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Bill signings send conflicting signals to California's struggling manufacturing community

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Oct. 1, 2010

California's bill signing deadline passed last night.  The outcomes of a few specific bills send conflicting signals to manufacturers and private sector job creators about the state's interest in their ability to compete and grow jobs.

Here's a look at the result of four of the most important bills affecting the state's manufacturing job base and competitiveness:


Bad signal #1
AB 569 provides special treatment for some specific unionized industries by fixing 'meal and rest' regulations for only them and leaving a large majority of our private workforce and employers exposed to job killing lawsuits. This is a fix for a select and privileged few, without any justification, at the expense of every other non-union and union company in this state.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature likely ended any chance for a comprehensive fix.

This sends one of the worst signals possible to any manufacturer looking to locate or grow in California.

- CMTA's veto letter HERE
- Recent CMTA opinion HERE
- Can't post the Governor's signing message because he did not put one out when he signed the bill


Bad signal #2
SB 657 requires that all manufacturers report what they are doing to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their global supply chains and allows the Attorney General to impose an injunction if he/she feels any disclosure is insufficient.  California's manufacturers are already part of many worldwide initiatives to improve working conditions and prevent abuses.  International human trafficking is not a state issue. The governor's signature on SB657 increases the cost of manufacturing in California and exposes manufactures to new costly litigation.

This is a feel-good bill that will have no impact on third-world human trafficking but will have a huge impact on the investment decisions of our high wage job creators.

- Gov's signature letter HERE
- CMTA's veto letter HERE

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Good signal #1

SB 1272 requires personal income or corporation tax credits to contain automatic sunset or expiration provisions and detailed performance indicators to measure whether the tax incentives are meeting certain goals.  This is another bill that makes competitive tax policy very uncertain for manufacturers trying to make long and short-term investment decisions.  Why are performance metrics and "sunsets" ok for tax incentives but not for the the state's spending policies?

The Governor got it right on this one.

- Gov's veto letter HERE
- CMTA's veto letter HERE


Good signal #2

AB 1405 directs an arbitrary 10 percent of revenues collected by the California Air Resources Board from a cap-and-trade carbon program for undetermined purposes in a community benefit trust fund. They haven't even implemented cap-and-trade and the Legislature is already working on a "money grab". This is premature and will interfere with development of a potential cap-and-trade program. CARB must balance cost effectiveness, co-pollutant impacts, and technological feasibility as they develop regulations under AB 32. These criteria are vital to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the economy.

The Governor got this one right too and finally showed that the cost effectiveness of any AB 32 cap-and-trade program must be cost-effective.  Our next Governor must continue this oversight if California is forced to absorb a cap-and-trade program in the future.

- Gov's veto letter HERE
- CMTA's veto letter HERE


There are others (including an important career technical education bill, AB 2446, that should have been signed but got vetoed) but these are the bills that manufacturing employers have been calling on most over the past week, saying "Has he vetoed it yet?"  634,000 lost mnfg jobs and counting.





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