This report for the second year of the 2021–2022 legislative session focuses on California legislators’ floor votes on California Chamber of Commerce priority bills.
This is the 48th vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators.
No vote record can tell the entire story of a legislator’s attitude and actions on issues of importance to business. To fully evaluate your legislative representative, consult the legislative journals and examine your legislator’s votes in committee and on floor issues.
You can view these via links at www.calchambervotes.com.
Many anti-business bills were rejected by legislators in policy or fiscal committees, thus stopping proposals before they reached the floor for a vote. The vote record does not capture these votes.
Most bills in this report cover major business issues that are of concern to both small and large companies.
The CalChamber recognizes that there are many bills supported or opposed by business that are not included in this vote record and analysis.
The CalChamber considers the following factors in selecting vote record bills:
• The bills and votes reflect legislators’ attitudes toward private enterprise, fiscal responsibility and the business climate.
• Each bill was a CalChamber priority in a particular field. Priority bills generally have appeared in the “Status Report” sections of Alert.
• The bills were voted upon by either the full Senate or Assembly. This year, the vote record covers 15 votes in the Senate and 17 votes in the Assembly.
• Unless otherwise noted, final floor votes are shown. Concurrence votes are considered final votes.
When ‘Not Voting’ Helps
Sometimes a legislator is unwilling to vote against a colleague, but is willing to support the CalChamber’s opposition to a bill. In such cases, a legislator may abstain from voting, which will hinder passage of a bill, just as a “no” vote does.
To recognize that not voting can aid the CalChamber’s opposition to a bill, the vote record includes the number of times legislators did not vote “aye” on a CalChamber-opposed bill in the total for the column listing actions “in accord with” the CalChamber’s position, if the legislator was not absent for the day.
• AB 2101 (Flora; R-Ripon) Carbon Capture Sequestration Expansion. Adds whole orchard recycling projects to list of eligible Carbon Capture Sequestration Registry projects eligible to seek funding from state agencies or private entities. Passed Assembly, May 19, 72-0. Passed Senate, June 30, 37-0. Signed — Chapter 117. CalChamber Supported.
• SB 905 (Caballero; D-Salinas) Carbon Capture Projects. Requires California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create the Geologic Carbon Sequestration Demonstration Initiative but caps number of demonstration projects and limits them to a narrow list of industries, thereby stifling the ability of carbon capture technology to become more prevalent and help reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Passed Assembly, August 31, 48-15. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 31, 29-9. Signed — Chapter 359. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
California Environmental Quality Act
• AB 2840 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino) Warehouse and Logistics Project Ban. Circumvents the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), creates unprecedented ban on warehouses and logistics use projects irrespective of whether there are project impacts, usurps local authority over land use decisions, exacerbates supply chain problems, and forces union labor for proposed private projects that are not banned. Passed Assembly, May 26, 41-25. Died in Senate Governance and Finance Committee. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• AB 2133 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Arbitrary Greenhouse Gas Target. Arbitrarily changes the State’s GHG reduction goal from 40% of 1990 levels by 2030 to 55%. By the State’s own estimate this proposal will force 17 million gas-powered cars off the road in the next 10 years. Passed Senate, August 31, 21-10. Assembly refused to concur in Senate amendments, August 31, 37-22. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• SB 260 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Increased Regulatory Burden. Imposes a mandatory climate tracking, auditing, and cap on climate emissions that will fall heavily on all California businesses, impacting competitiveness and increasing costs. Passed Senate, January 26, 23-7. Failed passage in Assembly, August 31, 37-25. CalChamber Opposed.
• SB 1137 (Lena Gonzalez; D-Long Beach) Threatens Oil and Gas Development Operations. Threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying California jobs and force California to import even more foreign oil by politicizing and undermining the California Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) Division’s ongoing regulatory process regarding new requirements near oil and gas extraction sites by predisposing what setback requirements should be before the agency even begins its analysis. Passed Assembly August 30, 46-24. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 31, 25-10. Signed — Chapter 365. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
Housing and Land Use
• AB 1001 (C. Garcia; D-Bell Gardens) Expands CEQA and Hurts Housing. Creates new highly subjective, non-quantifiable and litigation-bait standards in CEQA that will threaten California’s economic recovery and ability to construct much-needed housing. Removes local government discretion on how to analyze and mitigate proposed project impacts, making projects more expensive, harder to build and more likely to be thrown into courts by NIMBY opposition. Passed Assembly, January 31, 43-24. Died in Senate Environmental Quality Committee. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
Labor and Employment
• AB 257 (Holden; D-Pasadena) Fast Food Industry: Franchises; Wage and Hour. Establishes Fast Food Sector Council with unprecedented authority to write its own labor and employment laws for fast food restaurant employees, circumventing the California Legislature and other regulatory agencies’ position in establishing such laws. Passed Senate August 29, 21-12. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments August 29, 47-19. Signed — Chapter 246. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 2183 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Forced Unionization Process for Agricultural Employees. Limits an employee’s ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace and forces employers into union submission, by eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with card check or requiring employers to waive certain rights to proceed through an untested ballot procedure under which the ballot can be filled out by labor organizations. Passed Senate, August 29, 26-10. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 29, 55-18. Signed — Chapter 673. CalChamber Opposed/Job Killer.
• SB 1044 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) State of Emergency. Allows employees to leave work or refuse to show up to work if employee feels unsafe regardless of whether employer has provided health and safety protections. Subjects employers to costly Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) lawsuits if they dispute the employee’s decision or need to have another employee take over any job duties. Job killer tag and opposition removed due to August 15, 2022 amendments narrowing the scope of the bill and recognizing existing health and safety regulations. Passed Senate, May 25, 24-10 (vote shown). Passed Assembly, August 22, 50-18. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 24, 29-10. Signed — Chapter 829. CalChamber Neutral/Former Job Killer.
• SB 1162 (Limón; D-Goleta) Publication of Pay Data. Encourages litigation against employers based on publication of broad, unreliable data collected by state. Undermines employers’ ability to hire, imposes burdensome administrative and record keeping requirements, subjects employers to a private right of action. Job killer tag removed due to August 15, 2022 amendments removing requirement to publish individual pay data reports online. Passed Assembly, August 29, 54-14. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, August 30, 31-9. Signed — Chapter 559. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer.
• SB 1149 (Leyva; D-Chino) Disclosure of Trade Secrets, Increased Litigation, and Outlawing Settlement Practices. Rewrites longstanding use of protective orders in lawsuits, and outlaws non-disclosure agreements as part of settlements based on vague terminology. Will force companies to settle early to avoid public release of broad documents sought in discovery, and overwhelm California courts with unprecedented discovery fights as companies seek to protect their trade secrets. Passed Senate, May 23, 26-10. Failed passage in Assembly, August 29, 31-18. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 2026 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Bans Packaging. Bans critically important ecommerce packaging without adequate substitutes that will lead to more broken products, more GHG emissions and worse supply chain constraints. Passed Assembly, May 26, 41-26. Held on Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File, August 11. CalChamber Opposed Unless Amended.
• SB 54 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) Circular Economy and Recycling. Creates first Extended Producer Responsibility program in California for single-use packaging to create a circular economy that significantly increases recycling, reduces superfluous packaging, and mitigates any environmental impacts associated with improper disposal or recycling of single-use plastic packaging. Passed Assembly, June 29, 67-2. Senate concurred in Assembly amendments, June 30, 29-0. Signed — Chapter 75. CalChamber neutral on bill but supported SB 54 as alternative to a costly and disruptive proposition that had qualified for the November 2022 ballot, raised taxes by $9 billion a year and left California businesses susceptible to future attempts at expanded regulation. SB 54 ensured long-term certainty around recycling and packaging policy and proponents’ removal of proposition from ballot.
• AB 1951 (Grayson; D-Concord) Manufacturing Tax Credit Expansion. Expands investment and production in California by expanding sales and use tax exemption for purchase of manufacturing and research and development (R&D) equipment. Passed Senate, August 25, 31-3. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 25, 69-0. Vetoed. CalChamber Supported.
• AB 2106 (R. Rivas; D-Hollister) New Water Quality Permit Requirement. Imposes new permitting requirements on stormwater discharges from commercial and institutional facilities that may expose permittees to citizen lawsuits. Constrains State Water Board discretion in addressing stormwater that may have unintended consequences on regulated entities. Passed Senate, August 29, 27-11. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 30, 52-21. Vetoed. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 2201 (Bennett; D-Ventura) Groundwater. Adds new regulatory layer to groundwater well permitting processes, even in sustainable basins. Increases costs and liability risks associated with well permitting. Passed Assembly, May 23, 44-24 (vote shown). Passed Senate, August 29, 22-16. Assembly concurrence in Senate amendments pending, August 30; failed deadline. CalChamber Opposed.
• AB 2188 (Quirk; D-Hayward) Workplace Marijuana Testing. Requires saliva (or other non-metabolite) testing be used when conducting marijuana testing in pre-employment or workplace settings. Prohibits discrimination based on marijuana usage. Job killer status removed due to June 30, 2022 amendments which, among other provisions, protected pre-employment testing and handled federal/state conformity issues surrounding marijuana’s legality. Passed Senate, August 29, 28-11. Assembly concurred in Senate amendments, August 30, 49-18. Signed — Chapter 392. CalChamber Opposed/Former Job Killer.