Bills that the CalChamber opposed have been effectively stopped and will not progress this year.

The California Assembly has halted the progress of three bills that were strongly opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce. These bills, which dealt with political contributions, non-compete contracts, and renewable hydrogen, have been declared dead for the year. The three bills were AB 83, AB 747, and AB 1550.

AB 83, proposed by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-San Jose), aimed to ban corporations with even minimal foreign investment from contributing to campaigns or making independent expenditures. The CalChamber opposed this bill, stating that it was redundant as federal and state laws already prohibit foreign influence in elections. The bill was also deemed unnecessary as the state had already implemented AB 319, which expanded the prohibition on foreign governments or principals from making contributions and expenditures in connection with state or local elections. Additionally, the proposal to restrict the speech of “foreign-influenced” individuals or entities was unlikely to survive strict scrutiny, as federal courts have not recognized a compelling interest in doing so.

AB 747, proposed by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), sought to expand the scope of prohibited non-compete agreements. The CalChamber opposed this bill, stating that the new language in Section 3 appeared to expand the term “contract in restraint of trade.” The bill also prohibited any discussion of such terms, which could have a chilling effect on businesses. The CalChamber argued that this bill would have imposed a steep penalty of $5,000 per employee on businesses of any size if it was determined that their employment agreement included an unenforceable non-compete or if they even presented such a term to a contractor or employee.

AB 1550, proposed by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Ventura), aimed to impose a burdensome standard on hydrogen production, potentially driving up production costs and risking federal funding dedicated to hydrogen production in California. The CalChamber opposed this bill, stating that it would have hindered the growth of the hydrogen industry in the state.

In summary, the three bills have been declared dead for the year due to strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce. AB 83 was deemed redundant and unnecessary, AB 747 was seen as potentially harmful to businesses, and AB 1550 was seen as a hindrance to the growth of the hydrogen industry in California. 

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