For the legislative and political week August 8-12
Welcome to the August 8-12 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
- A big week ahead for the small-business agenda in the California Legislature. See below.
- NFIB launches national ad campaign urging no new taxes on small business. See national section.
- This is the week that will reveal all about the 14 bills NFIB is tracking. Thursday (August 11) the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee will determine their suspense files.
- What’s a suspense file, by the way? CalMatters explains it this way, “As befits a good murder plot, lawmakers target potential victims by placing the bills on what they call the ‘suspense file.’ Then, twice a year, the appropriations committees cull through all these bills, allowing some to proceed to a floor vote but stopping many in their tracks. In other committees, lawmakers publicly vote when they kill a bill, attaching their names and reputations to the decision. But there is no public vote when the appropriations committees snuff out bills on the suspense file.”
- It’s a sad commentary on the state of things that only one of the 14 bills has small businesses’ backing, Assembly Bill 2164. One of the harmful measures on the list, Assembly Bill 1632, has been neutered.
- Should any of the bills make it out of the appropriations committees, NFIB would have two more bites at the lobbying apple, trying to convince an entire chamber to vote against what the other chamber has passed and what has also passed that chamber’s own committees. The second bite would be to convince the governor to sign the one bill that helps small business and veto the others. Grim prospects both.
The Media’s Marquee Issue
- One of the bills on the above list, which NFIB opposes, received a small burst of media attention last week. Assembly Bill 257 would, if it makes it into law, completely upend the fast-food industry in California.
- “Legislation to create a council overseeing industry workplace standards is fueling one of the marquee battles of the remaining legislative session,” reports Politico California. “The measure is a priority for organized labor and a primary target for business.
- “An earlier version of the measure – carried by then-Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, who now leads the powerhouse California Labor Federation – collapsed on the Assembly floor. Assembly member Chris Holden revived the bill this year and softened its reach with amendments depriving the oversight council of subpoena power and stating the body couldn’t make policy itself (it would submit proposed regulations to the Legislature).”
- The Sacramento Bee had this story.
Health Insurance Costs
- Occasionally, NFIB will lend its support to the efforts of another association without making it a part of its small-business agenda. It’s called good coalition politics and NFIB has benefitted from the reciprocity. One such example is Senate Bill 250, which deals with the licensure and regulation of health care service plans.
- According to a coalition opposed to SB 250, which NFIB is part of, the bill would allow “medical services, procedures, tests and treatments such as unnecessary CT scans or MRIs for uncomplicated conditions, for which there is little to no benefit and has the potential for physical or financial harm to the patient.”
- Scroll down to Page 2 of the coalition’s fact sheet to see this eye-raising nugget, “The Texas law that resembles SB 250 is estimated to increase premiums for Texas’s small businesses and individuals by more than $1 billion a year.”
- NFIB has joined the Chamber and other business groups in sending this letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom offering the coalition’s suggestion for dealing with the current and future droughts. “California must look beyond conservation and recycling, and develop new water storage and supply projects, above and below ground. We know your administration is working on many of these projects, but we urge you to mobilize your team, in partnership with federal and local partners and the private sector, to urgently develop, implement and resource a Water Supply Strategy – with the goal of securing ongoing, reliable new water sources to serve the state’s urban and agricultural uses within the decade.”
U.S. Rep. Young Kim Takes NFIB up on our Challenge
- NFIB California thanks Congresswoman Young Kim for taking part in our nationally offered Small Business Challenge to elected officials. NFIB also thanks member Mark Nappi for making his Quality First Woodwork in Anaheim available for the event. Read more here.
NFIB California in the News
- Citizens Journal publishes NFIB’s news release about its CARB campaign.
- Speaking of that CARB campaign, from the Friday, July 29, announcement of our campaign to Friday, August 5, the social media component registered 11 million impressions.
The Going Rate
- Long gone are the days when a lobbyist could press his case with a legislator for just the cost of an order of sweet-and-sour pork at Frank Fat’s. Last week, a Technology Policy Summit was held at the Carneros Resort and Spa in the Napa Valley, where, reports CalMatters, “Lobbyists could attend for a minimum donation of $10,000, speak on a panel for $20,000, and brief lawmakers on a particular topic for $35,000.”
Highlights of the week.
- NFIB launches national ad campaign urging no new taxes on small business. Click the link or the graphic below to see the video that began airing in Arizona, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
- As it does the first Thursday of every month, the NFIB Research Center published its latest Jobs Report. It showed 49% of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down one point from June and down two points from May’s 48-year record high.
- Speaking of the Research Center, its executive director, Holly Wade, went on CNBC to speak on the network’s Small Business Playbook: Opportunity Amidst Uncertainty.
Next Main Street Minute August 15.