CalChamber Vote Record: Major Bills 2020
By Christina Asai, 8:44 pm on October 26, 2020
This report for the second year of the 2019–2020 legislative session focuses on California legislators’ floor votes on California Chamber of Commerce priority bills.
This is the 46th vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators.
To help readers assess legislators’ records, the charts group bills into 10 subject areas: banking and finance, California Environmental Quality Act, environmental regulation, health care, housing and land use, industrial safety and health, labor and employment, privacy and cybersecurity, product regulation, and taxation.
No vote record can tell the entire story of a legislator’s attitude and actions on issues of importance to business. To fully evaluate your legislative representative, consult the legislative journals and examine your legislator’s votes in committee and on floor issues.
You can view these via links at www.calchambervotes.com.
Many anti-business bills were rejected by legislators in policy or fiscal committees, thus stopping proposals before they reached the floor for a vote. The vote record does not capture these votes.
Most bills in this report cover major business issues that are of concern to both small and large companies.
The CalChamber recognizes that there are many bills supported or opposed by business that are not included in this vote record and analysis.
The CalChamber considers the following factors in selecting vote record bills:
• The bills and votes reflect legislators’ attitudes toward private enterprise, fiscal responsibility and the business climate.
• Each bill was a CalChamber priority in a particular field. Priority bills generally have appeared in the “Status Report” sections of Alert.
• The bills were voted upon by either the full Senate or Assembly. This year, the vote record covers 10 votes in the Senate and 11 votes in the Assembly.
• Unless otherwise noted, final floor votes are shown. Concurrence votes are considered final votes.
When ‘Not Voting’ Helps
Sometimes a legislator is unwilling to vote against a colleague, but is willing to support the CalChamber’s opposition to a bill. In such cases, a legislator may abstain from voting, which will hinder passage of a bill, just as a “no” vote does.
To recognize that not voting can aid the CalChamber’s opposition to a bill, the vote record includes the number of times legislators did not vote “aye” on a CalChamber-opposed bill in the total for the column listing actions “in accord with” the CalChamber’s position, if the legislator was not absent for the day.
Banking and Finance
• AB 2501 (Limón; D- Santa Barbara) New Onerous Burdens on Lenders. Jeopardizes credit availability for consumer loans in future years. Imposes onerous obligations on financial lenders to carry home, mobile home, and auto loans for extended periods of time without receiving payments from borrowers. Failed passage in Assembly, June 15, 28-25. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
California Environmental Quality Act
• AB 2323 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Streamlines CEQA for Housing. Streamlines the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in order to promote more “climate-friendly” residential housing in California by allowing certain transit priority projects (TPP) to be eligible for CEQA’s existing streamlining provisions, and would allow certain infill, affordable and agricultural employee housing projects to utilize CEQA streamlining provisions provided they meet strict environmental criteria. Passed Assembly, June 8, 72-0. Held in Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File. CalChamber Supported.
• AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Threatens Oil and Gas Development Operations. Threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying California jobs and force California to import even more foreign oil by politicizing and undermining the California Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) Division’s ongoing regulatory process regarding new requirements near oil and gas extraction sites by predisposing what setback requirements should be before the agency even begins its analysis. Passed Assembly January 27, 42-30. Failed passage in Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. CalChamber Opposed/Two Year Job Killer.
• SB 977 (Monning; D-Carmel) Prevents Health Systems from Executing Prudent Business Decisions. Presumptively characterizes health system mergers, affiliations, sales or acquisitions as anticompetitive and gives the Attorney General unnecessary and overbroad power to reject this market activity. Passed Senate, June 26, 21-11. On Assembly Floor, August 24; not brought up for vote. CalChamber Opposed.
Housing and Land Use
• SB 902 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Promotes Housing. Promotes housing and provides maximum local authority to local governments to increase the baseline zoning for residential properties and bypass CEQA review if they rezone for small developments of up to 10 units. Passed Senate, June 22, 33-3. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File. CalChamber Supported.
• SB 1120 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Promotes Housing. Increases housing production in California and encourages more small-scale neighborhood development by creating a ministerial approval process for duplexes and other specified acts. Passed Senate, June 24, 39-0 (vote shown). Passed Assembly, August 31, 44-18. Senate concurrence in Assembly amendments pending at end of session. CalChamber Supported.
Industrial Safety and Health
• AB 685 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino) Unclear and Unfair COVID-19 Notice. Gut and amend calls for notice within one business day after any potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but exact requirements on employers remain vague regarding who receives notice and what documents must be provided. Also, California Department of Public Health to publish COVID-19 cases in specific worksites, but fails to separate good and bad employers or identify which cases are due to social spread. Passed Senate, August 30, 26-9. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 31, 52-17. Signed—Chapter 84. CalChamber Opposed.
Labor and Employment
• AB 3216 (Kalra; D-San Jose) New COVID-19 Employment Leave Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce, which will delay rehiring and subject employers to litigation for any alleged mistakes. Passed Senate, August 30, 26-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 31, 46-16. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• SB 1383 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Employees: Time Off. Significantly burdens small employers by requiring small employers with only five employees to provide eligible employees with 12 weeks of mandatory family leave, which can be taken in increments of 1–2 hours, and threatens these small employers with costly litigation if they make any mistake in implementing this leave. Passed Senate, July 2, 21-12. Passed Assembly, August 31, 46-16. Signed—Chapter 86. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• SB 973 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Disclosure of Company Pay Data. Requires California employers to submit pay data to state agencies that could give the false impression of wage disparity where none may exist. Also creates confusion by allowing two different state agencies to enforce Equal Pay Act claims. Passed Assembly, August 26, 50-11. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 30, 29-8. Signed—Chapter 363. CalChamber Opposed.
Privacy and Cybersecurity
• AB 1281 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) California Consumer Privacy Act. Extends existing employee and business-to-business exemption under CCPA by one year, to January 1, 2022, contingent upon the failure of the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 to pass in the November 2020 election. Passed Senate, August 28, 39-0. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 30, 75-0. Signed—Chapter 268. CalChamber Supported.
• SB 54 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Unprecedented Product Regulation in California. Before amendments, substantially increased the cost to manufacture and ship consumer products sold in California by providing CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame that failed to address California’s lack of recycling and composting infrastructure. Job killer status removed due to September 6, 2019 amendments, but CalChamber still opposes. Failed passage in Assembly, September 1, 37-18. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended/Former Job Killer 2019.
• AB 1080 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Unprecedented Product Regulation in California. Before amendments, substantially increased the cost to manufacture and ship consumer products sold in California by providing CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame that failed to address California’s lack of recycling and composting infrastructure. Job killer status removed due to September 6, 2019 amendments, but CalChamber still opposes. Passed Senate, August 30, 23-12. Not taken up in Assembly in final days of session. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended/Former Job Killer 2019.
• SB 972 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Corporate Shaming Tax Disclosure. Pierces the traditional shield of taxpayer confidentiality that has been respected by generations of political and government leaders by requiring the Franchise Tax Board to disclose all taxpayers’ identities and tax credits if their gross receipts are $5 billion or more. Passed Assembly, August 26, 42-20. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 30, 28-11. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.