2019 Victories from the California State Legislature

Date: August 02, 2019

Stopping $6 billion in additional taxes, defeating a new right to sue highlight accomplishments for small business

The California State Legislature adjourned its 2019 session September 13 with some victories for small business. Gov. Gavin Newsom had until October 13 to sign or veto bills sent to him. The 2020 half of the two-year session commences January 6. The following are some of the 2019 small-business successes NFIB helped achieve.

Defeated Proposal to Increase Lawsuits

NFIB helped stop Senate Bill 561 from reaching the Senate floor for a vote. The measure would have created a new private right of action to sue a business for any violation of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2019 and is already incredibly burdensome to comply with.

Blocked $6 Billion in Additional Taxes

With the help of NFIB, the following proposed tax increases, or proposed new taxes, were defeated:

  • a $10 a month tax on drinking water to finance improvements in underserved communities, which would have cost ratepayers $140 million annually. (Governor’s proposal)
  • an increased tax of $1.75 per tire (AB 755)
Stopped Unnecessary Bans on Products

Proposed bans on paper receipts (AB 161), single-use, non-recyclable packaging materials (AB 1080/SB 54), and a blanket prohibition on flavored tobacco products (SB 38)

Helped Defeat Bills Raising Labor Costs

Assembly Bill 555 would have extended California’s mandated three days of paid sick leave to five days. In its opposing it, NFIB argued that the majority of small-business owners already provide a variety of leaves. In the end, NFIB helped send the measure to the inactive file. Also stopped from progressing were Assembly Bill 196 and Senate Bill 135, which would have drastically expanded paid family leave.

Blocked a Ban on Internal Combustion Engines

Assembly Bill 40 sought to effectively ban all new motor vehicles and light-duty trucks equipped with an internal combustion engine in California by 2040. While this proposal has had some momentum in European countries, NFIB pointed out that small businesses rely on affordable, dependable means to transport their goods and workforce.

Beat Back the So-Called ‘Green New Deal’

NFIB and many other groups successfully convinced legislators of the unrealistically aggressive environmental and social welfare goals in Assembly Bill 1276, and the very short time of 10 years in which to achieve them all. The measure never had a committee hearing.

Click here to read the small-business challenges for the 2020 session of the California State Legislature.


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