California’s bill signing deadline passed last week and the outcomes of
a few specific bills send conflicting signals to manufacturers and
private sector job creators about the state’s interest in their ability
to compete and grow jobs.

Here’s a look at the result of four of the most important bills
affecting the state’s manufacturing job base and competitiveness:

Bad signal #1

AB 569
provides special treatment for some specific unionized industries by
fixing ‘meal and rest’ regulations for only them and leaving a large
majority of our private workforce and employers exposed to job killing
lawsuits. This is a fix for a select and privileged few, without any
justification, at the expense of every other non-union and union
company in this state.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature likely
ended any chance for a comprehensive fix.

This sends one of the worst signals possible to any manufacturer looking to locate or grow in California.

– CMTA’s veto letter HERE
– Recent CMTA opinion HERE
– Can’t post the Governor’s signing message because he did not put one out when he signed the bill

Bad signal #2

SB 657
requires that all manufacturers report what they are doing to eradicate
slavery and human trafficking from their global supply chains and
allows the Attorney General to impose an injunction if he/she feels any
disclosure is insufficient.  California’s manufacturers are already
part of many worldwide initiatives to improve working conditions and
prevent abuses.  International human trafficking is not a state issue.
The governor’s signature on SB657 increases the cost of manufacturing
in California and exposes manufactures to new costly litigation.

This is a feel-good bill that will have no impact on third-world human
trafficking but will have a huge impact on the investment decisions of
our high wage job creators.

– Gov’s signature letter HERE
– CMTA’s veto letter HERE

Good signal #1

SB 1272
requires personal income or corporation tax credits to contain
automatic sunset or expiration provisions and detailed performance
indicators to measure whether the tax incentives are meeting certain
goals.  This is another bill that makes competitive tax policy very
uncertain for manufacturers trying to make long and short-term
investment decisions.  Why are performance metrics and "sunsets" ok for
tax incentives but not for the the state’s spending policies?

The Governor got it right on this one.

– Gov’s veto letter HERE
– CMTA’s veto letter HERE

Good signal #2

AB 1405
directs an arbitrary 10 percent of revenues collected by the California
Air Resources Board from a cap-and-trade carbon program for
undetermined purposes in a community benefit trust fund. They haven’t
even implemented cap-and-trade and the Legislature is already working
on a "money grab". This is premature and will interfere with
development of a potential cap-and-trade program. CARB must balance
cost effectiveness, co-pollutant impacts, and technological feasibility
as they develop regulations under AB 32. These criteria are vital to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the economy.

The Governor got this one right too and finally showed that the cost
effectiveness of any AB 32 cap-and-trade program must be
cost-effective.  Our next Governor must continue this oversight if
California is forced to absorb a cap-and-trade program in the future.

– Gov’s veto letter HERE
– CMTA’s veto letter HERE

There are others (including an important career technical education
bill, AB 2446, that should have been signed but got vetoed) but these
are the bills that manufacturing employers have been calling on most
over the past week, saying "Has he vetoed it yet?"  634,000 lost mnfg jobs and counting.