For the legislative and political week April 11-15
Welcome to the April 11-15 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
The Legislature adjourned for Spring Break last Thursday (April 7) and will return to work Monday, April 18. Lawmakers didn’t leave, however, without being hit by a blizzard of legislative activity, which NFIB helped stir up, as the following demonstrates.
Urgent Action Needed
- NFIB California members were sent this Action Alert asking them to let their legislators know of their strong opposition to Senate Bill 1044, which would allow any employee to refuse to show up to work, regardless of the health and safety precautions taken by their employer, and it would expose employers to lawsuits under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
- More information can be found in this coalition letter of opposition, which NFIB cosigned.
Harmful Workers’ Compensation Changes Proposed
- A coalition of 50 business groups, including NFIB, sent this April 5 letter of opposition to Sen. Anthony Portantino, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, detailing the harmful effects Senate Bill 1127 would have on the workers’ compensation system.
- SB 1127, “fundamentally alters longstanding rules and timeframes for determining eligibility for workers’ compensation claims and, as drafted, would dramatically increase systemic friction and litigation,” according to the letter.
Speaking of Workers’ Compensation Changes
- In another coalition letter, this time to Assembly Member Chris Holden, chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, NFIB and 28 other business groups announced their opposition to Assembly Bill 1751. “The undersigned organizations write to respectfully Oppose AB 1751, which would extend the sunset date on the existing workers’ compensation presumption for COVID-19 by two years to January 1, 2025. However, our coalition would remove our opposition if AB 1751 were amended to extend the presumption for only one year to January 1, 2024.”
Marijuana in the Workplace
- In this letter of opposition to the author of Assembly Bill 2188, NFIB and others told Assembly Member Bill Quirk, “your AB 2188 … would create an unprecedented, protected class for marijuana users and undermines employers’ ability to provide a safe and drug-free workplace.
- “Under California law, we believe that marijuana should be treated like alcohol — its use is legal in certain settings, but impairment must be kept out of the workplace. We see AB 2188 as going far beyond that by interfering with an employer’s ability to conduct pre-employment and post-accident testing under the bill’s present language, as well as creating new litigation concerns related to its new protections for marijuana use.”
- Last Tuesday (April 5), a coalition NFIB is part of sent this letter of support for Assembly Bill 2164 to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- “For years, small businesses have been targeted by bad actors who repeatedly file accessibility related lawsuits against businesses for technical violations. This has continued during the pandemic and has devastated small businesses trying to stay open. AB 2164 helps address this issue by providing small businesses with a financial pathway to proactively take steps to become accessible,” said the letter.
NFIB Members with Public Contracts
- At the urging of NFIB and others, Assembly Member Cottie Petrie-Norris amended her Assembly Bill 1616 to remove ‘public contracts’ from her measure dealing with cost-of-living expenditures made under the California Emergency Relief Fund. The red-lined removals of AB 1616 can be seen when you click on the bill link above. NFIB members who have public contracts are encouraged to acquaint themselves with other parts of the bill.
Last Days Approach
- April 29 is the last day for policy committees to hear and report to fiscal committees fiscal bills introduced in their house
- May 6 is the last day for policy committees to hear and report to the floor non-fiscal bills introduced in their house
- May 13 is the last day for policy committees to meet prior to May 31
- May 20 is the last day for fiscal committees to hear and report to the floor bills introduced in their house
- May 27 is the last day for each house to pass bills introduced in that house
- Looking ahead, August 31 is the last day for each house to pass bills on to the governor before final recess upon adjournment.
Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report
- On Friday (April 8), NFIB hosted the 2nd Annual Main Street Tax Summit with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and three NFIB members. You can:
- Also on Friday, the NFIB Federal Member Ballot went out again to the membership. NFIB members can vote at NFIB.com/VoteMyBallot. Learn more about the process here.
Next Main Street Minute April 18.