Chamber News

On December 8, the San Marcos Chamber joined 80 chambers of commerce and business organizations representing business in California in addressing Governor Newsom, State State Senators, Assemblymembers and All California Elected Officials.

Small Biz Coalition Letter December 2020

Small Business Stimulus Grant

The Small Business Stimulus Grant Program is funded by Board of Supervisors allocated federal CARES Act funding. The grant funding provides economic assistance to help businesses and nonprofit entities impacted by COVID-19. Financial assistance will be allocated to eligible, qualified small businesses and nonprofit entities with final award recommendations made by individual district offices based on the availability of funds, program guidelines, and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation.

Grant Application Now Open – Check your Eligibility & Apply

Applications are now open for eligible businesses, subject to availability of funding. If you have applied previously, you do NOT need to reapply. Award recipients will also be posted on the site.

Who can apply?
Small businesses and nonprofits operating in San Diego County may apply. 

Eligible businesses to be determined by the following criteria:

  • Are you a for-profit or non-profit business that has been impacted by moving from Red to Purple tier?
  • Are you a private for-profit or non-profit businesses.
  • Do you have one hundred (100) or fewer employees, including sole proprietorships and independent contractors?
  • Are you headquartered in San Diego County, providing local goods and services to the community?
  • Do you have a minimum 1-year operating history as of February 14, 2020?
  • Have you experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19? These impacts must be documented, quantifiable, and clearly driven by COVID-19.

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Prior to completing an application, non-profit organizations will need to ensure they are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants must be identified on the Charitable Organization Registry maintained by the California Attorney General (AG) as CURRENTEXEMPT, or provide evidence that they are not required to register or are in process of being registered. In addition, eligible applicants must have a status of ACTIVE with the California Secretary of State or otherwise show that they are authorized to conduct business in the State.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – Week of November 23, 2020

  • Virtual Holiday Open House
    • Senator Jones will once again be hosting his annual holiday open house on Wednesday, December 9 from 5pm to 8pm – this year, it’s virtual!
    • Constituents will have the opportunity to meet with the Senator virtually, and have an opportunity to speak with staff regarding any legislative ideas or for assistance with state agencies.
    • To RSVP, please email [email protected] with your name, email address, and the number of people who will be attending with you.  Time-slots will be sent via email before the event.
    • If you have any questions, please contact Aaron Andrews via email at [email protected] or call our office at 619-596-3136.
  • State Senate End of Session
    • The legislative session adjourned for the year on August 31st.
    • New members of the legislature are sworn in on December 7, and the new legislative session resumes on January 4, 2021.
  • Senator Jones’ Bills Signed by the Governor
    • September 30th was the deadline for the Governor to sign or veto all of the bills that the Legislature sent to him this year.
    • Five of Senator Jones’ bills have been signed into law!  In total, during the two-year legislative session, twelve of Senator Jones’ bills have become laws
    • Senator Jones’ goal has always been to fix problems for the people he represents.  The five bills that were signed into law this year are:
    • SB 723 clarifies the law to guarantee due process rights for an individual choosing to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.
      • SB 723 clarifies that an individual for whom a warrant has been issued is only guilty of firearms possession charges if the individual has knowledge of the warrant.  It’s an issue of simple fairness.
      • In another example of the majority party’s overreach, this due process violation was slipped into law through the budget process without ever having a policy hearing.
      • Once they realized their clear due process violation, they attempted to fix the law by adding a knowledge requirement – again through a back-room process without a policy hearing.
      • The result was a hidden fix that no one knew about.
      • SB 723 fixes this mess by making it clear and evident that knowledge of a warrant is required, thus protecting legal gun owners.
      • SB 723 goes into effect January 1, 2021
    • SB 878 requires all boards and bureaus within the Department of Consumer Affairs to prominently display on their websites the current average time-frame for processing initial and renewal license applications.
      • The goal of this bill is to give licensees some clarity regarding potential wait times and to hold the bureaucracy accountable.
      • Senator Jones has said “I appreciate the Governor recognizing that this measure is greatly needed to help Californians awaiting their professional license approval from the state.  After working hard to get an education, pass their exams and submitting a mountain of paperwork, a license applicant should not have to sit in limbo wondering how many months it will be until they can start their career.  Having to publicly post their application approval timelines will let state licensing agencies, bureaus, and commissions know that their performance is being monitored by the Legislature, the media, and the public.  This should help smooth out the application approval process and decrease wait times.”
      • SB 878 will go into effect on July 1, 2021 in order to give DCA time to implement the necessary technology.
    • SB 1003 helps local governments create recreational opportunities for their citizens by allowing more wheeled-devices to operate at local skate parks other than skateboards‚ such as wheelchairs and scooters. This bill was the product of a years-long partnership between myself and the local leaders who wanted to create more public recreation spaces for our residents.
      • In 2015, then-Assemblyman Jones passed a bill to extend a local government’s liability exemption for skateparks to include recreating with devices other than skateboards.
      • This made it so that local communities could decide to open up their parks to activities like extreme bicycling, scootering, or wheel chairing, thus taking these activities off the city streets and putting them in a safe park designed specifically for that purpose.
      • That bill, AB 1146 (Jones – 2015), proved to be a successful program, but it sunsetted this year.
      • SB 1003 extends this local government immunity for local skate parks to include all wheeled, non-motorized recreational devices such as bicycles, scooters, and wheelchairs, along with skateboards, indefinitely.
      • Senator Jones has said “SB 1003 grants much-needed immunity from liability for communities that operate skate parks.  Local skateboarders and sports riders get a safer place than the streets to carve, do McTwists, or ollies, and taxpayers are not going to be liable for the occasional mishap that is inherent to all active sports.”
      • SB 1003 was sponsored by the County of San Diego, and as an urgency measure, it went into effect immediately.
    • SB 1126 ensures justice and public safety – while also saving court resources – by adding a limited exception to when sealed competency records for youth can be accessed by the Court if the youth’s competency is again under question. The bill was sponsored by the California Judges Association and had the support of Peace Officers‚ District Attorneys‚ Public Defenders‚ and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
      • Files are sealed to protect the juvenile. However, not allowing a file to be referenced for the juvenile’s own sake at a future competency review could be detrimental to the juvenile.
      • Allowing these files to be referenced will also save court resources.
      • SB 1126 will go into effect on January 1, 2021.
    • SB 1148 allows a more fair market for publishing foreclosure notices‚ thus lowering the cost for someone to buy themselves out of foreclosure and remain in their home.
  • Current law requires a notice of a foreclosure to be published in a newspaper and prescribes that it be published in a newspaper in the same city of the property, if one exists.
  • If there is no city paper, current law then allows a paper in the area to be used.
  • This requirement has resulted in extremely inadequate publishing fees given the quasi-monopoly created by some small city papers.
  • When someone is trying to buy themselves out of foreclosure, they have to pay all associated fees of the process – including this publication fee – ON TOP OF the money they still owe to the bank.
  • By simply removing the requirement for the notice to be in a newspaper in the same city as the property, the cost of buying yourself out of foreclosure is lowered since there is now a chance for competition in the market for publication.
  • Additionally, SB 1148 prescribes how courts should deal with “declarations of nonmonetary status” so that there is consistency on how the filing is treated statewide.
  • SB 1148 will go into effect on January 1, 2021.


  • CA Chamber of Commerce “Job-Killer” Bills
    • And some other good news from Sacramento!  Senator Jones helped kill several bills that the CA Chamber of Commerce designated as “job-killer” bills:
      • AB 196, which would have significantly increased workers’ compensation costs for employers by “conclusively” presuming that contraction of COVID-19 by all “essential workers” is a workplace injury.
      • SB 55, which would have added substantial time and cost to the CEQA process and provide project opponents with new legal arguments to delay or block housing and other projects.
      • SB 1399, which would have significantly increased the burden on nonunionized employers in the garment manufacturing industry in CA by eliminating piece rate as a method of payment even though it may benefit the employee and would impose additional requirements upon employers.  These additional requirements would have encouraged companies to contract with manufacturers outside of CA, thereby limiting the demand and workforce of garment manufacturers in CA.
      • Sadly, SB 1383, which would require 12 weeks of protective leave for small, mid-sized, and large employers—in the midst of a pandemic and a recession—with no flexibility, was approved by the governor and signed into law.  Any employer with as few as 5 employees will have to comply with the mandate, or be subject to expensive and burdensome litigation.
  • Assembly Bill 5
    • As the 2020 legislative session came to a close, Senator Jones and other members of the Senate Republican Caucus advocated for the rights of independent contractors and for the preservation of the freelance gig economy in California.
    • The non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office has predicted that the anti-worker law, AB 5, has impacted the livelihoods of one million independent contractors in California.
    • Republican Senators presented nine amendments to AB 2257 including one that would have repealed and replaced AB 5 entirely.
    • Senator Jones also proposed a carveout for tattoo artists with whom the Senator has had multiple conversations about their plight as a result of AB 5.  Other Republican Senators proposed other exemptions to AB 5 as well, demonstrating the full scope of the damage that AB 5 has caused.
    • Senate Democrats rejected and blocked all of these amendments from being discussed during the final day of session.
    • Senator Jones said, “The flexibility and success currently enjoyed by millions of independent contractors in California will be lost forever unless AB 5 is overturned.  Today, Senate Republicans attempted to cut into AB 5 with a series of exemption amendments to a companion measure – AB 2257.  While Senate Democrats and Governor Newsom blocked our amendment efforts, we did lay the groundwork for voters themselves to permanently shelve AB 5 in the November election.”
    • Throughout the 2020 legislative session, Senator Jones attempted to repeal AB 5, as well as seek exemptions for several industries if a full exemption wasn’t possible.  Some of those efforts included:
      • Coauthoring ACA 19 with Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to repeal and replace AB 5 in its entirety.
      • Coauthoring SB 806 with Senator Shannon Grove (R-Fresno) to repeal and replace AB 5 with a new test that is much more expansive and would have include most existing business arrangements
      • Authoring SB 875, which would have allowed interpreters and translators to continue to serve members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and non-English speaking Californians.
      • Authoring SB 881, which would have exempted musicians and music industry professionals from AB 5.  While SB 881 never passed, musicians were able to be exempted along with other multiple industries when AB 2257 was passed.
      • Unfortunately, all of these bills, as well as other exemptions introduced by other Senate Republican Caucus members were blocked by the Democratic Supermajority.
  • Fighting for your Constitutional Rights During COVID-19
    • Senator Jones wants to end the constraints on your constitutional rights resulting from the government’s COVID-19 response.  On July 30th, both he and Senator Melissa Melendez attempted to bring SCR 93 for a vote on the Senate floor which would have had a significant impact on the Governor’s ability to unilaterally restrict our rights.  You can read more about this effort on Senator Jones’ website ( under the “Newsroom” section.
    • Both Senator Jones and Senator Melendez attempted to bring SCR 93 for a vote on the Senate floor once more on August 13th, but that motion was denied.
  • Senator Jones’ Recovery From COVID-19 (if asked):
    • Thank you to all of those who passed well wishes to Senator Jones after having tested positive for COVID-19 in Sacramento for the last week of session.
    • Though feeling fine, the Senator immediately entered quarantine where over the course of the isolation he experienced mild symptoms.
    • His quarantine ended on September 5th.
    • In addition, to help others, the Senator donated convalescent plasma on Monday, October 5th.
  • 2020 Ballot Propositions (if asked)
    • Proposition 14  – $5.5 Billion Bond for Stem Cell Research
      • Proposition 14 has passed with 51% of voters voting in favor of the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and had concerns about continuing state funding and the controversy over potential mismanagement of past funds
    • Prop 15 – The so-called “Split Roll” Tax Measure
      • Proposition 15 did not pass with 52% of voters voting in opposition to the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and had concerns about the unfairness of raising taxes on small businesses, particularly during a time when the state’s economy is doing poorly and we are facing unprecedented job losses amid business shutdowns.
      • Senator Jones was also concerned that this proposition will undermine the letter and spirit of Proposition 13’s prohibition on drastic property tax hikes.
    • Prop 16 – Enacting Affirmative Action in California
      • Proposition 16 did not pass with 57.1% of voters voting against the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and he voted against the legislative measure – Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 – that put this proposition on the ballot.
      • Senator Jones does not want to remove the following from the State Constitution, as Prop 16 would do:
        • “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group, on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
    • Prop 17 – Allows Parolees the Right to Vote
      • Proposition 17 has passed with 58.6% of voters voting in favor of the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and he voted against the legislative measure – Assembly Constitutional Amendment 6 – that put this proposition on the ballot.
      • Senator Jones believes that after a parolee has actually completed the terms of their parole – the point at which their other rights are also restored – is when they should be allowed to vote.
    • Prop 18 – Allows 17 year-olds the right to vote in Primary or Special Elections
      • Proposition 18 did not pass with 56% of voters voting against the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and he voted against the legislative measure – Assembly Concurrent Amendment 4 – that put this proposition on the ballot.
      • Senator Jones believes we have a long history of requiring that persons be 18 years of age or older to vote and he sees no reason to change it.
    • Prop 19 – Changes Tax Transfer Laws for Inherited Properties and Disaster-damaged Properties
      • Proposition 19 has passed with 51.1% of voters voting in favor of the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and he voted against the legislative measure – Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11 – that put this proposition on the ballot.
      • Senator Jones believes this measure was rushed onto the ballot without a thorough review of all the costs and benefits.
      • Senator Jones supports lowering taxes on properties that are damaged in a disaster.
    • Prop 20 – Increases Crime Penalties and Expands DNA Collection from Criminals
      • Proposition 20 did not pass with 61.8% of voters voting against the measure
      • Senator Jones supported this clean-up of AB 109, Prop 47 & Prop 57 which all drastically reduced penalties for a number of violent and non-violent crimes and, predictably, lead to increases in certain types of crimes.
      • Senator Jones believes that DNA collection from criminals in custody should be increased to help resolve recent and cold-case crimes.
    • Prop 21 – Rent Control
      • Proposition 21 did not pass with 59.8% of voters voting against the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and believes rent control will decrease the availability of affordable housing and will increase the costs to build new housing.
    • Prop 22 – Exempts App-based Drivers from AB 5
      • Proposition 22 has passed with 58.6% of voters voting in favor of the measure
      • Senator Jones supported this exemption from AB 5 for ride-share drivers (such as those working for Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart, etc.) so they can continue working as independent contractors.
      • Senator Jones believes that AB 5 ought to be completely repealed and all industries that currently operate as independent contractors should be allowed to continue that freedom and flexibility
    • Prop 23 – Dialysis Clinic Regulations
      • Proposition 23 did not pass with 63.6% of voters voting against the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed and believes the voters have already spoken on this issue by rejecting a similar proposition recently.
      • Senator Jones also believes that dialysis facilities in California are rightly renowned as the safest in the world.
    • Prop 24 – Consumer Data Privacy
      • Proposition 24 has passed with 56.1% of voters voting in favor of the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed to this complicated, complex and un-vetted measure.
      • Senator Jones believes creating a large new state bureaucracy, giving them power to impose penalties, and removing the ability for companies to cure any violations, is unwise and the last thing we should be doing in this economic environment.


    • Prop 25 – Elimination of the Cash-bail System
      • Proposition 25 did not pass with 56.3% of voters voting against the measure
      • Senator Jones was opposed to eliminating the system allowing the judge to require that persons arrested for serious crimes post bail to guarantee they return to court for trial.
      • Senator Jones believes that the alternative to bail outlined in this proposition will compromise public safety and undermine the justice system.
  • State Budget (if asked):
    • The Legislative Democrats passed a $202 billion budget plan which was signed by the Governor on June 29.
    • With more than 5 million unemployed Californians, this overall budget package, which the Senator opposed, continues to harm job opportunities — by adding new mandates that will hurt small businesses, and $4.4 billion in new taxes.
    • There is also a tremendous amount of accounting trickery, deferred payments, and the prayer for another bailout from the federal government, even after the Trump administration has already given California more than $180 billion, either directly to Californians or through the state – according to Dept. of Finance.
    • This budget is a house of cards.  It is an attempt to shift blame to Congress if it won’t bailout California again.
    • Governor Newsom and the majority Democrats created every one of the problems we are dealing with now—programs ever increasing in their scope and cost and which, pandemic or not, would have turned our budget upside down in a few years.
    • The budget still does not address the state’s long-term, structural budget deficits, which will be in the tens of billions of dollars.
    • Just a few of the specific problems with the Democrats’ budget package include:
      • $22 million for the state to enforce AB 5 (the anti-Independent Contractor law)
      • It adds more than 1,100 new state positions, not counting those needed for immediate priorities like EDD staffing and fire safety.  These new positions will cost more than $230 million ($80 million General Fund).  When we can’t afford our existing programs, why are we making them larger?
      • It provides $25 million for the California Small Business Expansion Fund, yet another bill in the package increases taxes on small businesses by $4.4 billion in 2020-21.  You make $25 million available, but then add on $4.4 billion in new taxes? This budget is overwhelming in its tone deafness.


  • State’s Tiered Reopening Guidelines for Business
    • The state of California has established a four-tier system for reopening businesses.
    • You can learn more at
    • While the Senator has strongly urged the Governor to take a different approach to our state’s reopening plans, the Senator wanted to make sure that you have the current information
  • Senator Jones and the American Red Cross host Blood Drives in San Diego County
    • Blood donations have been running very low due to concerns over COVID-19
    • All safe medical practices and social distancing measures will be observed during the blood drive to collect much-needed blood donations for medical patients
    • The Senator has also worked with the Red Cross to schedule two upcoming blood drives in North County in October.
    • On Monday, October 12, in partnership with the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, we held a blood drive at the Escondido Chamber of Commerce building
    • On Thursday, October 15, in partnership with Valley Center Business Association, we held a blood drive at the Valley Center Community Church
  • COVID-19 Resource Page
    • Senator Jones has set up a page on his website to provide the latest updates from public health officials, utilities, local and state governments.
  • Wildfire PSA:
    • As a PSA: since we are clearly in the midst of fire season, the Senator just wants to make sure everyone is adequately preparing themselves, their families, and their homes for the threat of wildfires. Resources provided by the state and the county will be helpful toward that end:


Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 28 this year, encourages consumers to support local businesses by shopping small. American Express launched this shopping holiday in 2010, at the height of the Great Recession, as a way of redirecting holiday shopping to local stores. A decade later, it’s observed in all 50 states, and in 2011, the Senate passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturday. – AMEX

Support your local community and shop San Marcos for Small Business Saturday to find those special gifts for this holiday season. On this eventful day, locally owned businesses will be offering in-store specials and discounts for shoppers to enjoy and find those perfect gifts for everyone on the list.

Small businesses need you now more than ever before. Every purchase makes an impact in your community. For every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community.

Come celebrate Small Business Saturday in San Marcos as we boost awareness and support for our local small businesses. Enjoy shopping specials, discounts, and merchant hospitality as you “Shop Small.” Nearly every locally-owned store in the area will participate in the “Shop Small” campaign “Small Business Saturday.” To find participating small businesses near you, visit the interactive map here:

All businesses will be following State and County regulations ensuring your safe shopping and dining experience. If you would like to shop from the comfort of your home, the Chamber encourages you to visit the participating businesses websites for limited-time online opportunities.

Are you a business that’s interested in participating in Small Business Saturday? Visit this page to learn more about how you can register your business to appear on the American Express “Shop Small” map before Small Business Saturday.

VISTA, CA – On Tuesday, December 1st, more than 150 recently homeless parents and their children will walk into a dramatic transformation of the Solutions for Change campus they left just a few hours earlier. Hundreds of volunteers from dozens of local groups sign up a year in advance to be part of this most magical day of the year.

Volunteers “break and enter” into a unit equipped with a personal bio of the family, then deck out the unit with holiday cheer – stocked refrigerators, new handmade quilts, personal notes of encouragement, gifts under a fully personalized and decorated Christmas Tree. Families return to their homes to find them magically transformed into a Christmas wonderland. “Tears flow freely as parents recall past holidays filled with the chaos and disappointments that accompany homelessness, many are overcome by the love of others who they’ve never met. It’s a very special moment here at Solutions that drives home one of our key messages,” says Chris Megison, Founding CEO. “You are part of a larger community, it’s not us and you, it’s all of us together as one us”, he says.

Breaking and Entering was truly magical for my family,” said Shannon Anderson, Solutions program graduate whose family was the recipient of Breaking & Entering in 2018.  “After years of hopelessness, tragedies and heartbreak, I saw the pure joy and delight in their faces.  This was the beginning of our healing process together, and we are forever grateful for Solutions for Change and all the wonderful Volunteers who came together to bless our family. My kids finally felt comfortable and free to be themselves.”

Media Contact: Veronica Baker (619) 206-4000

Date: Tues, Dec 1, 2020   11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: 722 W. California Ave. Vista CA

Episode Summary

Jennings Imel is the Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Western Regional Office. The office is responsible for legislative and political grassroots activities in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Hawaii in support of the U.S. Chamber’s national public policy goals.

Jennings Imel is the Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Western Regional Office. The office is responsible for legislative and political grassroots activities in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Hawaii in support of the U.S. Chamber’s national public policy goals.

Before joining the U.S. Chamber staff in 2013, Jennings worked in Washington, DC at the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress and at the public affairs firm of Mercury, Clark & Weinstock. Prior to moving to DC, Jennings worked in the California State Assembly; he also managed and worked on several successful congressional and state legislative campaigns, mostly in the Southern California region.

Jennings received a master’s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University and bachelor’s degrees in political science and German from the University of California, Riverside.



U.S. Chamber of Commerce

San Diego County Election Results

Girl in a jacket


Partial Picture

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

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.

Factors Considered

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.

Priority Bills

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.

Environmental Regulation

 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.

Health Care

 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.

Product Regulation

 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.

View the entire vote record (PDF), including Best Business Votes.

View the Best Business Votes PDF.


The San Marcos Chamber serves as the best resource for its members and the business community to promote a positive business climate, economy, and quality of life. Below you will find the positions of the Chamber on the following ballot propositions.

To access the California Chamber of Commerce Overview of November Ballot Measures PDF (created 10/2/2020), click here.

To access the Official Voter Information Guide, please visit this page.

Proposition 15 – Split Roll Property Tax. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Requires that commercial and industrial real property be taxed based on current market value.

Proposition 15 is a $12.5 billion a year property tax increase—the largest in state history—that is riddled with flaws which will hurt all Californians. Contrary to what its supporters claim, Proposition 15 will not help local governments and schools recover from the COVID-19 induced economic crisis.

The measure will also hurt the small businesses that employ half of all California employees.


Proposition 23 – Establishes State Requirements for Kidney Dialysis Clinics. Requires On-Site Medical Professional. Initiative Statute.

Appearing as Proposition 23 on the November 3, 2020 ballot, The Protect the Lives of Dialysis Patients Act mandates that each of the roughly 600 dialysis clinics in California have a physician on the premises during all operating hours, in a non-caregiving role.



Proposition 20 – Restricts Parole for Non-Violent Offenders. Authorizes Felony Sentences for Certain Offenses Currently Treated Only as Misdemeanors. Initiative Statute.

Proposition 20, the Keep California Safe Initiative, restricts parole for non-violent offenders and authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors.

This initiative statute imposes restrictions on the parole program for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term for their primary offense. It also expands the list of offenses that disqualify an inmate from this parole program.

It authorizes felony charges for specified theft crimes currently chargeable only as misdemeanors, including some thefts where the value is between $250 and $950.

Proposition 20 discourages organized retail thefts by increasing penalties and saves retailers thousands of dollars in lost merchandise and loss prevention programs. The initiative:

    • Includes a felony for “serial theft.” A person caught stealing merchandise valued at more than $250 three separate times would face felony charges.
    • Expands the list of violent crimes for which early release isn’t an option.
    • Requires the Board of Parole Hearings to consider an inmate’s entire criminal history when deciding parole, not just his/her most recently committed offense.

Proposition 22 – Changes Employment Classification Rules for App-Based Transportation and Delivery Drivers. Initiative Statute.

The San Marcos Chamber is supporting this initiative statute to ensure that thousands of workers continue to have access to this important work that provides a flexible option to earn income.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 400 state and local chambers of commerce and associations have stepped up to formally join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in its Equality of Opportunity Initiative, powering a nationwide effort to advance economic inclusion across our society through business leadership. The U.S. Chamber announced the national initiative to address inequality of opportunity last week, building on the organization’s work and expertise with a focus on reform in four issue areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice.

“As our nation undertakes a necessary conversation about systemic racism, we will listen thoughtfully and lead solutions to help ensure Black Americans and people of color have greater opportunities to succeed in the American enterprise system,” said Suzanne P. Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We know what a job means to an individual, to a family and to a community. It means personal dignity, financial security, better health outcomes, opportunities to advance and grow, and hope for the future.”

The 426 organizations representing 47 states will join the U.S. Chamber’s Equality of Opportunity National Summit on June 25, which will explore some of the underlying challenges driving inequality of opportunity and chart a path to actionable, data-driven solutions. In addition, these state and local partners and industry associations have committed to hosting similar dialogues and taking action in their own communities and across their sectors to address inequality of opportunity.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the National Business League, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) are among the initiative’s nationwide partners (view full list).

“Working together with our federation of state and local chambers and association partners, we can better understand the challenges facing specific communities and help drive lasting solutions across the nation,” Clark added. “We will use our influence, expertise, and convening power to serve our country at a time when the leadership of the business community is needed more than ever. And we commit to ensuring that the impact of our work reaches more people.”

The U.S. Chamber also announced four new members to the initiative’s steering committee: Geoff Freeman, President and CEO, Consumer Brands Association; Bill Miller, President and CEO, American Gaming Association; Jim Rooney, President and CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; and Maria Salinas, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

They join previously announced steering committee members Glenn Hamer, President and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; John Harmon, Founder, President and CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey; Susan Neely, President and CEO, American Council of Life Insurers; Vincent B. Orange, Sr. President and CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce; Carlos Phillips, President and CEO, Greenville (SC) Chamber of Commerce; and Matt Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation.

The Equality of Opportunity initiative aligns with the Chamber’s mission and shared purpose to help businesses grow the economy and create jobs. The Chamber has championed this mission for more than 100 years—across generations and through some of the most significant challenges in our nation’s history.

This initiative is the latest in a series of activities the Chamber has done to promote a more just and equal society. Most recently, the U.S. Chamber sent a letter to members of Congress urging lawmakers to pass bipartisan police reforms before Labor Day.  In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is holding a three-part webinar series, It Matters, where participants will hear from industry leaders about why culture and inclusion are critical pillars to a productive workplace.

This work will build on and will be informed by the formal partnerships the Chamber has forged over the past several years with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Chamber has been proud to partner with these and other allies, including previous initiatives with the NAACP, to advance issues ranging from addressing youth unemployment to promoting diversity across all levels of business to supporting minority-owned enterprises to making the business case for closing the racial equity gap.

Additionally, the Chamber continues to lead efforts to remove barriers standing between people and opportunity. It championed the First Step Act, passed in 2018, to bring needed reforms to the criminal justice system and help formerly incarcerated individuals rebuild their lives through meaningful employment. Through specific initiatives, including the Talent Pipeline Management Initiative, the U.S. Chamber Foundation is driving solutions on workforce development, K-12 education reform, and expanding access to high-quality childcare and early childhood education—including addressing the disparities that exist across these issues for people and communities of color.

Clark concluded, “We are proud of the partnerships, the relationships, and the work we have done over the years to address barriers to opportunity. But much more work needs to be done. The business community must work together to advance equality of opportunity with greater emphasis and urgency than ever before.”