The California Chamber of Commerce on Thursday released an expanded list of 23 “job killer” bills that it is targeting for defeat in the state Legislature.
Back in January, the chamber took the unusual step of releasing a preliminary list of four job-killer bills. Since then, it has periodically identified additional bills as job-killers.
This job-killer list includes bills on labor/employment, housing, litigation, and several taxes.
“The 23 bills on this year’s job killer list are a threat to our state’s future prosperity and our quality of life,” chamber Chief Executive Allan Zaremberg said in a statement. “The goal of the job killer list is to remind California policymakers to keep their focus on the paramount issue affecting their constituents - job creation and prosperity for all.”
The chamber also noted three previously identified job killer bills have been dropped or amended so that the chamber is no longer opposed to them.
Last year, the chamber identified 24 job killer bills; five were sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed four and vetoed one. The all-time high for job killer bills identified was 64 in 1998.
The current crop of job bills include:
SB 33, by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa: Arbitration Agreements: Restricts the use of arbitration agreements between consumers and financial institutions in instances of suspected identity theft. The chamber states this will result in “unnecessary litigation.”
AB 421, by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles: Cleanup liability - Extends liability for Superfund cleanup costs to airborne emissions. The chamber states this will increase liability on businesses and place the burden of proof on those businesses.
SB 63, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara: New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate - Expands the existing federal law of 12 weeks of protected employee leave around the birth of a child to businesses with as few as 20 employees; currently, federal law applies to firms with at least 50 employees. The chamber states this will unduly burden very small firms that cannot always afford extended leaves for employees.
ACA 4, Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters: Property taxes - Lowers the vote requirement for new property tax increases to 55 percent from the current two-thirds. Chamber states this would increase the pressure to increase property taxes on both residential and commercial properties.
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.