Big issues on the CMTA plate in 2008

By CMTA Staff

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

Moving into 2008 are many bills left over from 2007, the first year of the two year session.  To see a list of CMTA's priority legislative bills with numbers, authors, titles, brief summaries, positions and status, go to: http://www.cmta.net/legwatch.php.  

The following are among the most important bills and issues CMTA will focus on in 2008. If your favorite is not listed don’t worry.  The following are highlighted because they have potentially large economic impacts, they affect CMTA membership broadly, and/or the time is ripe for action.


Labor and Workforce
Lobbyist: Cynthia Leon – cleon@cmta.net

Workers Comp Reforms: Labor’s efforts to undermine SB 899 reforms from 2004, especially with regard to permanent disability benefits, will likely ramp up this year. CMTA will work with allied groups to maintain the reforms and advocate for correct policies. There may be spill-over negotiations with regard to Meal & Rest periods or other labor issues of concern.

Meal and Rest Periods: The confusion and litigation on M&R is costly for CMTA members. We have been able to stop halfway measures that would solve the problem for some, but not most CMTA members. Crafting a solution in 2008 is extremely important.

Family Medical Leave: Growing confusion between federal and state law and efforts to expand FMLA eligibility requires CMTA’s attention. Consider joining our CMTA working group to consider alternatives and advocate for solutions.

Card Check: National and state level efforts to thwart the secret ballot for organizing employees into a union are a growing threat.  CMTA will work with other business groups to defend against this.  

Environmental Quality
Lobbyist: Mike Rogge – mrogge@cmta.net

Green Chemistry Initiative: CalEPA is undertaking a process to explore potential regulatory schemes for various chemicals and products. A list of alternatives will be revealed by July 1, 2008. Legislation for various chemical bans or limits will be reintroduced next year.  

Extended Producer Responsibility: The Integrated Waste Management Board has initiated a process to develop a "vision" for cradle to grave EPR.  As many as 42 products could be included in the review, with products like batteries and electronic waste likely to be early targets for regulation.  This is a new area of potential regulation for IWMB.

Ports Infrastructure and Air Quality: The final solution for the problems at the ports remains elusive, with voluntary industry action, Port tariffs and revenue raising alternatives such as container taxes being considered.  The Governor and legislators of both parties want a solution.  CMTA will be actively engaged in the negotiations to ensure fair treatment for manufacturers and promote port infrastructure expansion.

Tax
Lobbyist: Matt Sutton-jlyons@cmta.net msutton@cmta.net

Sales Tax Exemption: CMTA will again sponsor legislation to exempt sales tax for the purchase of machinery and equipment in manufacturing.  The state budget deficit makes any success in 2008 an uphill battle, however continued advocacy and education on the issue is crucial for long term success.

Research and Development Tax Credit: CMTA supports raising the tax credit for R&D from 15 to 20%.  Relatively popular with legislators, this is likely to be included in any economic development bill package, and would be very beneficial to CMTA members.

Healthcare
Lobbyists: Matt Sutton and Cynthia Leon

The current special session and the Governor’s 2007-proclaimed "year of healthcare reform" will likely roll into 2008.  CMTA’s task force will continue to advise CMTA leadership, with the goal of promoting broader coverage, reducing the costs of healthcare, and limiting exposure to additional costs for CMTA members.  

Energy
Lobbyist: Joe Lyons – jlyons@cmta.net

AB 32 Implementation Group: AB 32 gave the California Air Resources Board and other state agencies vast authority to make regulations by 2012 to meet Greenhouse Gas reduction goals by 2020 and beyond. CMTA will continue its leadership role in building a broad business community coalition, developing advocacy positions, testifying on behalf of the coalition, and communicating with the media.   More information on AB 32 IG: http://www.ab32ig.com/

AB 32 Scoping Plan: CARB will be developing the regulatory framework for various industry sectors in 2008.  The CMTA Climate Advisory Group will monitor and advise CMTA leadership. As CARB begins to analyze different industry sectors, we will be advocating for fair treatment of CMTA members.  

Low Carbon Fuel Standard: CARB adopted the LCFS as an early action item and the regulatory process is underway.  The outcome will impact future transportation fuel costs and the operations of oil refiners. CMTA will advocate for rational regulations to meet the targets in a cost effective manner.

Combined Heat and Power: Natural gas fired CHP no longer qualifies for incentives under the Self Generation Incentive Program. CMTA will seek a solution to include this in the program and/or provide other incentives to encourage cost-effective CHP installations to lower energy costs of CMTA members and help meet GHG reduction goals.  

Liquefied Natural Gas: Efforts to site one or more liquefied natural gas terminals to serve California are ongoing, with hurdles to overcome on both the regulatory and legislative front.  CMTA leads the Cal-CASE coalition (Californians for Clean Affordable and Safe Energy) to highlight the need for natural gas and that LNG is part of the solution.  More information on Cal-CASE: http://www.casefornaturalgas.org/

Career and Technical Education
Lobbyist: Dorothy Rothrock –drothrock@cmta.net

Jack Stewart, CMTA President, co-chairs an organization to rebuild CTE into the middle and high schools. The GetREAL (Relevance in Education and Learning) legislative package is under development and will be announced at the GetREAL summit to be held January 15, 2008.  Through GetREAL CMTA will be a force in education policy debates, especially if the Governor proceeds with his "year of education reform." More information on GetREAL: www.getrealca.com

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