NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: September 20, 2021

For the legislative and political week September 20-24

Welcome to the September 20-24 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

Legislative Update

There are 700 or so bills Gov. Gavin Newsom has until October 10 to sign or veto. From the list of 35 bills NFIB fought for or against, only the fate of four remains undecided:

  • Assembly Bill 654 would have blacklisted businesses by requiring the state Dept. of Public Health to publish on its website a list of every workplace in the state where a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred. This bill was substantially amended, allowing NFIB to go neutral on it. The amendments remove the address-specific listing of businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks, which was the sole remaining point of opposition against this legislation. What remains in the bill is a legitimate clean-up that does not make substantive changes to existing law and is, in parts, specific clean-up requested by the business community.

  • NFIB and its coalition partners succeeded in amending Assembly Bill 570, which sought to allow dependent parents and stepparents to be added to employer-sponsored health plans. The estimated cost on employers was pegged at $1 billion. After accepting the coalition’s suggested amendments, dependent parents can only be added to individual policies, not on employer-sponsored plans.

  • NFIB provided key testimony in support of Assembly Bill 1033, which aims to preserve the Small Employer Family Leave Mediation Program within the California Family Rights Act.

  • Assembly Bill 1177 called for the creation of a state-owned bank. NFIB joined other business associations in support of amending the bill to, instead, call for establishing a CalAccount Blue Ribbon Commission to conduct a market analysis to determine the feasibility of a state-owned bank.

Will the Sun Set on Paid Sick Leave Law?

  • September 30 is the day California’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law, created by the passage of Senate Bill 95 and signed into law by Gov Gavin Newsom, is set to expire.

  • It mandated up to 80 hours of employer-paid COVID-19 sick leave and made retroactive to January 1, 2021.

  • The big question is: Will it be extended? There are only two ways to do that. One is legislatively, but lawmakers have vamoosed for the year. That leaves only an executive order from Governor Newsom, who is fresh off his big recall victory and need not worry about the politics of things for a while. Stay tuned.

OSHA COVID-19 Update

  • In addition to the remaining bills affecting small business, NFIB is closely watching this week’s update to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) update of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The Board imposed original standards on June 17, 2021.

Business Roundtable with U.S. Rep. Young Kim a Success

  • Did you miss last week’s NFIB Business Roundtable with U.S. Rep. Young Kim? No problem, you can read about and listen to it here.

NFIB Member Darrell Feil Honored

  • The former leadership council chairman was honored for his service to small business. Click here for the full story.

In the Media

  • Citizens Journal, September 14—Online news outlet for Ventura County publishes NFIB California’s news release commenting on the latest Small Business Economic Trends Report.
  • The Wall Street Journal, September 12—NFIB California Leadership Council Member Denise Duncan is quoted about the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

And, in the Nation’s Capital

From Caitlin Lanzara, NFIB legislative program manager

  • In August, Congress passed the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution giving House Committees (such as the House Ways and Means Committee) until September 15 to report legislation.

  • Last week, the 13 House committees finalized their committee mark-ups of legislation for tax hikes and mandates to be included in a reconciliation package to fund President Biden’s agenda. This legislation significantly endangers the small business recovery in a time of labor and supply shortages. According to the August NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, 50% of small business owners still have job openings they can’t fill.

  • “The more we learn about this proposal the worse it gets for small businesses,” said NFIB President Brad Close. “Congress wants to dramatically expand the size of government and fund it by crushing small businesses with massive tax increases. Small businesses and their employees are struggling to recover from the pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns and mandates, and Washington’s response is to take more of their hard-earned money.”

  • On September 13th, NFIB sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee opposing the following taxes and mandates that the House is considering:
    • Limiting the Small Business Deduction (IRS Section 199A)
    • Raising the income tax rate on individually- and family-owned businesses from 37% to 39.6%
    • Increasing the effective top capital gains from 23.8% to 28.8%
    • Raising the top corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5%
    • Mandating small businesses with more than 5 employees to provide auto-enroll retirement plans
    • Creating a new federal paid family and medical leave program
    • Imposing a new 3.8% tax on active pass-through business income
    • Ending Estate Tax Relief now instead of after 2025
    • Enacting the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and substantially increasing employment law penalties
    •
    • Take Action here.

Next Main Street Minute on September 27.

Photo snip courtesy of the California State Assembly website

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