California Small Business Owners Thankful Federal, Not State, Policies Drive the Economy

John Kabateck
NFIB State Director in California

After a brief hiccup over a government shutdown, the small-business economy across America is back humming, according to the latest Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report released today. Now, it remains to be seen how much damage California policymakers can do to it with purposely self-inflicted wounds.

Federal policies have always prevailed over state ones, and, right now, especially, California small-business owners are delighted to have it that way. Today’s SBET showed small-business optimism back to pre-government-shutdown record highs. That is due mainly to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which, two years after its passage, continues to pulsate positive economic results. Meanwhile, in Sacramento, it seems as if every effort is being made to do just the opposite: Policymakers are still struggling to protect millions of independent contractors from the harm done them by the State Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision; the governor wants to re-establish the individual mandate to purchase health insurance and wants to significantly expand paid family leave from six weeks to eight weeks; while legislators toy with ideas to ban paper receipts and impose significant building code requirements by requiring stand-alone rooms for nursing mothers.

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California’s Per Pupil Spending

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

New Haven Unified School District students are finally returning to school this week after the district and teachers reached agreement on a new contract. But a close vote and angry words are signs no one is happy. The settlement is temporary, just as in LA and Oakland earlier this year. That’s because the district and the teachers want more money but the state already boosted school spending, already raised taxes, and already moved higher among US states in per pupil funding.

California’s per pupil spending has risen  >50 percent this decade:

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More Than Just Another Piece of Nonsense Legislation

Susan Shelley
Columnist and member of the editorial board of the Southern California News Group, and the author of the book, "How Trump Won."

Nobody in the United States Patent Office ever actually said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

The faux-quotation was a joke that became famous sometime around 1900, when there was a general feeling of being overwhelmed by the fast-paced development of new technology and gadgetry.

Similarly, nobody in California ever said, “Everything that can be banned has been banned.” But that’s no joke. The banning has only begun.

First it was plastic grocery bags. Then plastic straws. And now, paper receipts.

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Bullying Business Won’t Help LA Schools

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Because business organizations opposed the L.A. school tax Measure EE, the Los Angeles mayor, union leaders and school officials say business betrayed students. That’s the message they sent by disinviting the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce from the L.A. Compact, a partnership aimed at presenting a united front on education issues, funding and work opportunities for students. In a letter telling the chamber to get lost, members of the Compact told the business organization, “The chamber has made clear that it is not a reliable partner to our schools.”

The letter signers said one of the goals of the Compact is to improve school funding and businesses opposed the school tax must be bad citizens. But there’s more than one way to secure school funding, chief among them is for the school district to clean up its act financially and create savings, especially when it comes to reforming healthcare and pension issues.

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Update on 2019 Labor and Employment Legislation: What Remains?

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Now that the house of origin deadline has passed, and we are basically at the mid-point in the California Legislative Session, we can take a look at pending legislation with particular attention to the bills that will continue along the legislative process in the second house. The focus of this article is on pending labor and employment legislation. The following are the major bills of particular interest to the California business community:

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What Happens Now with SB 50?

Scott Lay
Publisher of The Nooner

What’s important to note is that, like the gas tax for road repair, SB 50 (Wiener) to override local zoning laws to encourage more housing density near transit and job-dense corridors can be done legislatively. Then, if there is enough opposition, there can be a referendum or a statutory initiative to change it. Only that way can you have a thorough informational campaign and discussion on the issue. As Gibran and I talk about on the pod dropped yesterday at around 35:00, the opposition by many cities was largely driven by wealthy donors and activists who councilmembers listened to even while the support was peppered with community and social justice organizations across the state.

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Why California Should Look to Little LaVerne

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Officials in La Verne, a small city of 32,000 in east Los Angeles County, don’t like to be first in launching new policies. And the city didn’t set out to make itself a proving ground for the best new tool California communities may have to transform themselves.

But La Verne is about to become a California leader anyway.

That’s because this city — for its own reasons — has formed one of California’s first EIFDs. The acronym stands for Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District, a new government entity that the legislature has championed for addressing California’s massive housing shortage and infrastructure deficit.

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Are Voters for More Multi-Family Housing in Single Family Neighborhoods?

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Do Californians really want denser living particularly in single-family neighborhoods? The recent PPIC poll showed strong support by 62% to 30% allowing state laws to override local governments to create multi-family housing near transportation corridors.

The most discussed housing bill in the legislature, Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50, that would do just that went kerplunk when Senate Appropriations Committee chair Anthony Portantino pulled the plug on the bill this year.

Supporters of the bill were infuriated and pressured the governor and senate president to keep the bill alive to no avail. When PPIC released its poll, YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) supporters asked when would legislators catch up to voters.

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Impeachment: The California Factor

Richard Rubin
Attorney Richard Rubin has taught at the University of San Francisco, Berkeley and Golden Gate University, is a regular columnist for the Marin Independent Journal and was Chair of the California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors, 2017-2019.

Like so much in politics the modern history of impeachment runs through California.

Richard Nixon, a Republican and the nation’s 37tth president born in Yorba Linda, chose to resign before he would most certainly have been impeached.

House Speaker and Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, a San Franciscan by adoption and second only in line to the presidency, is cautioning fellow Democrats to go slower before taking that fateful step.

The impeachment clause—Article II of the Constitution—which calls for a president’s removal from office has been only sparingly used and rightly so.

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Update on 2019 Tax Legislation: What Remains?

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Now that the house of origin deadline has passed, and we are basically at the mid-point in the California Legislative Session, we can take a look at pending legislation with particular attention to the bills that will continue along the legislative process in the second house. The focus of this article is on tax legislation. The following are the major tax bills of particular interest to the California business community:

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