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Strong Opposition Stops Last-Minute Job Killer, Onerous Requirements

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On the final day of the session, Assembly members heeded the concerns raised by the California Chamber of Commerce a coalition of more than 110 organizations and stopped a last-minute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction proposal.

AB 2133 (Quirk; D-Hayward), a job killer, would have arbitrarily changed the State’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal from 40% of 1990 levels by 2030 to 55%. By the State’s own estimate, this proposal would have forced 17 million gas-powered cars off the road in the next 10 years. AB 2133 died in the final hour of the session when the Assembly failed to concur in Senate amendments, 37-22.

The CalChamber-led coalition opposing AB 2133 included business, agriculture, industry groups and local chambers of commerce.

“We are relieved AB 2133 failed passage and grateful to the legislators who voted no on the measure,” said CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera in a September 1 statement. “It is clear this measure would have been detrimental to our economy. The bill threatened the state with excessive costs that would have hurt both California residents and businesses.”

Opposed Bills Stopped

Also stopped in the closing days of the session were the following:

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. The unworkable, dangerous and costly mandate will do nothing to stop the climate crisis while hurting California businesses and leading to increased costs of goods and services for Californians. Fell short of the votes needed in the Assembly on August 31, 37-25.

SB 1149 (Leyva; D-Chino) Disclosure of Trade Secrets, Increased Litigation, and Outlawing Settlement Practices. Re-writes longstanding use of protective orders in lawsuits, as well as outlawing non-disclosure agreements as part of settlements based on vague terminology. Will force companies to settle early so as to avoid public release of broad documents sought in discovery, as well as overwhelm California courts with unprecedented discovery fights as companies seek to protect their trade secrets. Fell short of votes needed to pass the Assembly on August 29, 31-18.

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. Inconsistent with the Governor’s March 2022 executive order and the goals outlined in the Governor’s August 11, 2022 Water Supply Strategy, which emphasizes the need for local agencies to have flexibility in managing groundwater resources. The strategy also emphasizes the need for more groundwater storage, and the bill’s definition of “well interference” threatens the viability of water banking projects. Assembly concurrence in Senate amendments still pending when the Assembly adjourned on September 1.

AB 437 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Exclusivity Options. Prohibits use of exclusivity clauses in acting contracts, which undermines collective bargaining in the film industry and will result in lower value contracts and job loss. Placed on Senate Inactive File, August 22.

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