For the legislative and political week June 14-18
Welcome to the June 17 newsletter edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business advocacy team in Sacramento.
Zoom Call with California Congressman Mike Thompson
- Have you registered for NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In, June 22-23? It’s small businesses’ premier annual event designed to give small-business owners an opportunity to speak directly to and hear directly from top Congressional leaders on the issues they are currently debating. The Virtual Fly-In is free and open to non-NFIB members as well, so help spread the word. Click here to register.
- As part of Fly-In week, NFIB California has arranged a special Zoom call with U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, Friday, June 25, at 9:30 a.m. The Northern California Democrat is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and an influential voice on tax policy.
- Speaking of taxes, do you have a compelling story to share with the congressman and other small-business owners? Congress is deciding whether to extend the 20-percent small-business tax deduction due to expire in a few years. How would this affect you? How would repeal of the stepped-up basis in the estate tax affect you? Click here for the tax issues NFIB is targeting for the highest attention.
- Interested in telling your story and learning more about the Fly-In, send an email or call NFIB Grassroots Manager Taylor Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-448-9904.
Latest Mask Update
- Will Thursday, June 17, be the day California’s employers finally get the clarity they’ve been shouting for?
- From The Sacramento Bee, “California will let fully vaccinated workers go maskless after Thursday, June 17, pending a vote from the state’s workplace safety board, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.
- “Newsom said he will issue an executive order on Thursday codifying the state’s new COVID workplace safety rule, which lets fully vaccinated California workers not wear masks at work and also ends social distancing. Those not vaccinated will still have to wear masks when working indoors or in vehicles.
- “‘That should clear up any ambiguity,’ Newsom said Monday. ‘We’ll be consistent with the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) guidelines.’
- “The standards board of the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal-OSHA, is expected to approve the rule at its June 17 meeting. But without the executive order, the earliest the rule could go into effect would have been June 28, because of the administrative process.
- “Under the rule — which has changed repeatedly — workers can request masks from employers at no cost and wear them at work regardless of vaccination status. Employers are also required to provide respirators such as N95 masks for unvaccinated workers who want them when they are working indoors or in vehicles with more than one person.”
- For more background on all the confusion, see the June 14 edition of the Main Street Minute below.
- Check out the latest NFIB California podcast with special guest Tara Lynn Gray, the new director of the California Office of Small Business Advocate. Director Gray discusses with NFIB California State Director John Kabateck what resources were made available to small-business owners and what lessons were learned from the pandemic.
From the June 14 Main Street Minute
- Confused? You’re not alone. So is the state.
- From The Sacramento Bee, “Fully vaccinated California workers won’t have to wear masks at work, according to the latest update to the state’s COVID workplace safety rule released Friday [June11].”
- “The rule will be voted on by the standards board of the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal-OSHA, at its June 17 meeting. However, because of the administrative process, the rule can’t go into effect until June 28, nearly two weeks after California will lift most of its restrictions.
- “The update doesn’t make clear how the board plans to address the gap between June 15 and 28, but Gov. Gavin Newsom said it will be ‘addressed properly.’
- ‘I’m very mindful of the gap,’ Gov. Gavin Newsom said at an event announcing the winners of the vaccine lottery earlier Friday.
- “The updated rule marks the latest turn in a period of confusion for the Cal-OSHA board. The board last week approved a proposal requiring fully vaccinated workers as long as anyone in the workplace was not vaccinated. It then withdrew the rule, which drew outrage from the business community, at an emergency meeting Wednesday.”
But what does Cal/OSHA say?
- From a Dept. of Industrial Relations news release, “Cal/OSHA will review the new mask guidance and bring any recommended revisions to the board. The Board could consider new revisions at a future meeting, perhaps as early as the regular meeting on June 17. In the meantime, the protections adopted in November of 2020 will remain in effect.”
- Click on the above link and scroll down to the “Emergency Temporary Standards” section. Also handy is this poster outlining face coverings, masks, and respirators.
- The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will issue its new guidelines, tomorrow, Tuesday, June 15. Reports CalChamber’s Robert Moutrie, “Matching the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDPH will no longer require masks for fully vaccinated individuals, except in certain limited settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status (such as health care settings, on public transit, indoors in schools, state and local correctional facilities, and homeless shelters). For unvaccinated individuals, the new CDPH guidance will require masks in indoor public settings and businesses (such as retailers, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, at meetings and in state and local government offices serving the public).”
Now, to the Legislature
The 2021-2022 session is six months old, and already NFIB has helped score some big victories for small business and, equally important, succeeded in stopping many bills harmful to Main Street enterprises. You can check on the progress of NFIB’s efforts on 28 pieces of legislation by clicking here. The bills are tucked under the following categories:
- Victories by Defeat or Amendment
- Beneficial for Small Business Bills
- Bad Bills NFIB is Working to Stop
- NFIB-Monitored Bills Dead or Inactive
- Pro-Small-Business Bills on Hold
- Other Pro-Small-Business Bills in Legislative Limbo
- The One That Got Away
Time to Start Thinking Politically
- The current California Legislature has not been kind to small business, increasing taxes, imposing more leave requirements, preventing Main Street from having liability protection against unfair COVID lawsuits. It’s time to replace them with folks who respect and appreciate small business.
- In preparation for next year’s State Assembly and State Senate races, NFIB California is beginning its Political Action Committee (PAC) activities now. The PAC would be interested to hear from all members who would like to know more and get involved in promoting the PAC with other members. Drop NFIB California Grassroots Manager Taylor Criddle an email, email@example.com.
- Or, if you’d just like to donate, you can do so right here. It would be a donation to NFIB’s state PAC, not its federal one.
Media wise …
- In anticipation of California’s full reopening June 15, State Director John Kabateck tells Fox 40 in Sacramento, “Small business owners out there who have spent the past 14/15 months just in fear and uncertainty are feeling very excited, very encouraged. [There’s] A little bit of apprehension because they’re trying to make sense of all these rules, but I think at the end of the day, this is an exciting time for both small business owners but also the customers, the consumers in our community who will be able to walk through those doors and really start to patronize Main Street again. This is pretty cool.” TV interview also broadcast by KRON in San Francisco and KGET in Bakersfield.
- The Center Square used a Kabateck quote from NFIB California’s news release on the latest Small Business Economic Trends report for a syndicated story that also ran in the Tracy Press and Autobody News, while the Citizens Journal of Ventura County published NFIB’s news release in its entirety.
- NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In is June 22, 23. Click here to learn more about it and to register.
- Did you miss last Wednesday’s NFIB webinar on Claiming the Employee Retention Credit: Don’t Miss Out on the Tax Credit that Offers Up to $33,000 per Employee? If so, you can watch it here.
Next Main Street Minute June 21.