For the legislative and political week July 18-22
Welcome to the July 18-22 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
- The Legislature will return from summer vacation August 1.
- That is the same day Congress is planning its monthlong recess.
- As pointed out in last week’s Main Street Minute, of the 19 bills of small business importance that made it past a key legislative deadline, four are now effectively dead and a fifth was pulled from committee consideration by its author.
- The remaining 14 bills NFIB California is lobbying for or against will all be heard in either the Senate Appropriations Committee or in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The latter resumes business on Wednesday, August 3, and will take up these bills. The Senate Appropriations Committee, which returns to business a couple of days sooner, Monday, August 1, will not make its agenda public until July 29.
- The entire Legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the year on August 31. Gov. Gavin Newsom will have until September 30 to sign or veto bills. Things will be going at warp speed beginning August 1. NFIB members are highly encouraged to keep their eyes out for Action Alerts that will amplify the small business voice during the entire process.
NFIB California in the News
It was a busy week in the media for NFIB California.
- “It is not a sexy item to pay down,” State Director John Kabateck told The Wall Street Journal for a story about states that haven’t paid down or off their unemployment insurance debts to the federal government. “But all Californians will bear the brunt of this—especially small employers—if we don’t get it done right away.”
- Key Story Point: “If the debts aren’t fully repaid by Nov. 10, as officials in the four states envision, the federal government will start charging $21 per employee annually on all businesses in the states next year. In addition, state taxes on businesses to fund their unemployment programs will go up by varying amounts. Business groups say the increased charges are unfair, particularly for companies that haven’t laid off employees recently, and unwise as the economy is potentially headed toward a recession.”
- ABC10 in Sacramento quotes Kabateck in a story about a minimum-wage initiative making the 2024 ballot. “They’ve got soaring inflation, retail theft, supply chain disruption, higher gas prices. How much more can they take before they shut their doors, leave for another state or just lay people off and close down forever?” John Kabateck said. “This is just absurd, and we think this is the wrong approach.”
- Also on the minimum-wage topic, Ballotpedia News quoted Kabateck as saying, “Market, not politicians and bureaucrats, ought to be dictating the financial growth and success of working men and women in California. Let the market dictate this and let’s stop sending the message that mediocrity is a pathway to professional success in California.”
- Speaking of John Kabateck, in addition to hosting NFIB California’s podcasts, he occasionally teams up with his brother, Brian, for a KabaTalks podcast. Their latest has some interesting observations from guest Dan Morain, a former reporter and columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee. Click here to listen to the half-hour discussion.
- Last week (July 12), NFIB released its monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report showing, “Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased seven points to a net negative 61%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year survey.
- “As inflation continues to dominate business decisions, small business owners’ expectations for better business conditions have reached a new low,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg in a news release from NFIB. “On top of the immediate challenges facing small business owners including inflation and worker shortages, the outlook for economic policy is not encouraging either as policy talks have shifted to tax increases and more regulations.”
- The next day, Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB’s vice president of federal government relations, leveraged the SBET findings to once again call on Congress not to pass any surtax on small businesses.
- “Inflation remains the top problem for the small business economy, and there seems to be no end in sight. Small business optimism has declined for six consecutive months and expectations for better business conditions are at an all-time low. Congress must not increase the pain and uncertainty that Main Street is feeling by proposing a new tax on small businesses that would raise costs and threaten jobs. We urge Congress to act against inflation and reject any tax increases on small businesses.”
Next Main Street Minute July 25.