For the legislative and political week January 23-27
Welcome to the January 23-27 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
- The 2023-2024 session of the California State Legislature is just three weeks old, but already there have been 29 bills introduced related to the minimum wage, 49 related to employee leave, and 122 related to health care. NFIB is in the process of highlighting the best and worst of them. February 17 is the last day to introduce bills.
The State Budget Blues
- Move over B.B. King, State Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek can strum those Blues, too, as he did last Monday (January 16), when he released his latest California’s Fiscal Outlook report.
- “The chances that the Federal Reserve can tame inflation without inducing a recession are narrow. Reflecting the threat of a recession, our revenue estimates represent the weakest performance the state has experienced since the Great Recession … The budget problem is mainly attributable to lower revenue estimates, which are lower than budget act projections from 2021?22 through 2023?24 by $41 billion.”
- Historical nugget: Established in 1941, “The LAO [Legislative Analyst’s Office] was the first such office in the United States, and it inspired other states — and the federal government — to create similar operations, including the 1974 establishment of the Congressional Budget Office,” reports Capitol Weekly.
NFIB Hosts Health Care Webinar
- NFIB California State Director John Kabateck hosted a discussion on health care with special guests Alex Schriver, executive director of Better Solutions for Healthcare, and Nick Louizos, vice president of government relations for the California Association of Health Plans. The discussion, which can be seen on YouTube here, included:
— An overview of rising healthcare costs in California and the U.S. – how did we get here?
— A discussion around the main culprit in these higher costs – hospitals’ dishonest billing practices and other schemes to spike costs on patients and small businesses through higher premiums.
— A look at what’s on the horizon – Ongoing policy challenges and solutions in the State Capitol and in Washington DC.
Silent Hammers and Saws
- “Senate Bill 9 was introduced two years ago as a way to help solve California’s severe housing crunch by allowing homeowners to convert their homes into duplexes on a single-family lot or divide the parcel in half to build another duplex for a total of four units. The law went into effect at the start of 2022,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
- There seems to be no rush to do anything, however. “Across 13 cities in the state, SB 9 projects are ‘limited or nonexistent,’ according to a new study by the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation.”
Speaking of Construction …
- In a January 19 news release, The Associated Builders and Contractors reported “a record 88% of the US construction industry workforce does not belong to a union.” Relatedly, In the last NFIB Covid-19 Survey, construction businesses accounted for the second highest amount of NFIB members, one percentage point behind retail. In a prior NFIB survey, of the NFIB members from all industries who had employees, only 2% were unionized.
NFIB California in the News
- The Southern California Record interviews State Director John Kabateck at length about potential litigation risks as a result of the California Privacy Protection Agency still not having final rules seven months after its July 1, 2022, deadline for producing them.
For Your Information
- We’ve added two new Talking Points Memorandums on the NFIB California webpage, one on the minimum wage, the other on health care costs.
- These memorandums are single pages of bullet information designed for our Sales teammates before meeting a prospect, for our Leadership Council members speaking publicly for NFIB, and for our state director and other NFIB officials prior to doing a media interview. All will be updated periodically.
For Your Amusement
- The Wyoming Legislature last week took a snide swipe at California and Gov. Gavin Newsom with the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution SJ0004, which calls for the phasing out of new electric vehicles sales in Wyoming by 2035.
- “The proposal is directly tied to a plan by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrats in the California Legislature, who want to ban the sale of certain gas-powered vehicles in the Golden State by that year,” reported SFGate. “The GOP lawmakers who sponsored the resolution in Wyoming made no secret of the correlation between the two proposals when they authored their measure: they asked that a copy of their resolution be sent to Newsom for him to review.”
Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report
- This week, NFIB launched a digital advertising campaign congratulating newly elected NFIB members on their victories and welcoming them to Congress. The 118th Congress added six new NFIB members for a total of 25 NFIB members in Congress, view the list of NFIB members here. Read the NFIB article titled, “Meet the NFIB Members in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
- One of NFIB’s top legislative priorities is making the 20% Small Business Deduction (Section 199A) permanent. This week, the Washington Times published an op-ed by NFIB Federal Government Relations Director Courtney Titus Brooks titled, “Tax Clock Ticking for Small Businesses.”
- On January 19th, NFIB released an article previewing NFIB’s new podcast, the Small Business Rundown, which will highlight and analyze key small business issues in Washington, D.C. and state capitals. The first podcast will be debuted on January 26th and new episodes will air every two weeks. Read the press release here.
- On January 19th, NFIB recapped Holly’s and Beth’s recent webinar titled, “Seven New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses,” which focused on the frequently-asked questions and a list of tips for small business owners. Read the article here. Watch the on-demand video here.
Next Main Street Minute January 30.