NFIB California Main Street Minute, April 8-12

Date: April 08, 2024

From your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento

Welcome to the April 8-12 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

The Surprise Return of Single-Payer Health Care

  • With the state budget $73 billion in the red, Capitol Insiders had thought Assembly Bill 2200’s $500-billion-a-year price tag for single-payer health care would have put the proposal safely into deep hibernation for the rest of the year.
  • Not so. To the amazement of many, the bill will get its first hearing on April 23 in Room 390 at 1020 N St. beginning at 1:30 p.m., and it’s first on the agenda. Fortunately, testimony is limited to two minutes from two witnesses on each side. Otherwise the line to speak would stretch for blocks.
  • AB 2200 is Assemblyman Ash Kalra’s second go at establishing a universal single-payer, health-care system in California. His first attempt, Assembly Bill 1400, during the 2021-2022 legislative session, advanced as far as the full Assembly for a vote but died on third reading.
  • Kalra’s reason for taking another shot can be read here. But AB 2200 is up against the clock. August 31 is the deadline for bills to have passed the Legislature and be sent to the governor. After the governor’s September 30 deadline to sign legislation, all bills will be dead for the year. Their subject matter will have to be introduced anew in the next session of the Legislature.
  • In a soon-to-be-sent letter to Assembly Health Committee members asking for a ‘No’ vote on AB 2200, a coalition of more than 130 business groups, including NFIB, will point out the perils of the measure.
  • “It would create a new and exorbitantly expensive government bureaucracy, which would control and finance a state-run health care system (CalCare), ultimately resulting in significant economic disruption, uncertainty, and job loss in California. The Healthy California for All Commission recently estimated that total health care costs annually exceed $500 billion in California. This amounts to one-seventh of our gross state product and would more than double our state’s budget. That we are even considering this legislation is baffling, given the Legislature is currently working to resolve a budget shortfall that may be as high as $73 billion according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office …
  • “Vermont attempted to enact a single-payer system in 2011 but the efforts were derailed in 2014 when the Legislature failed to approve an accompanying 5% payroll tax on all employers and an individual income tax increase of up to 9.5%. Vermont’s plan would have doubled the state budget and Democratic Governor Shumlin said the burden would have posed ‘a risk of economic shock.’ When asked about the failed single-payer effort, Governor Shumlin said, ‘What I learned the hard way, is it isn’t just about reforming the broken payment system. Public financing will not work until you get costs under control.’

Ignore Your Boss

  • With a historic state budget deficit of their own creation, progressives can’t spend any money. So, what do they do with all that self-righteous energy coursing through their veins? Of course! Pick on employers again. This has had some success in California, after all, with the passage of a Sue Your Boss law, also known as the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
  • Now, it’s an Ignore Your Boss law idea that’s being floated. Assembly Bill 2751 “would require a public or private employer to establish a workplace policy that provides employees the right to disconnect from communications from the employer during nonworking hours, except as specified.”
  • Joshua March, co-founder and CEO of SCiFi, thinks AB 2751 is a terrible idea, arguing in Haney’s hometown online news site, The San Francisco Standard, “… sometimes there are tight deadlines, and startups need to do whatever it takes to win. If that means you need to get on a red-eye flight to get to an important pitch meeting, you do it. If you need to spend all weekend reworking a deck for an important Monday morning meeting, tending to lab experiments or coding for a product launch, you do it. This kind of dedication is necessary to succeed.
  • “AB 2751 by state Assemblymember Matt Haney would make this kind of flexibility illegal. If your manager sends you a message outside prescribed working hours, unless it’s an ‘emergency,’ you would be able to complain to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office and possibly get a fine levied against your company. If an employee disagrees with a manager about what constitutes an ‘emergency,’ presumably the Labor Commission will decide. This seems like a huge overreach and imposition on the ability of companies to manage their communications.”
  • NFIB will lobby against AB 2751 and respectfully and politely suggest the Assemblyman might better exert his energies toward fighting the retail theft that has made his district in particular a national Ground Zero for the epidemic plaguing the nation.

Updated Bill List

  • Click here for a list of the bills NFIB California is tracking that are either bad or good for small business.


  • May revise of the governor’s 2024-2025 proposed state budget. Date TBD
  • May 24 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin (Assembly, Senate)
  • June 15, midnight, constitutional deadline to pass 2024-2025 state budget
  • June 27 deadline for ballot measure to qualify for November
  • August 31 deadline for bills to have passed Legislature and sent to governor
  • September 30 deadline for governor to sign bills into law
  • November 5, General Election Day


Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report

  • This Thursday, April 11, NFIB Member Micheal Ervin, Founder and Owner of Coal River Coffee Company in St. Alban’s West Virginia will be testifying at the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. He will be discussing the importance of the Small Business Deduction. You may remember him from the NFIB Small Business Deduction ad, view here.
    • View more information about the hearing here.
    • Learn more about the Small Business Deduction
  • On April 1, NFIB filed an amicus briefin the case State of Texas v. President Joseph R. Biden at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
    • This case questions whether the President and Department of Labor (DOL) have authority to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors.
    • NFIB’s brief argues that the lower court correctly decided that the DOL rule, Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors, exceeded the statutory authority delegated by Congress.
  • On March 29, NFIB sent a statement following the release of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final workplace inspection rule.
    • Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center Beth Milito said, “This rule is not about worker safety; it is about facilitating the intimidation of small business owners by allowing unions to initiate and participate in inspections of workplaces they wish to infiltrate. By allowing union representatives to participate in federal inspections of non-union workplaces, OSHA is disregarding the standards outlined in the Occupational Safety and Health Act and longstanding agency guidance and interpretations to suit the agenda of union leaders, at the expense of small businesses.”

Next Main Street Minute April 15.

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