Californians are anxious.
The economy is growing, the state budget is balanced and the rains have resumed. Yet California voters are apprehensive about the future. They worry that state leaders are not addressing the issues that truly concern them, according to the third annual CalChamber Poll.
For the first time in three years of polling, slightly more voters say that California is headed down the wrong track (52%) than in the right direction (48%). Their assessment for the nation is even worse: twice as many voters have a negative outlook on the country’s direction than have a positive impression.
Parents are uneasy about their kids’ futures. Of the 28% of voters with children living at home, 61% agree that their children will have a better future if they leave California. Reasons include the high cost of living here, high taxes and worry about landing a good job.
This is the Cal Exit to worry about.
On jobs, where you live determines your perception of reality.
San Francisco Bay Area voters see a strong job creation climate in their region, with nearly a quarter of voters seeing “a lot of new jobs” in the area, and nearly eight in ten seeing “a lot” or “some” new jobs. Elsewhere, the perception is dimmer. Coastal southern Californians see a moderate number of new jobs in their regions, while voters in the Inland Empire and Central Valley are more pessimistic, with only 5% seeing “a lot” of new jobs and less than two in five even seeing “some” new jobs.
When asked about the quality of these new jobs, among voters who respond that “a lot” or “some” new jobs are being created, a majority statewide believe that most of these new jobs “tend to be dead ends that don’t lead to the middle class,” while a minority say the new jobs are “the type that lead to higher pay and middle class living.”
Regional differences also are stark here. Most SF Bay Area voters believe the new jobs will lead to higher pay and the middle class, while – by a two-to-one margin – Inland Empire and Central Valley voters believe most new jobs will be dead end jobs.
Crime is also increasingly on the minds of the public.
Voters overwhelmingly agree that elected officials in Sacramento are not spending enough time on reducing crime (86%) or expanding police powers to limit panhandling, homelessness and public drug use in city parks (66%).
They would be more likely to support legislative candidates who take a tough-on-crime approach, such as expanding the list of violent crimes for which early release is not an option, such as felony domestic violence and child sex trafficking (92%), reinstating DNA collection for certain misdemeanors to help law enforcement solve cases (77%), and revise upward the threshold for serial theft to be a felony (76% support).
While most voters have heard a great deal about making California a “sanctuary state,” by a nearly two-to-one margin they believe elected officials are spending too much time on the issue.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates may face calls to support a “single-payer” health care system, but voters are simply not impressed. Voters strongly support subsidies for people who cannot afford their own health care (75%) and for those who have pre-existing health conditions (81%), but are not ready to embrace government-run health care. Voters overwhelmingly prefer to keep their current health insurance (71%) over switching to a single-payer approach (29%).
Voters feel disconnected from their elected leaders, agreeing that the Legislature (82%) and Governor (63%) are “out of touch with the issues that are important to people like me.”
Issues that voters care about but believe the Legislature is not spending enough time on include crime, job creation, keeping energy prices low and building more highways.
Speaking of transportation, considering alternatives to the gasoline tax, voters prefer a mileage-based user fee (29%) to other choices, such as a tax on carbon emissions (20%), issuing state bonds (19%), raising the state sales tax (9%) or reducing spending on schools, colleges and health care (9%).
Voters were very supportive (61%) of paying for road repairs by replacing the gasoline tax with a mileage fee, in the context of increasing automobile fuel efficiency and the increasing number of vehicles that don’t use gasoline at all.
Voters are far less supportive of other fees and taxes on driving.
Only 37 percent support extension of the cap-and-trade program if it caused a fifty-cent-a-gallon hike in the price of gasoline. A $1.50 price increase drives support down to just 30% of voters.
The news is even worse for advocates of mileage fees to reduce driving. By a three-to-one margin, voters oppose legislative limits on driving, such as new fees, purposely designing roads to be more congested, or not expanding highway capacity at all.
Voters do not support (40%) banning gasoline-powered cars by 2030, although younger voters (67%) and voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%) seem intrigued by the idea.
On the quintessential California tax issue, voters still vigorously embrace the Proposition 13 property tax reforms.
Across the board, California voters (81%) have a very or somewhat favorable view of Proposition 13. This view is consistent, whether voters own their homes (85%) or rent (72%), and whether they are Democrat (75%), Republican (90%) or no party (83%).
The CalChamber poll demonstrates that voter anxiety and disconnection is as present in California as elsewhere in the country, notwithstanding the steadfast dominance of Democrats in political leadership.
The CalChamber poll was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) from October 4 to October 6, 2017 among n=1,000 definite California voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level.
We all need it. Many provide it for their employees, if that is still a viable option. But, healthcare costs are out of control.
What is the future of healthcare – how will it be delivered and how will we pay for it? Will we be facing Medicare for all? Can California implement a "single-payer" system and figure out how to pay for it? What will happen to government entities who are currently strapped with funding healthcare benefits for retirees? Will the Trump administration be able to repeal the Affordable Care Act?
These questions and more will be addressed at the Oxnard Business Outlook on November 9. Healthcare costs have an impact on every single Chamber member – business or individual. The more prepared we are for our options, the better we can advocate for reasonable outcomes.
Our keynote speaker for the Oxnard Business Outlook is Loren Kaye. Mr. Kaye is the president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education. The Foundation is affiliated with the California Chamber of Commerce and serves as a “think tank” for the California business community. The Foundation is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the California business climate and private enterprise through accurate, impartial and objective research and analysis of public policy issues of interest to the California business and public policy communities.
Mr. Kaye has devoted his career to developing, analyzing and implementing public policy issues in California, with a special emphasis on improving the state’s business and economic climate. Mr. Kaye was also a gubernatorial appointee to the state’s Little Hoover Commission, charged with evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies and programs.
In addition to Loren Kaye's address, he will moderate a panel of experts in healthcare:
The Oxnard Business Outlook will be held at the Tower Club, 300 E. Esplanade Drive, 22nd Floor in Oxnard. The event will run from 11:30 to 1:30.
We would like to sincerely thank our Title Sponsor, Umpqua Bank for their ongoing support of the Oxnard Business Outlook.
Additional sponsors committed to date are:
Lead Sponsors: St. John's Regional Medical Centers/Dignity Health, UCLA Health, Port of Hueneme, and Western States Petroleum Association
Supporting Sponsors: DCH Auto Group, SoCalGas, and Ventura County Credit Union
Sponsor and individual reservations can be made via the Chamber's website (www.OxnardChamber.org) or by calling the office at 805-983-6118.
Hurry! Reservations are due by Friday, November 3.
California has received $500,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration to increase export activities among small businesses. The funding, part of the State Trade Export Promotion program, will boost trade in foreign markets, – including China, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Mexico, – and encourage exports of information technologies, food and agricultural products, consumer goods and medical equipment.
California is the one of the largest exporting states in the nation. The state exports more than $163 billion in products, about 11% of all U.S. exports. This international trade supports more than 706,000 California jobs. Top markets for California’s exports include Mexico, Canada and China.
“On average, more than 25 percent of California’s agricultural production is exported,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross. “This federal funding is a victory for farmers and ranchers, food manufacturers, and the rural communities where they operate.”
California’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) program is a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), CDFA, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Centers for International Trade Development. The program brings together state, federal, private and nonprofit trade promotion organizations to promote export activities among targeted industries. California STEP is funded in part by a U.S. Small Business Administration grant.
All day holiday festivities to be held at Channel Islands Harbor
Channel Islands Harbor kicks off the holidays with its 52nd annual holiday Parade of Lights, scheduled from noon – 8 p.m., Dec. 9, with the parade beginning at 7 p.m. This year’s parade theme is “Fairy Tales Afloat.” Everyone is invited to enjoy a full day of holiday activities and watch festively decorated boats in the parade while listening to carolers sing holiday songs.
Beginning at noon, families can play in 36 tons of snow falling at the north end of Harbor View Park, off Harbor Blvd. near Marine Emporium Landing, 3600 Harbor Blvd. Santa will be there from noon – 4 p.m. and will take pictures with families free of charge. There will also be holiday arts and crafts vendors starting at 10 a.m.
Santa and his reindeer will ride through the sky at 7 p.m. to mark the beginning of the parade. The parade starts in front of Peninsula Park and heads to the Main Channel, turns at Hobie Beach, loops in front of the launch ramp, then heads back to Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club and repeats the route for a second run. The parade can be viewed from parks and walkways that line the route as well as from most Harbor restaurants.
Any size boat can register for the Parade of Lights. To participate in the parade, download an entry form from www.channelislandsharbor.org. Parade participants can take part in various decorating contests and compete for awards.
For more information on the Parade of Lights visit www.channelislandsharbor.org.
Blossom Tea House is a local, family-owned Thai food and Boba Tea café, featuring delicious made-to-order Thai Street Food. They have a wide variety of milk tea flavors, iced tea, smoothies, and slushes, which come with boba.
Blossom Tea House offers special deals and a loyalty program for customers. Stop in for the Lunch Special, which includes a main dish, cream cheese wonton, and a small Thai Tea Boba for $7.50 (lunch deal Tue-Fri 11am -3pm). Or come in for an afternoon Tea Break Special (Tue-Fri: 3pm-6pm and Sat-Sun: 2pm-5pm). Tea Break includes your choice of a small appetizer and a small tea drink for $6.50 (Tue-Fri: 3pm-6pm and Sat-Sun: 2pm-5pm).
The café is located at 814 N. Ventura Road and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00am – 9:00pm. Blossom Tea House is a take-out restaurant; however there are tables and customers are welcome to stay. Customers can conveniently call in orders for pick up at 805-553-8402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to employment law require new posters at each place of business STATEWIDE - order your posters today to avoid fines
The Oxnard Chamber is making it easy for businesses to comply with California’s labor laws. No matter how many employees you have in California, your business is required by law to post a current California and Federal Employment Poster centrally in every place of business. Severe fines and penalties will be assessed if a business doesn’t display a current poster.
In partnership with the CalChamber, the Oxnard Chamber is currently taking pre-orders for the updated 2018 California and Federal Employment Poster. CalChamber is a trusted source for California and federal compliance products, with more than 125 years of experience helping California business do business.
The 2018 all-in-one poster includes mandatory updates to the Cal/OSHA notice for January 1, 2018, plus recommended updates to the USERRA notice and the CFRA notice. Reminder: The first scheduled minimum wage increase (to $10.50/hour) takes effect for employers with 25 or less employees; second increase (to $11.00/hour) takes effect for employers with 26 or more employees.
The all-in-one posting is available laminated or non-laminated and in your choice of English or Spanish. Posters must be displayed in a conspicuous place accessible to all employees. Employers must also display posters in each company location.
Orders placed by December 15 will be available for pick up at the Chamber around January 1. Orders placed after mid-December may take two weeks to process depending on current inventory. Please call the Oxnard Chamber at 805-983-6118 or download the order form via our website www.oxnardchamber.org .
Other labor law compliance resource materials are available as well. Need a supply of the required pamphlets and notices for new hires? We can provide those. A list of all products and pricing (discounts for members) is listed on the order form available on the Chamber's website.
In light of various emergencies and disasters throughout the state, the California Chamber of Commerce is educating employers about a few things they should know about paying employees, leaves of absences and planning ahead in emergencies.
Even in an emergency, employers must be mindful of obligations under state employment laws and consider pay issues for exempt and nonexempt employees related to office closures.
Employers must pay exempt employees a full weekly salary for any week in which any work is performed. If the business is closed for the whole week, however, employers don’t need to pay exempt employees.
In emergencies, special pay rules apply for nonexempt employees.
If your business shuts down for any of the following reasons, you must only pay nonexempt employees for the hours they worked prior to being sent home:
However, if you shut down your business at your discretion (and not for one of the above reasons), reporting time pay may be owed. When a nonexempt employee shows up for work as scheduled and is not put to work or is given less than half of his/her scheduled hours, the employee would be eligible for reporting time pay: pay for one half of the scheduled shift, no less than two hours and no more than four hours.
Of course, employers are always free to pay employees or let them use vacation or other personal time. Many employers may choose to provide some paid time during emergency situations. Just remember to be consistent!
Leaves of Absence for Emergency Personnel
Some of your employees may serve as volunteers for local fire departments or other emergency response entities. All employers must provide leaves of absence for employees who are required to perform emergency duty. Employers are not required to compensate the employee during this time off.
Leave for Health Issues
Employees may be entitled to time off to deal with health issues that occur as a result of the disaster.
For instance, employees may use their California mandatory paid sick leave for the care or treatment of a health condition for themselves or a family member, as defined by the law.
They also may be eligible for time off for family or medical leave for themselves or to care for family members with any serious health conditions under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The FMLA and the CFRA cover employers with 50 or more employees and provide a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period.
Employers may have obligations to reasonably accommodate an employee under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Should an employee suffer a physical or mental injury because of a natural disaster, they may be entitled to protections under these laws.
School or Childcare Leave
Employers with 25 or more employees working at the same location may need to provide unpaid time off to employees whose children’s school or child care is closed due to a natural disaster, such as a fire, earthquake or flood. For emergency situations, the time must not exceed 40 hours per year.
Employers must remember their obligations to provide a safe workplace. Cal/OSHA is advising employers to take special precautions to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke.
Cal/OSHA has posted materials that provide guidance for employers and workers on working safely in conditions with heavy smoke caused by the wildfires.
The single, most important thing employers can do is create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and communicate that plan to employees. Employers should inform employees that the plan exists and what steps the plan outlines. As an employer, you have an obligation to create and maintain a safe workplace for your employees.
All California employers are required to have an EAP designating the actions that must be taken to protect employees from fire and other emergencies. California employers must also have a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) that details the fire hazards your employees may face and how to handle a fire should the situation arise.
When employees are initially assigned to a job or transferred to a new position, the employer should review parts of the EAP and FPP employees must know so they can protect themselves in the event of an emergency. Employers should retrain employees if they change the EAP or FPP and should periodically conduct emergency training and drills.
When considering emergency situations, employers should plan how they will handle and communicate office closings and determine who will make the final decision on whether to close. Determine also if alternative workplaces are available, whether certain employees can work from home or whether to shut down all work during the emergency.
CalChamber members can find more information on Emergency Action Plans and Fire Prevention Plans during emergencies on HRCalifornia. Cal/OSHA offers resources as well. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.