No one knows for sure what  Governor Brown will do with the 800 bills on his desk that await his signature, but for the business community the recently ended legislative session saw some successes and some big setbacks. Perhaps there are more to come.

Concerned with the idea of extending and increasing greenhouse gases reduction mandates, the business community’s protests about further loss of manufacturing might and economic disruption fell on deaf ears as the legislature passed SB 32. Brown has already assured Californians he will sign that bill and an accompanying measure that provides some legislative oversight of the California Air Resources Board.

Previously, to avoid an initiative and give governors a modicum of control in measuring the economic impact of minimum wage increases, the legislature passed and Brown signed an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Business opposed this dramatic increase claiming jobs would be lost. Time will tell, but there is little uncertainty that this measure put another large burden on the state budget because the state will have to increase the wages of its own minimum wage workers. That budget increase could possibly lead to new taxes for business and other taxpayers.

End of session battles led to dual setbacks for business. Against objections from farmers, the legislature passed a bill to redefine overtime pay for farm workers. In addition, a last minute gut and amend bill mandated more time off for workers to bond with a newborn.

Businesses are also keeping a wary eye on legislation setting up new retirement accounts for workers that do not have one. At a minimum, it is more paperwork and attention to non-business details for employers. However, despite assurances that no extra financial burden will hit either the employer or the state, if the retirement programs falter, employers and taxpayers are the likely financial backstop.

One action the legislature failed to take despite urging from the business community was to find resources to improve transportation infrastructure. The competing plans from the Democrats (raising taxes) and the Republicans (spending current dollars more efficiently) led to gridlock.

But it was not all setbacks for business.

The California Chamber of Commerce reported that of its annual list of job killer bills 19 of 24 did not reach the governor’s desk. One important stop was AB 2895, an effort to expand litigation against businesses through the Private Attorneys General Act, a growing concern to the business community. The Job Killers  list included bills dealing with economic barriers, increased labor costs and tax increases among other categories. The entire list can be viewed here.

Now the business community waits to see what the governor has in mind.