As the 2017 legislative session came to a close early Saturday morning, 24 of 27 identified job killer bills had been effectively stopped through efforts of the California Chamber of Commerce, local chambers and the business community.
Many job killer bills were the focus of rigorous debate and controversy; in fact, two new job killers were identified last week as a result of amendments added when the bills were being considered on the house floors.
Below is a recap on the highest profile job killer bills that were still active in the last two weeks of the session.
To Governor; Action NeededThree job killers are on the governor’s desk. The CalChamber is urging its members to contact Governor Brown and ask him to veto AB 1209, SB 33, SB 63.
Below is a summary of each bill:
• AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Public Shaming of Employers — Imposes new data collection mandate on California employers to collect and report data to the Secretary of State regarding the mean and median salaries of men and women in the same job title and job description, determine which employees perform “substantially similar” work, and then have that report posted on a publicly accessible website, where such employers will receive undue scrutiny and criticism for wage disparity that is not unlawful and justified by a bona fide factor.
• SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) Discrimination Against Arbitration Agreements — Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements contained in consumer contracts for goods or services with a financial institution, as broadly defined, which is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act and will lead to confusion and unnecessary litigation.
• SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate — Unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers with as few as 20 employees by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for child bonding and exposes them to the threat of costly litigation.
Job Killers Stopped
AB 127 (Committee on Budget) was identified as a job killer on September 13 when language was added to a budget bill that threatened energy reliability by mandating the closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. CalChamber had identified AB 127 as a job killer because it would have eliminated jobs and placed regional energy reliability at risk. The bill was never taken up for a vote on the Senate Floor.
SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles), which would have created uncertainty and increased potential litigation regarding environmental standards, was held in the Senate Rules Committee. The bill would have given broad and sweeping discretion to state agencies to adopt rules and regulations more stringent than the federal rules. SB 49 would have increased the potential for costly litigation by creating private rights of action under California law, which may be triggered when a state agency takes the foregoing discretionary action.
Finally, a job killer bill that would have increased permitting fees and delayed permitting, SB 774 (Leyva; D-Chino), was held on the Assembly Floor inactive file, just days after being amended with onerous provisions. It would established the California Toxic Substances Board within the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), requiring DTSC to adopt a new fee schedule by January 1, 2019 “at a rate sufficient to reimburse the department’s costs to implement” its statutory requirements.
SB 774 was tagged as a job killer because it bypassed public participation and input and would have allowed DTSC to adopt future fee schedules as “emergency” regulations when such regulations would have had significant impacts on permittees’ ability to continue to provide vital services to California communities.
Cumulative Job Killer Vetoes
2017: 27 job killers identified, 3 sent to Governor Brown;
2016: 24 job killers identified, 5 sent to Governor Brown, 4 signed, and 1 vetoed;
2015: 19 job killer bills identified, 3 sent to Governor Brown, 1 signed, and 2 vetoed;
2014: 27 job killer bills identified, 2 sent to Governor, signs 2;
2013: 38 job killer bills identified, 1 sent to Governor, signs 1;
2012: 32 job killer bills identified, 6 sent to Governor, 2 vetoed;
2011: 30 job killer bills identified, 5 sent to Governor, 4 vetoed;
2010: 43 job killer bills identified, 12 sent to Governor, 10 vetoed;
2009: 33 job killer bills identified, 6 sent to Governor, 6 vetoed;
2008: 39 job killer bills identified, 10 sent to Governor, 9 vetoed;
2007: 30 job killer bills identified, 12 sent to Governor, 12 vetoed;
2006: 40 job killer bills identified, 11 sent to Governor, 9 vetoed;
2005: 45 job killer bills identified, 8 sent to Governor, 7 vetoed;
2004: 23 job killer bills identified, 10 sent to Governor, 10 vetoed;
2003: 53 job killer bills identified, 13 sent to Governor, 2 vetoed;
2002: 35 job killer bills identified, 17 sent to Governor, 5 vetoed;
2001: 12 job killer bills identified, 5 sent to Governor, 2 vetoed;
2000: No job killers identified. Of 4 bad bills identified at end of session, Governor Davis signs 2 and vetoes 2;
1999: 30 job killer bills identified, 9 sent to Governor, 3 vetoed;
1998: 64 job killer bills identified, 11 sent to Governor, 11 vetoed.;
1997: 57 job killer bills identified, 9 sent to Governor, 9 vetoed.
Last week California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary David M. Lanier issued the following statement that the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) does not require employers to re-verify work authorization documents:
"With the announcement to phase out the DACA program, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and its partner departments affirm the action does not require an immediate re-verification of work authorization documents for DACA recipients.
"Any action or attempt by employers to re-investigate or re-verify work authorization documents in order to retaliate against any immigrant worker is unlawful in California.
"The Labor and Workforce Development Agency will continue to work in partnership with community leaders, worker advocates and employers to make sure DACA recipients and immigrant workers know they are covered by our State's workplace protections."
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact the Department of Industrial Relations' Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734), and more information on wage theft and how to report violations is available through the Labor Commissioner's Wage Theft is a Crime website.
I have always been a live and let live kind of person. I don't like conflicts. I prefer harmony over anarchy. Unfortunately controversy crosses my path more often than I like. Occupational hazard, I guess.
I have no idea what triggered a recent dispute between the County of Ventura and the City of Oxnard regarding Channel Islands Harbor. However, it's apparent that a lot of beneficial economic development projects are caught in the crossfire.
When I have friends or family from out of town visit me, my favorite thing to do is take them on an electric boat tour of Channel Islands Harbor. For too many years my guests have asked why there is a large shuttered hotel in such a beautiful location. I used to answer, "It's the economy." But that doesn't hold water any more. Now that we are on the verge of the groundbreaking for a new visitor-serving hotel, a tiff between the city and the county looks like it could derail the revitalization of the peninsula in the harbor.
Fisherman's Wharf is certainly another example of the dispute between the two local governments. Here you have a site that was designated on the city's 2030 General Plan as an "Urban Village," which means residential use plus local services for the residents. When that plan was presented, the county embraced it, but the city has done everything possible to derail the project.
The squabble seems to stem from who gets to approve which projects. Historically, the County has granted approvals based on its approved public works plan. Oxnard doesn't seem to like that process any longer and wants to give projects its blessing or denial.
I don't know who should be the approving entity. I just know that a very good proposal to revive Fisherman's Wharf is caught up in the dispute. I am also hearing rumblings that the rebuild of the old Casa Sirena Marina Hotel may be facing permit challenges from the city.
It's time to lock city and the county officials in a room with a professional mediator and come to a resolution.
Administration Announces Intention to Rescind DACA Program
California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg issued a statement September 5, renewing the call for comprehensive immigration reform in light of the announcement that the federal government will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The DACA program was created in June 2012 and allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the county as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
“CalChamber has been a steadfast proponent of comprehensive immigration reform because it is crucial to California’s economic future,” said Zaremberg. “The announcement by Attorney General Sessions highlights the need for comprehensive immigration reform once again and emphasizes the need for an immediate bipartisan solution to provide certain legal status for Dreamers. DACA has shown us that certainty in legal status fosters success in education, employment and job creation. It is a roadmap to achievement if we provide legal certainty for California’s more than 2.5 million undocumented residents.”
California has more at risk than other states. There are nearly 800,000 workers and students enrolled in DACA in the United States. About 200,000 of those individuals are Californians. The end result of uprooting 200,000 Californians, 95% of whom are gainfully employed or enrolled in college, would create change for which the state is unprepared. “Congress must act swiftly to address this issue so we aren’t left with a problem of losing productive tax-paying jobs,” Zaremberg said.
Zaremberg continued, “An important aspect of California’s economy is our booming technology industry, which relies on highly skilled talent to innovate, design, manufacture, create jobs and enable success in the global marketplace. As things stand today, California cannot find enough ‘home grown’ engineers and scientists. We need to reform our inadequate H-1B visa program. Without reform, our jobs leave for offshore locations which would not be a good outcome for the state.”
Many sectors of California’s economy will benefit from immigration reform. “In addition to the technology sector, the agricultural industry would benefit from the certainty created through comprehensive immigration reform,” Zaremberg said.
“We need a bipartisan solution that will provide a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers,” Zaremberg concluded. “We need to preserve California’s workforce and our ability to compete in the global economy. Comprehensive immigration reform will bring certainty to employers, employees and families.”
Popular Santa Barbara hotspot makes Oxnard debut
The Collection at RiverPark has added popular Santa Barbara-based eatery Los Agaves Restaurant to its growing list of dining selections. The restaurant marks the leading Oxnard shopping center’s first Mexican dining spot.
“With a reputation of being one of region’s go-to spots to grab a bite of authentic Mexican cuisine, we’re excited to bring this popular brand to The Collection to round out our list of diverse and delicious dining offerings,” said Stefanie Muegel, marketing director for The Collection.
This newest location in Oxnard will serve the same award-winning Mexican cuisine that has made Los Agaves a favorite among foodies and families alike. Guests will enjoy authentic Mexican favorites with an innovative twist, prepared using the highest quality ingredients, and characterized by the bold flavors of Mexico. With simple and sophisticated presentation, signature dishes include Los Agaves Enchiladas featuring fresh halibut and shrimp, red pepper, onions, and topped with chipotle sauce; Chiles Nortenos stuffed with shrimp and Oaxaca cheese, topped with chipotle dressing; Sea and Earth Molcajetes with grilled nopal, panela chorizo, grilled chambray onion and avocado; or one of the many variations of their famous Ceviches. To view the full menu, please click here. The restaurant currently has four locations in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Westlake Village.
“We are proud to open our doors in Oxnard and welcome the community to come taste the flavors of authentic Mexico,” said Carlos Luna, owner of Los Agaves. “At Los Agaves, we have always taken tremendous pride in being a part of the community, embracing our neighboring businesses and residents alike, and we hope to surpass expectations with our dedicated service and quality of food in our newest location for many years to come.”
About Los Agaves
Los Agaves celebrates the authentic flavor and foods of Mexico with an innovative twist and contemporary style. Signature dishes include Molcajetes, Chiles Norteños, Enchiladas Los Agaves, and Fajitas del Mar, among many more. All dishes are prepared fresh daily with the highest quality of ingredients, handmade salsas and tortillas. Owner Carlos Luna opened Los Agaves in Santa Barbara on Milpas Street in 2008. Nearly a decade later, Los Agaves has four locations in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Westlake Village, with a fifth location opening in Oxnard (summer 2017). All locations are open for lunch and dinner daily, Monday through Friday from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Breakfast is served at the Milpas location only, on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Catering services available upon request. Locations: 600 North Milpas Street (805) 564-2626, 2911; De La Vina Street (805) 682-2600; 7024 Market Place Drive (805) 968-4000, and 30750 Russell Ranch Road, Westlake Village (805) 874-0779. For more information on Los Agaves, please click here.
About the Collection (TheCollectionRP.com)
The Collection at RiverPark is a 750,000 square foot, open-air specialty retail center located in the heart of West Ventura County. Inspired by the beauty of the California coast, The Collection reflects the unique atmosphere of the surrounding seaside communities. The Collection is built around a town grid of retail streets, each of which has its own personality-a carefully crafted assortment of established and contemporary designer shops, distinctive dining, and signature entertainment venues. Anchors include Target, Century RiverPark 16, REI, Whole Foods Market, H&M, 24-Hour SuperSport and The Container Store. Restaurants include Yard House, Larsen’s Grill, Gen Korean BBQ, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Maria’s Italian Kitchen and more. Follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram at TheCollectionRP.