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From the Capitol Update August 17, 2019 

Allison Olson, CFRW Advocate

They're Baaaack! 

The legislature returned from their summer recess this week and quickly go to work on the remaining bills still alive this session. Here are the bills we are following as the end of session draws near:

AB 5 (Gonzalez, D): The bill would provide that the factors of the "ABC" test be applied in order to determine the status of a worker as an employee or independent contractor for all provisions of the Labor Code and the Unemployment Insurance Code, except if a statutory exemption from employment status or from a particular obligation related to employment or where a statutory grant of employment status or a particular right related to employment applies. The bill would exempt specified professions from these provisions and instead provide that the employment relationship test for those professions shall be governed by the test adopted in S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341 if certain requirements are met. In other words, this bill would put 2 million independent contractors out of work if passed. Not surprisingly, the Republicans in the Senate had a better bill addressing the Dynamex Decision, but it was swiftly killed by legislative Democrats. Read more about that HERE

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File

AB 51 (Gonzalez, D): Would prohibit a person from requiring any applicant for employment or any employee to waive any right, forum, or procedure for a violation of any provision of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or other specific statutes governing employment as a condition of employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit. The bill would also prohibit an employer from threatening, retaliating or discriminating against, or terminating any applicant for employment or any employee because of the refusal to consent to the waiver of any right, forum, or procedure for a violation of specific statutes governing employment. This is another job killer bill! It takes away arbitration rights from employers and makes it much easier for employers to be sued.

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File

AB 142 (Garcia, D): The Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016 requires, until March 31, 2022, a manufacturer battery fee of $1 to be imposed on a manufacturer of lead-acid batteries for each lead-acid battery it sells at retail to a person in California, or that it sells to a dealer, wholesaler, distributor, or other person for retail sale in California. The act requires the manufacturer battery fee to be paid to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and requires dealers and manufacturers of lead-acid batteries to register with the department. The act defines "manufacturer" for these purposes. This bill would, on and after April 1, 2022, increase the amount of the manufacturer battery fee to $2 and would provide that the fee would continue indefinitely. This is a undue burden on both battery manufacturers and consumers.

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee, hearing set for Monday, August 19th.

AB 891 (Burke, D): Would require a city or a county with a population greater than 330,000, in coordination with other entities, as specified, to establish a safe parking program that provides safe parking locations and options for individuals and families living in their vehicles. The bill would require a safe parking program to provide a bathroom facility and onsite security, among other requirements. The bill would exempt a city or a county that has a specified safe parking program administered by a nongovernmental entity operating in its jurisdiction from these requirements. The bill would require the safe parking programs be developed and implemented by June 1, 2022.

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File

AB 1066 (Gonzalez, D): Would restore eligibility for unemployment benefits after the first 4 weeks of a trade dispute for an employee who left work because of the trade dispute. The bill would specify that the one-week waiting period otherwise required for unemployment benefits is not additionally required under these circumstances. The bill would also codify specified case law that holds that employees who left work due to a lockout by the employer, even if it was in anticipation of a trade dispute, are eligible for benefits. The bill would specify that the bill's provisions do not diminish eligibility for benefits of individuals deprived of work due to an employer lockout or similar action, as specified. In other words, union employees will be able to file for unemployment after four weeks of a "trade dispute" or strike. This would incentivize strikes lasting longer since union members will be able to earn employment checks while on strike.

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File

AB 1080 (Gonzalez, D): Would enact the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which would require the department, before January 1, 2024, to adopt regulations that require producers, as defined, (1) to source reduce, to the maximum extent feasible, single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products, as defined, (2) to ensure that all single-use packaging and priority single-use plastic products manufactured on or after January 1, 2030, and offered for sale, sold, distributed, or imported in or into the California market are recyclable or compostable, and (3) to collectively achieve and maintain, by January 1, 2030, a statewide 75% reduction of the waste generated from single-use packaging, and a statewide 75% reduction of the waste generated from priority single-use plastic products, offered for sale, sold, distributed, or imported in or into the state through source reduction, recycling, or composting. Another burdensome and unnecessary regulation on our plastics business community. There are many things wrong with this bill, including lack of recycling infrastructure in our state and the cost of updating packaging for companies will undoubtedly be passed onto consumers.

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee, hearing set for Monday, August 19th.

AB 1505 (O'Donnell, D): Current law authorizes a charter school to appeal a school district's decision to deny a petition for a charter to the county board of education and, if the county board of education upholds the decision, to appeal the county board of education's decision to the state board. Current law authorizes a charter to be granted by a chartering authority under designated provisions for a period not to exceed 5 years. Current law requires that charter renewals are for periods of 5 years. This bill would revise and recast numerous provisions relating to the submission of petitions to establish charter schools, the appeal of decisions of the governing boards of school districts to deny approval or renewal of charter schools, and the revocation of charters by chartering authorities. The CTA has spent $1 million a MONTH since April in an effort to restrict and regulate our state's charter schools. Read more about that HERE.

Location: Senate Appropriations Committee, hearing set for Monday, August 19th.

ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry, D): The California Constitution prohibits the ad valorem tax rate on real property from exceeding 1% of the full cash value of the property, subject to certain exceptions. This measure would create an additional exception to the 1% limit that would authorize a city, county, city and county, or special district to levy an ad valorem tax to service bonded indebtedness incurred to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing, or the acquisition or lease of real property for those purposes, if the proposition proposing that tax is approved by 55% of the voters of the city, county, or city and county, as applicable, and the proposition includes specified accountability requirements. Another attack on Prop 13th, in this legislature's effort to chip away at our property tax rights.

Location: Assembly Third Reading File, likely to fail deadline

SB 1 (Atkins, D): Current state law regulates the discharge of air pollutants into the atmosphere. The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act regulates the discharge of pollutants into the waters of the state. The California Safe Drinking Water Act establishes standards for drinking water and regulates drinking water systems. The California Endangered Species Act requires the Fish and Game Commission to establish a list of endangered species and a list of threatened species, and generally prohibits the taking of those species. This bill would require specified agencies to take prescribed actions regarding certain federal requirements and standards pertaining to air, water, and protected species, as specified. This bill gives unfettered control to certain state agencies with water powers.

Location: Assembly Appropriations Committee, hearing set for Wednesday, August 21st.

SB 310 (Skinner, D): The Trial Jury Selection and Management Act requires all persons be selected for jury service at random and from sources inclusive of a representative cross section of the population of the area served by the court. This bill would add the list of state tax filers within the area served by the court as an appropriate list for the selection of jurors, and when substantially purged of duplicate names, would require this list, together with the list of registered voters and the list of licensed drivers and identification cardholders, to be considered inclusive of a representative cross section of the population for the purposes of jury selection. In other words, unless amended, allows felons- any felon- to serve on a jury.

Location: Assembly Appropriations Committee, hearing set for Wednesday, August 21st.

 

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