Small Business Releases its 2020 Legislative Agenda

John Kabateck
NFIB State Director in California

Not in any of our members’ memory has NFIB California needed to shape and refine its legislative agenda for the coming session so soon, but these are extraordinary times.

The fate of thousands of people who have freely chosen to be their own bosses, the further legal life of the only tax that has done more for economic stability than anything else, and the threatening potential from even more lawsuit abuse are just a few of the things hanging in the balance when California legislators reconvene January 6, 2020. 

For 76 years, it’s been the National Federation of Independent Business’ primary educational mission to remind legislators and policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of big businesses. They have different struggles in remaining solvent. 

For that amount of time, NFIB has had its victories and met its challenges, but in modern American politics too often wins go to the loudest not the most rational. As a result, associations such as ours must up their educational, lobbying, and coalition-building activities earlier and earlier. 

Will we succeed in getting people to realize that Assembly Bill 5 is much, much more than about Uber and Lyft? Is getting louder and louder about the assaults on the Prop. 13 protections small-business owners have enjoyed for 40 years an effective strategy? They remain to be seen.

The following are the top seven immediate concerns small-business owners have for now:

  • Preventing Further Loss of Work for Independent Contractors
  • Stopping a Sales Tax on Services
  • Protecting Proposition 13 from Legislative and Ballot Box Assaults
  • Reforming the California Consumer Privacy Act
  • Curbing Lawsuit Abuse from the Private Attorney Generals Act
  • Eliminating the Minimum Franchise Tax
  • Pushing for Passage of a Flexible Workweek

Fuller descriptions of the above can be found on our webpage at www.nfib.com/california. The campaign for small-business solvency and vibrancy is the campaign for the people who gave most of us our first job, the campaign for the people who will take a chance on someone who couldn’t make it past the lobby of a big business, the campaign for the people who are the central pillars holding up every community, the ones who donate to their local charities, pay for the uniforms of local sports teams, and are the first to help their schools and churches.

In an ideal world, small-business owners would be the first people legislators would want to foster good relations with, but big business campaign lucre is too much of a political intoxicant for many politicians. 

A booty of money packed tightly in a big campaign war chest is a great political advantage to have. What NFIB lacks in having one is more than compensated for by having the ground troops big businesses can’t match. In a study of the nation’s top influencers, APCO Worldwide listed NFIB “among the best at mobilizing grassroots forces.” Furthermore, voters prefer candidates supported by small business by a margin of 3 to 1 over those supported by organized labor, according to the Winston Group.

Want more? 

“When it comes to determining who should represent their communities in elected office … the vast majority (59%) say they would prefer a small business owner to represent them over the CEO of a large corporation (4%), a union representative (9%) or a lawyer (6%),” according to Morning Consult.

We read, we call, we email, we knock at your door all the while political TV and radio ads meld into an incomprehensible din of unretained nothingness. 

We invite you to support our agenda and work with us in the next election. Your base of operation will be Main Street, America—a great place loaded with good people.

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