Bills Facing the Business Community When the Legislature Reconvenes

Chris Micheli

Attorney and Lobbyist at the Sacramento government relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.


Even though the 2017 Legislative Session recently concluded, the California business community needs to be aware of “2-year bills” that will be considered when the Legislature reconvenes on January 3, 2018. There are nearly 1,000 of these two-year bills that are technically alive, at least until the constitutional deadline of January 31, 2017 to clear their house of origin. Only a small number of those measures are expected to move forward.

With another 2,500 bills likely to be introduced by the late February 2018 deadline for bill introductions for the 2018 Session, California businesses will once again have to engage at the State Capitol to support or oppose legislation that may promote or hurt the state’s business climate. Considering those remaining 2-year bills, the following is a summary of some of the problematic bills that the business community may face when the Legislature reconvenes.

Assembly Bills

AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – This bill would create the Opportunity to Work Act and would require an employer with 10 or more employees to offer additional hours of work to an existing nonexempt employee before hiring an additional employee or subcontractor, would require an employer to post a notice of employee rights, and would require the employer to maintain certain documentation. It is pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 375 (Chau) – This bill would enact the California Broadband Internet Privacy Act, which would basically prohibit broadband Internet access service providers from using, disclosing, or permitting access to customer proprietary information. It is pending on the Senate Floor.

AB 889 (Stone) – This bill would provide that in an action based upon the existence of a danger to the public health or safety information relating to the danger that was discovered during litigation shall not be kept secret pursuant to an agreement of the parties or a court order, except pursuant to a court order based upon specified findings. It is pending on the Assembly Floor.

AB 1003 (Bloom) – This bill would, on and after July 1, 2018, impose a tax on the sale or transfer of any sugar-sweetened beverage product by the distributor of the product equal to $0.02 per fluid ounce and would deposit all fees, interest, penalties, and other amounts collected pursuant to these provisions into the fund. It is pending in the Assembly

AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) – This bill would establish specific standards for the use of personal services contracts by counties. The bill would allow a county or county agency to contract for personal services currently or customarily performed by employees when specified conditions are met. It is pending in the Senate Rules Committee.

AB 1356 (Eggman) – This bill would, for taxable years beginning on or afterJanuary 1, 2019 impose an additional tax of 1% on income that exceeds $1,000,000. The bill would deposit the revenues derived from this tax into the Higher Education Assistance Fund. It is pending in the Assembly

AB 1565 (Thurmond) – This bill would exempt from overtime compensation an executive, administrative, or professional employee if the employee earns a monthly salary equivalent to either $3,956 or an amount no less than twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment, whichever amount is higher. It is pending on the Senate Floor.

AB 1576 (Levine) – This bill would amend the Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995 to additionally prohibit a business from discriminating with respect to the price charged for the same, or substantially similar, goods because of the gender of the targeted user of the good. It is pending on the Assembly Floor.

Senate Bills

SB 49 (de Leon) – This bill would authorize a person acting in the public interest to bring an action to enforce certain standards and requirements implementing specified air, water, endangered species, and labor laws if specified conditions are satisfied. This bill would expressly authorize a person to petition a court for a writ of mandate to compel a state or local agency to perform an act required by, or to review a state or local agency’s action for compliance with, this measure. It is pending in the Assembly Rules Committee.

SB 66 (Wieckowski) – This bill, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, would disallow a deduction for amounts paid or incurred for punitive damages. It is pending in the Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee.

SB 300 (Monning) – This bill would establish the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Health Warning Act, which would prohibit a person from distributing, selling, or offering for sale a sugar-sweetened beverage in a sealed beverage container, or a multipack of sugar-sweetened beverages, in this state unless the beverage container or multipack bears a health warning. It is pending in the Senate

SB 562 (Lara) – This bill, the Healthy California Act, would create the Healthy California program to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state. The bill, among other things, would provide that the program covers a wide range of medical benefits and other services and would incorporate the health care benefits and standards of other existing federal and state provisions. The bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would develop a revenue plan, taking into consideration anticipated federal revenue available for the Healthy California program. It is pending in the Assembly Rules Committee.

SB 567 (Lara) – This bill would, for charitable remainder annuity trusts formed on or after January 1, 2018, require that the charitable remainder interest must be at least 40% of the initial fair market value of all the property placed in trust. This bill would revise this provision about decedents who died on or after January 1, 2018, to provide that no adjustment shall be allowed where the person who acquires the property has an adjusted gross income or net income over specified amounts. This bill, for taxable years beginning January 1, 2018, would eliminate those deductions for compensation payable to the chief executive officer for based on commission or on meeting certain performance goals under the Corporation Tax Law, thereby no longer conforming to federal income tax law. It is pending on the Senate Floor.

SB 726 (Wiener) – This bill would propose to the voters a repeal of the initiative measure prohibiting the imposition of a tax on or because of any transfer occurring because of death and would impose estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, in modified conformity with federal law, on and after January 1, 2019, upon estates valued at over $5,490,000, as may be adjusted. It is pending in the Senate Governance & Finance Committee.

SB 772 (Leyva) – This bill would exempt any occupational safety and health standard and order from the standardized regulatory impact analysis requirement. It is pending on the Assembly Floor.

While there are numerous other problematic bills pending, and certainly there will be even more once the 2018 bill introductions occur, the bills are certainly some of the most onerous measures facing the business community next Session. In the meantime, businesses should carefully track these and other measures that get introduced and engage with their state legislators about the impact that these measures will have on employers and their employees.

Chris Micheli is an attorney and legislative advocate for the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

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