropping.”
- Assembly Bill 2182, which “would recognize the opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of family responsibilities as a civil right. Read more in this letter of opposition NFIB co-signed.
- Assembly Bill 1218 calling for zero emissions by 2035.
- Assembly Bill 257, which would completely upend the fast-food franchise model in California.
- Assembly Bill 2243, which, according to this letter of opposition NFIB co-signed, would be “an end-run around the expertise of Cal/OSHA on two recent regulations and also includes three new proposed regulations,” regarding heat illness and wildfire smoke.
- Assembly Bill 2693, which would extend COVID-19 notice requirements that are no longer appropriate as the state moves into the endemic phase of COVID-19 in 2023, according to a coalition letter NFIB co-signed.
- There are a few good bills NFIB is backing. They are:
- Assembly Bill 1920 would allow a credit against the taxes imposed by the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave mandate.
- Assembly Bill 2570, which “would make a one-time transfer of $7,250,000,000 from the General Fund to the Unemployment Fund for the purpose of paying down outstanding debt in that fund.”
- Assembly Bill 820, which would open up more opportunities for small-business lending.
- Assembly Bill 1996, which would streamline government.
- Assembly Bill 1761, which calls for more flexible work schedules.
- Assembly Bill 1597 and AB 1599 on retail theft.
NFIB State Director Named to State Task Force
- The California Board of Accountancy announced NFIB California State Director John Kabateck will serve on a special “taskforce to study and advise on whether the attest experience requirement for CPA licensure is necessary and sufficient to support the CBA’s consumer protection mandate.” More about Kabateck’s appointment can be read here.
Small Business Day Video
- In case you missed it, this year’s NFIB Small Business Day can be viewed here. State Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk and Assembly Member Vince Fong discuss the most pressing small-business issues with NFIB members.
Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report
- We expect President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget request to be released on Monday, March 28.
- We anticipate many of the same tax increases and mandates from last year’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request and the Build Back Better Act, including the Small Business Surtax, increased corporate tax rates, elimination of stepped-up basis (double death tax), and the PRO Act.
- Take action here. Learn more at NFIB.com/SmallBizSurvival.
- On March 21, NFIB signed a coalition letter in support of the Employee Rights Act, introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill reforms federal labor and employment law to better reflect the American economy and workforce of the 21st Century.
- Senator Scott published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal regarding the bill on March 20th entitled, “Time for a Law that Puts Workers, Not Unions, First.”
Next Main Street Minute April 4.