For the legislative and political week ending January 22
Welcome to the January 18 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your small-business advocacy team in Sacramento.
- Suspend these rules and regulations. The big news of last week was a letter sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature co-signed by 186 business groups, including NFIB California, laying out in detail which rules and regulations should be suspended and which initiatives lawmakers need to undertake to put the state on the road to economic recovery.
- The new legislative life. Reports NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate Kevin Pedrotti, “The State Capitol is, like last year, tightly controlled with limited staff and ever more limited direct public participation. Legislative offices may have a single staff person per day; no direct meetings may be held in offices. All other staff are operating remotely. … The bill introduction deadline is February 19 and committee hearings won’t begin in earnest until late March. It is expected policy committees will have only two hearings. While leadership has not dictated a strict bill limit, fewer committee hearings will organically reduce the number of bills considered. We expect a bumper crop of bills this year—partially due to the pent-up demand from bills that did not move in 2020; and partially because the legislature historically introduces about 2,400 bills annually.”
- Commercial rent protection. On Thursday, January 14, Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) introduced Assembly Bill 255, which would “… state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would provide commercial rent relief protections for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to help them weather this public health and economic crisis without losing their businesses.” NFIB California is examining the proposal and has not taken a position on it yet.
- What precisely is a “small landlord”? Another bill NFIB has its eyes on is Assembly Bill 16 by Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco). Although introduced more than a month ago, it still has no staff analysis explaining what it seeks to do, but there are already a lot of strikethroughs in the bill text. NFIB will be monitoring this measure for any possible impact, good or bad, it could have on our membership.
- Speaking of commercial evictions, as background, in September of last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order extending “authorization for local governments to halt evictions for commercial renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” but that expires April 1.
- We’re off and running. Communicating the small-business agenda to the media is one of the legs the lobbying strategy stands on. NFIB California had enormous success in the 2019-2020 biennial session of the California State Legislature. It hasn’t let up in 2021, as this story shows.
- Missed last week’s webinar, PPP Round 2 Step-by-Step and Vaccine Updates for Small Businesses? You can watch it here. The next webinar will be on January 27.
- NFIB released this statement in response to President-elect Biden’s stimulus plan, which more than doubles the federal minimum wage, expands paid leave mandates, and creates federal enforcement measures.
- On Friday, January 15, the PPP loan reopened for first- and second-draw loans at smaller lenders, those with $1 billion or less in assets. Read more here. Attached is the updated Small Business Loans Side-by-Side Comparison. January 19 will be the date all lenders can participate. More information here.