Long list of bills narrows

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 15, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The first of June marked the legislative deadline for passing bills out of their House of Origin.  Those measures that failed to meet this target are essentially “dead” for this legislative cycle, absent a grant of a rule waiver or a “gut-and-amend” maneuver into another moving vehicle.

Several key bills that CMTA has been tracking are still moving through the legislative process.  Below is a list of the more important of those bills, including a brief summary, status check and CMTA’s position. If you have any questions about any of the bills mentioned, please feel free to contact the assigned lobbyist.


CLIMATE CHANGE
CMTA Contact: Dorothy Rothrock
________________________________________________________________________

AB 1532 (Speaker Pérez) AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Revenues
Creates the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account within the Air Pollution Control Fund and governs the expenditure of revenues to be raised in the auction for cap and trade to reduce GHG to achieve clean and efficient energy, low carbon transportation, natural resource protection, and sustainable infrastructure development.  All expenditures must meet the requirement of a regulatory fee under Sinclair Paint.
Position: Oppose
Status: Senate Environmental – Hearing 7/2

 

CORPORATE COUNSEL
CMTA Contact: Dorothy Rothrock
________________________________________________________________________

SB 491 (Evans) Consumer Attorney’s Class Action Bill
Makes a waiver of class action in standard contracts unenforceable. It is an attempt to get around the limitations of a US Supreme Court decision in favor of arbitration to settle disputes in standard contracts.  Not allowing a class waiver would have the intended effect of thwarting an arbitration requirement but without directly addressing arbitration. 
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Floor

 

EDUCATION
CMTA Contact: Nicole Rice
________________________________________________________________________

SB 275 (Hancock) CTE Assessments
A two year bill that was recently amended to create a regional strategy for career technical education (CTE). Beginning with fiscal year 2015-16, this bill would allow regional occupation centers and programs (ROCPs), partnership academies and agricultural career education programs to enter into collaborative funding agreements to develop and maintain high quality CTE programs that meet the workforce needs of their region.
Position: Prior to amendments, Oppose Unless Amended
                With amendments, TBD
Status: 2-Year Bill, Assembly Education – Hearing 6/27

SB 1401 (Lieu) Unemployment Insurance - Education and Workforce Investment
Requires the Workforce Investment Board to assist the Governor to target resources to specified high-wage industry clusters and leverage state and federal funds.
Position: Support
Status: Assembly Jobs – Hearing 7/3


SB 1456 (Lowenthal) Community Colleges – Seymour/Campbell Student Success Act of 2012
Recasts and revises the Seymour/Campbell Matriculation Act of 1986 – a provision of the state Education Code that provides community college students an educational support process ( known as “matriculation) to enhance their opportunities and access to community college programs and assist in identification of their educational goals and matching those goals with institutional resources.  CMTA is negotiating with both the bill’s sponsor and its author to ensure that employment-oriented education opportunities are prominently presented as options for community college students and that career-oriented support services are provided.
Position: TBD
Status: Senate Higher Education – Hearing 6/19

 

ELECTIONS
CMTA Contact: Nicole Rice
________________________________________________________________________

AB 1648 (Brownley) Political Reform Act of 1974 – Advertisements
Makes significant changes to campaign disclosure requirements.  Requires independent expenditure committees to disclose their top 3 contributors in radio, television and mass mailing/print ads and maintain a website that discloses the top 10 contributors to the committee. Appropriations committee consultant asserts that the bill’s adoption could cause the Fair Political Practices Commission to incur significant costs defending legal challenges regarding constitutionality of the bill. Because the author didn’t have the votes needed to move the bill off the Assembly Floor, she amended the bill to include an “urgency clause.”  Procedurally, this action now allows the bill to go into effect immediately upon signature by the Governor.  Conversely, this strategic move also means the bill is no longer subject to the legislative timeline (such as the House of Origin deadline) which keeps it alive and gives the author time to try and secure the votes needed to move the bill to the Senate.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Floor

 

ENERGY
CMTA Contact: Dorothy Rothrock
________________________________________________________________________

AB 1990 (Fong) Renewable Energy – Small Scale Generation
Creates a new target to achieve 375 megawatts of small scale renewables in environmental justice communities to be funded by electric ratepayers.
Position: Oppose
Status: Passed Assembly, to Senate

 

ENVIRONMENTAL
CMTA Contact: Mike Rogge
________________________________________________________________________

AB 2063 (Alejo) Regional Water Quality Control Boards
Requires the state and regional water boards to permit interaction and communication between board members and interested parties so that the boards conduct affairs in an open and objective manner with public awareness and participation. This bill would essentially do away with the practice of invoking ex parte in specific instances and adopts the process followed by the Coastal Commission.
Position: Support
Status: Senate Environmental – Hearing 7/2


SB 1339 (Yee) Commute Benefit Policies
Authorizes the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to jointly adopt a "commute benefit ordinance," requiring employers — including state and local governments — with 50 or more employees in nine Bay Area counties to offer their employees one of three ridesharing benefits within six months of the adoption of such an ordinance. Even the least onerous option, offering employees the ability to use pre-tax dollars to pay for their mass commuting expenses, could add significantly to employer expense.  This option has been available from the Federal government for over 20 years, but has been voluntary not mandatory.  Although this bill applies strictly to the Bay Area, it would be precedent-setting and we could expect similar legislation in the future affecting the rest of the state.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Transportation – Hearing 6/18

 

LABOR &EMPLOYMENT
CMTA Contact: Nicole Rice
________________________________________________________________________

AB 1450 (Allen) Employment Discrimination of Recently Unemployed
Prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s “unemployed status” when hiring. In order to avoid accidentally exposing an applicant’s “unemployed status” during the application process, employers will ultimately be barred from: (1) asking for information regarding prior employers and dates of employment with such employers; and (2) reasons for the separation of employment with any prior employers. Either of these legitimate inquiries could reveal that the applicant either is currently unemployed or was previously unemployed, even if only for a short duration of time, thereby subjecting the prospective employer to fees, penalties, and an administrative claim through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
Position: Oppose
Status: Passed Assembly, to Senate
CMTA Contact: Nicole Rice


SB 1234 (de Leon) Pensions
Creates a state mandated retirement savings program for private employees that forces all employers of five or more employees to either enroll them into the program or offer a comparable one.  Employees may “opt-out” of the program and employers are subject to a statutory penalty for each employee they fail to enroll who did not opt-out.  This program could expose employers to fiduciary responsibilities and legal liabilities related to compliance with and oversight of the program.  This risk not only exists at the state level, but potentially at the federal level as well, if ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the federal regulations that govern private employee pension plans) is ultimately determined to apply to this plan.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Labor – Hearing 6/20

CMTA Contact: Nicole Rice

SB 1255 (Wright) Itemized Compensation Statements
Amends the Labor Code to add another layer of statutory penalties, up to $4,000, onto employers for frivolous, administrative payroll errors that have not actually resulted in harm to the employee.  Deems the employee to have “suffered injury” if the employer fails to include the employee’s social security number, employee identification number or the name on the wage statement, thus reducing the current burden of proof an employee must show in order to recover the additional penalties.
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Status: Passed Senate, to Assembly

Staff Contact: Nicole Rice

 

TAX & BUDGET
CMTA Contact: Dorothy Rothrock
________________________________________________________________________

AB 1500 (Speaker Perez) Mandatory Single Sales Factor – Middle Class Scholarship Fund
Mandates that all qualified taxpayers (excludes oil & gas extractive, financial services and agricultural activities) utilize this single sales factor apportionment method for calculating corporate income tax liability in the state. Any revenues generated (or saved) as a result of this mandate would be used to fund a new college tuition assistance program for the middle class. Makes the change retroactive to apply to the current tax year (January 1, 2012) and is an urgency measure.
Position: Oppose
Status: Assembly Floor


AB 2439 (Eng) Disclosure of Corporate Tax Payments
Intended by the author to gather information on changes to state revenue resulting from the 2011 use of the elective single-sales factor to determine corporate taxes. It would require the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to disclose the amount a corporation paid to the state for the taxable year that closed two years prior to the request and whether the corporation elected the single sales factor apportionment formula. 
Position: Oppose
Status: Passed Assembly, to Senate

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