Bills that are Good, Bad, and Ugly for Small Business Approach Deadlines

Tom Scott
CA Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business

May is a critical month for legislation to move through various policy and fiscal committees before the house of origin deadline. Any Assembly bill which does not make it to the Senate (or Senate bill to the Assembly) by June 2 is effectively dead for the remainder of the calendar year, but can be revived in 2018, during the second year of the two-year session. These are known as two-year bills.

While NFIB is tracking and lobbying a wide range of bills and we will not know their fate for another couple of weeks, we have released an updated list of our Good, Bad, & Ugly bills. These bills represent legislative proposals which will have the greatest impact, either positive or negative, on small businesses in California.

Running a small business in a state which enacts nearly 1,000 new laws and associated fees and penalties every year, it is absolutely essential that the business community is aware of these bills before they become law, and engage in the process. This is why we always have the latest version of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly bills available at www.nfib.com/ca/gbu

Below are a few highlights of what we are working on the coming weeks. Following the house of origin deadline, we will update our full list and continue to advocate for policies that help small businesses survive in California.

Good Bills:

AB 1005 (Calderon): DCA Penalties: Right to Cure: The Department of Consumer Affairs oversees the licensure of businesses and professions. This bill would allow 30 days for abatement of the violation before the administrative fine becomes effective.

SB 524 (Vidak): DLSE Regulatory Compliance: Creates a “good faith” defense for employers that complied with written guidance on Division of Labor Standards Enforcement regulations.

Bad Bills:

AB 43 (Thurmond): Department of Corrections Contracting Tax: Imposes a 10% tax on businesses that contract with CDCR for the “privilege” of having a state contract in order to fund education programs designed to discourage future criminals. It sets a bad precedent by taxing businesses just for having a state contract.

SB 300 (Monning): Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warnings: Requires all sugar sweetened beverages sold in California to have a health warning label, and creates new civil penalties for failure to do so. This is yet another example of nanny government.

Ugly Bills:

AB 5 (Gonzalez-Fletcher): “Opportunity to Work” Act: Requires employers with 10 or more total employees to offer more hours to their part-time employees before they can hire new workers, including temporary or seasonal staff. It creates a new right to sue your employer if you don’t get more hours.

SB 562 (Lara): “The Healthy California” Act: Creates a single-payer healthcare system in California. This would cost $250 billion annually, and would hurt the quality of healthcare for our citizens.

Tom Scott is the State Executive Director for NFIB California, which represents 22,000 dues-paying small business members across the state.

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