For the legislative and political week August 1-5
Welcome to the August 1-5 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.
- The Legislature returns to work today (August 1) for the final month of the 2021-2022 session.
- NFIB California launches CARB campaign to spur members.
- 3.8% Small Business Surtax removed from latest Schumer-Manchin deal.
Calling All Members
- NFIB California this week is calling on its members to let the California Air Resources Board (CARB) know how its proposed 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan will affect their ability to remain in business.
- This is the mother of all regulations and time is running out. CARB has only four more listening sessions left before its staff submits the final plan to the board for approval. There will be no gubernatorial veto or approval on what the CARB board decides, nor will there be any legislative remedy. It will simply go into effect.
- NFIB California sent out this news release Friday (July 29) and today begins an initial 20-million-impression, two-week run of social media ads on Google, driving people to a special landing page that has alarming information about what the Scoping Plan entails. It also has some registration prompts to the remaining CARB listening sessions. NFIB will also, this week, start sending Action Alerts to members in select zip codes where the last of the hearings will be held and also to zip codes where CARB is based.
- Once again, NFIB thanks its members who have already spoken up. A regulation of this magnitude requires a constant drumbeat, and we believe it’s having some effect, as these two emails from a CARB official to an NFIB member highlight:
- “Stakeholder participation and feedback are critical to our efforts to craft regulations that minimize, to the extent possible, the impact and hardship on regulated entities while still achieving the emission reductions needed here in California.”
- “By the way, because you’re going through the draft regulatory text right now, I just wanted to mention that we are planning on including compliance extensions for unforeseen infrastructure and supply-chain issues. It’s not in there now, but it will be in our next release of draft language.”
- Governor Newsom is NOT HELPING. Instead of urging CARB to slow down, he wants it to speed up.
- In a news release issued last week, the state’s chief executive said, “’We need to supercharge our efforts to significantly reduce harmful carbon pollution. The state’s draft carbon neutrality road map doesn’t go far enough or fast enough. That’s why I’m pushing state agencies to adopt more aggressive actions, from offshore wind to climate-friendly homes, and to make sure we never build another fossil fuel power plant in California again.’
- “The Governor also announced that he will work with the Legislature to enshrine carbon neutrality into state law, increase the state’s ambition towards our 2030 climate goals and accelerate our clean energy targets, while supporting carbon sequestration from our natural and working lands and advancing safe and equitable engineered carbon removal.”
- And in a four-page letter to CARB Board Chair Liane Randolph, he told her, “We need to up our game.”
- We’ll counter the governor’s challenge by calling on NFIB members to up their game and spread the word by sharing the special landing page above with everyone they know.
Legislators Return to Work
- Today (August 1) is the first day back from a month of vacation for California’s State Senators and Assembly members. They’ll have only this month left before adjourning for the year on August 31.
- NFIB has refined its list of remaining bills to 15 that it will give extra emphasis to, fighting for or against.
- One of the more important on that list is Senate Bill 1044 that would prohibit an employer from acting against an employee who left work because he or she felt unsafe. NFIB is part of a coalition that sent this updated letter of opposition to key lawmakers. The measure passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- Another updated letter of opposition NFIB and its coalition partners put under legislators’ noses shortly before they took off for vacation last month questioned the need for two bills dealing with plastic packaging and plastic waste now that Senate Bill 54 is the law of the land.
- Now, for something completely different, how about a letter of support NFIB and its coalition partners sent to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, July 29, urging passage of Assembly Bill 2164, a handicap access measure. “For years, small businesses have been targeted by bad actors who repeatedly file accessibility related lawsuits against businesses for technical violations. This has continued during the pandemic and has devastated small businesses trying to stay open. AB 2164 helps address this issue by providing small businesses with a financial pathway to proactively take steps to become accessible,” said the letter.
Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report.
- On Wednesday, July 27th, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) came to an agreement on an updated budget bill, previously known as the Build Back Better Act, which they now refer to as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
- Fortunately for small business owners, the previous proposal to add a new 3.8% tax on business income, also known as the Small Business Surtax, was excluded from the latest legislation. The challenge remains because the new tax could return as the legislation moves forward or in future proposals.
- Unfortunately for small business owners, the latest version proposes to double the size of the IRS with a focus on increasing examinations, audits, and enforcement on businesses.
- On July 26, NFIB sent a letter in support to the U.S. Senate for S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, antitrust legislation that would level digital economy for small businesses. Read the press release here.
- The Hill highlights the letter, quoting Vice President of Federal Government Relations Kevin Kuhlman: “…commonsense proposal that seeks to remedy conflicts of interest, foster increased choice in online services, and ensure a level playing field for small businesses and users of platforms covered by the legislation.”
- Bloomberg reports: “The bill’s co-sponsors have maintained that they have the votes to pass the bill with votes from both Democrats and Republicans. And support for the legislation has been growing. On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small businesses across the country, announced that it’s backing the bill.” This article also appeared on MSN News.
- On August 3, NFIB will host a webinar titled, “Competitive Employee Benefits for a Tight Labor Market: How Your Small Business Can Use Employee Benefits to Hire and Retain Talent.” Register here.
Next Main Street Minute August 8.