Legislation Deemed Harmful to Employment Fails to Advance at the Start of the New Legislative Session.

Evmark Business Solutions

As the new legislative year kicked off, a number of job killer bills were once again put to rest due to strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce, local chambers of commerce, and allied groups. These bills, which had the potential to harm the state’s economy and job market, were met with resistance and ultimately did not move forward.

One such bill, AB 1000 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino), aimed to effectively ban warehouses and was pulled from the agenda for a scheduled hearing in the Assembly Local Government Committee. This bill had been rejected by the committee last year, and despite being amended this year, it still failed to address the concerns raised by the opposition coalition and some members of the committee.

Another bill, AB 259 (Lee; D-San Jose), sought to tax all forms of personal wealth and was held on the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee Suspense File. However, the Governor had already made it clear that this concept was not an option.

Additionally, AB 1156 (Bonta; D-Alameda), which would have created a costly presumption in the workers’ compensation system, was never scheduled for a hearing following opposition efforts by the CalChamber.

The amended version of AB 1000, introduced on January 3, still failed to address the concerns raised by the opposition coalition and committee members last year. It was still too restrictive and would have resulted in the loss of high-paying jobs, hindered the development of much-needed housing, increased vehicle miles traveled, and incentivized frivolous litigation through a new private right of action in California law. It would have also exacerbated supply chain issues and increased the cost of living for all Californians.

The bill required a setback of 1,000 feet from “sensitive receptors” for all new or expanded logistics use facilities over 100,000 square feet in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as any city within those counties. However, the information used to determine these setbacks was outdated and would effectively ban warehouses in the region, with potential statewide implications for California’s goods movement system.

AB 1000 also included a new private right of action in California, allowing anyone to sue to block a project. The amended version this year offered an alternative pathway for local governments, reducing the buffer to 500 feet if the project applicant could meet all mitigation measures outlined in the bill. However, these measures were either infeasible or too costly to be achieved, making the alternative option essentially useless.

Overall, AB 1000 and other job killer bills were met with strong opposition and ultimately did not move forward due to the efforts of the California Chamber of Commerce and other allied groups. 

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