Job Killer Proposal Stopped for the Year

A proposal that would have placed restrictive language in the state Constitution, effectively halting all development, has been stopped for the year. This proposal, known as ACA 16, was strongly opposed by the CalChamber and a coalition of groups due to its far-reaching negative consequences. If passed, it would have hindered government operations, impeded the development of new housing, infrastructure, and clean energy projects, and potentially destabilized California’s economy.

Similar measures in other states, such as New York, Montana, and Hawaii, have resulted in the blocking of clean energy and essential transportation infrastructure. Therefore, it was crucial for the CalChamber to label ACA 16 as a job killer. The California Building Industry Association also deemed it a housing killer, while the California Manufacturers and Technology Association labeled it a manufacturing breaker.

Job Killer Tag Removed

The CalChamber recently removed the job killer tag from AB 2499 (Schiavo; D-Chatsworth) after amendments were made on May 20, 2024, and June 6, 2024. These amendments apply to employers with 25 or more employees, limit the qualifying reasons for taking leave, and restrict the duration of time for specific qualifying reasons. Prior to these amendments, AB 2499 would have significantly expanded California’s 12-week leave related to crimes and lowered the threshold of applicability to employers with just five employees.

Opposed Bills Stopped

In addition to stopping the job killer proposal, the CalChamber also successfully halted two other bills that would have negatively impacted water infrastructure:

• AB 2079 (Bennett; D-Ventura): This bill aimed to prevent the installation of new or replacement groundwater wells throughout much of the state. It circumvented the local control component of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by imposing statewide stringent requirements on wells instead of empowering locally informed solutions for groundwater sustainability. On June 11, AB 2079 failed to pass the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee with a vote of 5-6.

• AB 1337 (Wicks; D-Oakland): This bill would have given broad authority to the State Water Board to curtail the water rights of any seniority or claim of right. It also allowed for curtailments to be issued without a hearing, depriving water rights holders of due process. However, the author has agreed to continue working on the issue in the future.

Thanks to the efforts of the CalChamber and its coalition partners, these two bills have been stopped for the year. This is a significant victory for businesses and the economy of California. 

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