Mid-year wrap up

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 21, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A turning point for legislative lobbying efforts occurred a couple weeks ago when bills faced their house of origin deadline. To remain active for this year, legislators needed to pass their bills off their respective floors to be considered in the second house. Only bills with tax levies are exempt, with a few exceptions made by rule waiver.

Almost 3,000 bills were introduced for this first of a two-year session. CMTA reviewed each of them to see if they were of concern to manufacturing, refining or technology companies. Each time the bills are amended we review them again. At the moment, we're closely following nearly 600 bills.  Some are being "watched" to more carefully screen future amendments and track them through the legislative process. CMTA is significantly lobbying more than 125 bills, mostly with support and oppose positions. For more information on these bills, go to: http://www.cmta.net/legwatch.php.

CMTA's priority bills (of the utmost importance) follow. The status is as of June 15th.


Corporate Counsel
Matt Sutton
CMTA Director, Tax, Corporate Counsel, and Technology

AB 1505 (Parra) Class Action Reform
Will give judges clear statutory rules, like those that exist at the federal level, for handling class action cases and greatly reduce the legal uncertainty that makes these lawsuits expensive and time-consuming.
Position: Support
Status: 2-Year Bill, Assembly Judiciary

AB 1673 (Feuer) Manufacturer's Rebates – Mandate
Targets manufacturer's rebates. Requires a California retail seller that indicates the availability of a rebate for an item of merchandise by displaying or advertising the net price, to offer that price immediately on-site. Imposes a civil penalty up to $2500 for a violation, unless proven by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was unintentional.
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Judiciary

SB 388 (Corbett) Private Use of RFID – Disclosure and Added Liability
Requires any private entity that sells, furnishes, or otherwise issues a card or other item containing an RFID-tag capable of being scanned for the recipient's personal information to inform the recipient of the following: information transmitted to the RFID scanner upon scanning of the tag; a general statement of the security measures used by the card or item to safeguard information; and steps the recipient may take to prevent unauthorized access or scanning of information contained on the card or item. Additionally, a recipient may bring an action against a private entity in violation for either statutory damages of $1,000, actual damages sustained, or both. There is no differentiation between information that is encrypted or not.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Judiciary – Hearing June 19

SB 606 (Scott) Pharmaceutical Clinical Trial Data
Requires a pharmaceutical company that sells, delivers, offers for sale, or gives away pharmaceutical drugs within the state to make publicly available the results of every completed clinical trial, except a phase I trial, for that drug and an explanation of non-completion for any clinical trial, except a phase I trial, that the company initiates or sponsors the initiation of, but does not complete.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Desk


Education
Dorothy Rothrock
CMTA Vice President, Government Relations

SB 672 (Torlakson) HS Graduation Requirements
Adds career technical education courses to requirements for high school graduation.
Position: GetREAL Sponsored/Support
Status: Assembly Desk



 Energy
Joe Lyons
CMTA Director, Energy

AB 1064 (Lieber) Self-Generation Incentive Program
Through January 1, 2008, natural gas fired distributed generation technologies, including combined heat and power (CHP) systems, are eligible for the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).  After that date, eligibility will be limited to fuel, wind and qualified waste gas applications.  AB 1064 expands eligibility for the SGIP rebates to include advanced solar thermal, landfill gas, and waste gas technologies.  CMTA would remove its opposition to AB 1064 if the bill were amended to extend SGIP eligibility for natural gas fired technologies.  CHP, which uses heat that would otherwise be wasted to generate electricity, is the most cost-effective form of distributed generation.  CHP also provides an important environmental benefit by reducing greenhouse gases.
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Status: Senate Energy

SB 412 (Simitian) Siting of Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities
With more than 40 percent of the state’s electricity generating capacity being fueled by natural gas, it is critically important for California to identify and build the natural gas infrastructure that allows our economy to grow and maintains electric grid reliability.    Clean-burning natural gas is also a much-needed bridge to renewable resources and next-generation, low-carbon technologies.  SB 412 would delay the delivery of new natural gas supplies to California, increase energy costs and create a new layer of state bureaucracy.  The proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are already undergoing extensive permitting processes.  SB 412 would be redundant to these ongoing processes and is unnecessary to ensure that the proposed projects are environmentally sound.  The bill requires the California Energy Commission to conduct a LNG needs assessment study to assess alternatives to natural gas and determine the number of LNG terminals, if any, are needed to meet the state's projected natural gas demand, and prohibits the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from approving a LNG supply contract and the governor, state and local officials from issuing a permit to construct or operate a LNG facility until a LNG Need Evaluation Report has been adopted.  Beginning September 1, 2008, a newly-created Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuel Assessment Council would be responsible for the need evaluation called for in the bill.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Utilities – Hearing July 9


 Environmental Quality
Mike Rogge
CMTA Director, Environmental Quality

AB 558 (Feuer) Toxic Chemicals – Use Reduction
Requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control to adopt a toxic or hazardous substance list consisting of the chemicals identified on the Toxic Chemical List established pursuant to the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, and the substances identified pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, and to annually revise those listings.  The bill would also authorize DTSC to add or delete any additional substance from the toxic or hazardous substance list, pursuant to a specified procedure.
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Rules
 
SB 899 (Simitian) Toxic Substances – Perfluorinated Compounds
Bans perfluorinated compounds (which includes a high percentage of all plastics produced) from being manufactured, processed or distributed after June 1, 2008.  This is virtually a ban on plastics.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Environmental – Hearing June 26
 
SB 974 (Lowenthal) Port Congestion/Environment – Container Tax
Places a $60 per container tax on containers transported in or out of the Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland.  This is a tax, not a fee, and would be in violation of international trade agreements and interstate commerce laws.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Desk


Labor and Employment
Cynthia Leon
CMTA Director, Workers' Comp., Human Resources, Safety and Health

AB 515 (Lieber) Permissible Exposure Limits
Expresses legislative intent that the Cal-OSHA Board's first priority should be protection against effects of substances that may cause cancer, reproductive or developmental toxicity. Requires the Board to adopt standards establishing permissible exposure limits (PEL) for workplace hazardous substances, some of which will be determined by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of Cal-EPA unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the exposure level formulated by the OEHHA is not feasible.
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Labor
 AB 537 (Swanson) California Family and Medical Leave
Amends the California Family Rights Act to expand the definition of family members with a serious medical condition to whom a covered employee may take unpaid leave to attend. Also increases the circumstances under which an employer is responsible for providing protected leave pursuant to the Act by eliminating the age and dependency elements from the definition of "child" and changes the definition of "parent."
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Labor

AB 1045 (Richardson) Working Conditions
Express the intent of the Legislature to require the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt a standard to protect workers from being exposed to excessive heat while indoors.
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Labor – Hearing June 27

SB 48 (Perata) Health Care Coverage – Perata’s Plan
Requires employers to spend an unspecified percentage of their payroll toward employee health care benefits or pay the difference into a state fund.  The program will also provide for increased funding to state safety net programs.  This is the vehicle for Senator Perata’s health care reform proposal and most of the details are not yet included in the bill.  Other similar bills include AB 8 and SB 840.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Desk

SB 836 (Kuehl) Fair Employment – Familial Status
Adds "Familial Status" to existing Fair Employment and Housing law to protect and safeguard the right of persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination or abridgment on account of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation.  The meaning of "Familial Status" includes being an individual who is or will be caring for or supporting a family member.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Desk

SB 936 (Perata) Workers' Compensation – Permanent Disability Schedule
Existing law requires the payment of disability benefits to eligible individuals for injuries sustained in the course of employment that cause permanent disability, and specifies that the amount of those payments be computed in accordance with a prescribed formula. This bill would revise the formula for computing those payments for injuries causing permanent disability, which occur on or after January 1, 2008.
SB 936 is the same issue as AB 1212.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Insurance

Taxation
Matt Sutton
CMTA Director, Tax, Corporate Counsel, and Technology

AB 561 (Walters) Tax Amnesty Program Revision
Increases the interest rates on overpayment of personal income and corporate tax caused by the 2005 amnesty program and associated penalties. The interest on overpayments would be equal to the interest on underpayments. Converts part of the existing amnesty penalty into interest imposed at an enhanced rate.
Position: Support
Status: Senate Revenue and Taxation

AB 751 (Lieu) Research and Development Credit Increase
Increases the research and development tax credit from 15 to 20 percent and completely conforms to the federal alternative incremental R&D credit.
Position: Support
Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation, Suspense File

AB 1152 (Niello) CMTA Sales Tax Exemption for Manufacturing Equipment
Allows for a partial sales tax exemption (5-cents of the state portion) on the purchases of new manufacturing equipment.
Position: CMTA-Sponsored/Support
Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation, Suspense File

AB 1186 (Karnette) Enterprise Zone – Manufacturing Tax Credit Enhancement
Allows the current cap for which an enterprise zone tax credit may be claimed on a per zone basis, rather than the total. The caps are $1 million personal income tax, $20 million corporate tax.
Position: Support
Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation, Suspense File

AB 1206 (Smyth) CMTA Sales Tax Exemption on R&D Equipment
Applies a 5-cent sales tax exemption on the purchases of equipment used in R&D activities.
Position: CMTA-Sponsored/Support
Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation, Suspense File

 SB 1014 (Kuehl) Single Payer Healthcare Taxes
Imposes the following taxes to finance government administrated health care: 1) 1% on taxable personal income in excess of $200,000 but under $1 million; 2) An unspecified percentage on self-employment income over $7,000 and under $200,000; 3) An unspecified percentage on the amount of non-wage income of individuals under $200,000; 4) A 3.78% increase in the employee share of the payroll tax of income over $7,000 and under $200,000; and 5) A 8.17% increase in the employer share of the payroll tax of an employee's income over $7,000 and under $200,000.
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Revenue and Taxation, Suspense File
 
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