2009 Legislative Session Ends

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 17, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The 2009 Regular session closed with over 3,052 bills introduced, only 1,108 of which were sent to the Governor over the course of the year for his consideration.  

The last week was chaotic with rule waivers, gut and amends, committee hearings with no notice, backroom deals and last-minute maneuvering. Senator Rod Wright’s (D-Los Angeles) bill, SB 696 to ease restrictions on South Coast Air Quality Management District’s permits was among them.  "There was carnage," he said.  It bounced from committee to committee and back again. It was gutted and put into SB 827. It passed both houses around 3 a.m. Saturday morning. CMTA is urging the Governor to sign the bill.

Another bill, AB 1404 (Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles), finally passed off the Senate floor after multiple attempts with too few votes.  It severely limits the use of offsets in a cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  CMTA wants a veto on AB 1404 to keep costs down for manufacturers required to reduce emissions under AB 32, California’s greenhouse gas law.

Finally, legislation to impose a 33 percent renewable portfolio standard was amended in the final hours of session to address problems related to how out-of-state renewable generation can qualify under the RPS.  Nevertheless, due to many remaining flaws, the Governor plans to veto the bills, SB 14 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto) and AB 64 (Paul Krekorian, D-Burbank), and has instead issued an executive order directing the California Air Resources Board to implement a 33 percent RPS regulation under their authority granted by AB 32.    

Following are important manufacturing bills that also made it to the Governor’s desk in the last weeks of session:

Education

SB 147 (DeSaulnier) CSU Acceptance of CTE Courses
Requires the California State University establish model academic standards for high school courses, including career technical courses, for purposes of admission.
Position: Support

Energy

AB 64 (Krekorian) Renewable Portfolio Standard
RPS bill linked to SB 14.
Position: Oppose    

AB 1085 (Mendoza) State Air Resources Board – Regulations
Requires CARB to provide methodologies, inputs, assumptions and other information used to develop a proposed regulation.
Position: Support    

 
AB 1110 (Fuentes) Cogeneration
Authorizes the CPUC and CARB to treat advanced electrical distributed generation technology as cogeneration, and makes existing limitations on gas rates and surcharges charged to cogenerators applicable to advanced electrical distributed generation.
Position: Support    

AB 1404 (De Leon) AB 32 Offsets
Severely restricts the use of offsets for use in meeting emission reduction requirements in a cap and trade program under AB 32.
Position: Oppose    

ACR 77 (Swanson) Better Economic Analysis for AB 32 Implementation
Urges CARB to include a detailed analysis of the potential job impacts of implementing AB 32.
Position: Support    

SB 14 (Simitian) Renewable Energy
Requires that utilities and ESPs procure at least 33% of their total electricity needs from renewable energy.  Requires simultaneous generation and delivery of out of state renewable power. Limits undelivered RECs to no more than 25% of the renewable requirement. Cost cap applies at 6% above the utilities total bundled electricity sales. Creates a mechanism for utility built generation, with a cap of 8.5% of utilities total load.  CPUC can waive compliance if there are reasonable excuses.
Position: Oppose    

SB 104 (Oropeza) GHG – Nitrogen Trifluoride and Other Anthropogenic Gases
Adds nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) to the list of GHGs regulated by CARB under AB 32. Position: Oppose    

SB 412 (Kehoe) Electricity – Self-Generation Incentive Program
Extends until January 1, 2013, the self-generation incentive program for non-solar distributed generation resources and would limit the eligibility for incentives to resources that the commission determines will support the state’s goals under AB 32. Requires that CHP units meet certain efficiency and emissions requirements.
Position: Support    

SB 695 (Kehoe & Wright) Electricity Rates
Urgency bill to lift the energy crisis’s imposed rate freeze on the first tiers of residential customer usage, provide for gradual increases in residential and CARE rates, impose limits on dynamic pricing and require equal cents per kWh allocation for CARE costs.
Position: Oppose

 
Environmental

SB 827 (Wright) South Coast Air District Emission Credits
Will ensure that there are sufficient credits available to allow SCAQMD to issue permits for essential public services and power plants. Urgency clause adopted.
Position: Support    

Labor & Employment

AB 335 (Fuentes) Employment Contract
Makes void and unenforceable any provision in an employment contract that requires an employee, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, to use a forum other than California, or to agree to a choice of law other than California law, to resolve any dispute with an employer regarding employment-related issues that arise in California.
Position: Oppose

AB 793 (Jones) Employment Discrimination
This bill’s intent is to reject the interpretation given to federal law through the US Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which impacts the statute of limitation for wage discrimination.  This bill specifies when the unlawful employment practice starts to accrue with respect to compensation, including discrimination claims and Labor Code violations.
Position: Oppose    

AB 838 (Swanson) Indoor Heat Regulations
Requires the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, by July 1, 2011, to adopt a standard for controlling the risk of occurrence of heat illness where employees work indoors.
Position: Oppose    

AB 943 (Mendoza) Employment – Credit Report
Prohibits an employer from refusing to hire or employ a person, refusing to select a person for a training program leading to employment, and other conditions because the person does not authorize the employer to obtain a credit report regarding the person. The bill would create a rebuttable presumption of an unlawful employment practice when an employer takes adverse employment action against a person within 60 days of the person denying authorization for the employer to obtain a credit report regarding the person.
Position: Oppose    

 
Taxation

AB 1580 (Calderon, Charles) Federal Tax Conformity
Makes various date and tax law changes in the California Tax Code to conform (with exceptions and modifications) to the federal Internal Revenue Code. One provision seeks to impose a 20 percent penalty on erroneously claimed refunds. Taxpayers meeting the adjusted gross income thresholds of $125,000 (individuals) and $250,000 (individuals filing jointly) will be subject to this penalty if they ask for a refund that is larger than the law allows, unless the Franchise Tax Board believes there is reasonable basis for requesting it.
Position: Oppose    

Workers’ Compensation

SB 186 (DeSaulnier) Predesignation of Physician
Deletes the Dec. 31, 2009, sunset pertaining to an employee’s predesignation of a personal physician.
Position: Oppose

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