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Each year, the state Chamber of Commerce publishes a list of bills it calls "job killers," saying they will place onerous burdens on employers and discourage hiring -- and has run up a very strong record in killing or neutralizing measures on its list.

Last year, for instance, the list contained 43 bills, of which just 12 made it to then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk, and he vetoed all but two of them. Republican Schwarzenegger rarely signed "job killer" bills, although his predecessor, Democrat Gray Davis, signed most that reached him.

The targeted bills are mostly sponsored by labor unions, environmental groups, personal injury attorneys and consumer activists, and with Democrat Jerry Brown back as governor, they have ramped up their efforts to pass their legislative agendas, which include many of the measures that were blocked during the Schwarzenegger era.

The chamber released its latest "job killer" list Wednesday of 28 pending bills, thus touching off the annual battle between business groups and the four liberal blocs. The specific issues range from modifying the workers' compensation overhaul that employers and Schwarzenegger pushed through the Legislature in 2004 to increasing taxes on business, expanding employees' benefits, and widening lawsuit exposure.

The list includes Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's Senate Bill 653, which would authorize local governments and schools to seek a broad variety of new taxes from local voters, and Assemblyman Mike Feuer's Assembly Bill 52, which would place impose rate regulation on health insurers.

"Proponents of anti-business legislation who think California's economy can withstand additional pressure from new regulatory and legislative burdens are simply unwilling to accept the unfortunate reality that California has the second highest unemployment rate in the country," the chamber's president, Allan Zaremberg, said in a statement that accompanied release of the list.

"More regulations will lead to more litigation, worsening California's reputation throughout the world. We simply cannot allow California to continue to be ranked as having one of the worst business climates in the country."

Read the full list, with the chamber's descriptions, on the jump.

Here is the full list of the chamber's "job killer" bills, complete with descriptions from the chamber.

COSTLY WORKPLACE MANDATES

AB 10 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase

Creates uncertainty by imposing an automatic indexing of the minimum wage based on inflation whether or not California is in a recession and increases the minimum wage while California struggles to recover from the recession.

AB 22 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) Hampers Employment Decisions

Unfairly limits private employers' ability to use consumer credit reports for legitimate employment purposes, unless the information in the report is "substantially job-related" and for a "managerial position."

AB 375 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Expands Costly Presumptions

Increases workers' compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace.

AB 1155 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) Erodes Workers' Comp Reforms

Increases costs and lawsuits in the workers' compensation system by eroding the apportionment provision that protects an employer from paying for disability that did not arise from work.

SB 104 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) Increased Agricultural Costs

Attempts to limit employees' ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace, by essentially eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with the submission of representation cards signed by over 50% of the employees, which leaves employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations.

SB 129 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Employee Safety Risk

Undermines employers' ability to provide a safe and drug-free workplace by establishing a protected classification for employees who utilize medical marijuana.

SB 829 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Undermines Employer Rights

Undermines employer rights in California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) citations by allowing private parties to interfere with the appeals process which could impose significant costs on employers, the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board and on Cal/OSHA.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BARRIERS

AB 350 (Solorio; D-Anaheim) Costly Employee Retention Mandate

Inappropriately alters the employment relationship by requiring any successor contractor for "property services," defined as licensed security, landscape, window cleaning or food cafeteria services, to retain employees of the former contractor for 90 days and thereafter offer continued employment unless the employees' performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory.

AB 448 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Split Roll Property Tax

Undermines the protections of Proposition 13 by redefining the term "change of ownership" for legal entities so that reassessment of such property occurs when, cumulatively, there is a transfer of 100% of the ownership interests in a rolling three-year period.

AB 832 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Back Door Tax Increase

Imposes a back door tax on software with a majority vote bill by making it virtually impossible for the owner to show that the software is eligible for a property tax exemption.

AB 1130 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Small Business Tax Increase

Targeted tax increase on higher income brackets, which will have a detrimental impact on small start-up businesses and discourage growth of such companies in California.

AB 1239 (Furutani; D-South Los Angeles County) Small Business Tax Increase

Targeted tax increase on higher income brackets, which will have a detrimental impact on small start-up businesses and discourage growth of such companies in California.

SB 237 (Wolk; D-Davis) Climate Change Tax Increase

Increases costs and discourages job growth by implementing unlimited fees and taxes under a cap-and-trade system.

SB 246 (De León; D-Los Angeles) Discourages Emission Reductions

Prohibits finding the most cost effective ways to reduce emissions, creates uncertainty and significantly increases business costs by imposing new and excessively burdensome requirements on the development and use of compliance offsets in a cap-and-trade program under AB 32.

SB 508 (Wolk; D-Davis) Discourages Investment

Creates uncertainty for California employers making long-term investment decisions by requiring all future tax credits to sunset after seven years.

SB 535 (De León; D-Los Angeles) Climate Change Tax Increase

Increases costs and discourages job growth by implementing unlimited fees and taxes under a cap-and-trade system.

SB 653 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) Multiple Tax Increases

Creates uncertainty by providing 58 counties and over 1,000 school districts, subject to voter approval, the authority to impose and/or increase a tax on all products and services.

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT MANDATES

AB 59 (Swanson; D-Alameda) Family and Medical Leave Expansion

Creates an increased burden on employers and makes a California-only mandated benefit different than the federal family leave act by significantly expanding the category of individuals with serious health conditions for whom an employee can take a leave of absence.

AB 325 (B. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Unpaid Bereavement Leave

Adds to California's reputation of being an overly litigious state by creating a private right of action and mandating an employer to provide an employee with up to four days of unpaid bereavement leave.

AB 400 (Ma; D-San Francisco) Paid Sick Leave Mandate

Unreasonably expands both public and private employers' costs and liability by mandating employers to provide paid sick leave for employees.

EXPENSIVE, UNNECESSARY REGULATORY BURDENS

AB 52 (Feuer; D-Los Angeles) Rate Regulation

Imposes implementation fees on health insurers to support additional bureaucracy and to regulate rates without addressing the costs that drive the rates.

AB 638 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Increased Transportation Costs

Increases costs on consumers and business by mandating an unrealistic reduction of petroleum fuel consumption with an unrealistic increase in alternative fuel consumption to 15% below 2003 levels by 2020.

SB 568 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Polystyrene Food Container Ban

Threatens thousands of manufacturing jobs within the state by inappropriately banning all food vendors from using polystyrene foam food service containers, ignoring the numerous environmental benefits associated with polystyrene products.

SB 761 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Regulatory Burden

Creates an unnecessary, unenforceable and unconstitutional regulatory burden on Internet commerce by indirectly regulating virtually all businesses that collect, use or store information from a website.

INFLATED LIABILITY COSTS

AB 559 (Swanson; D-Oakland) Undermines Judicial Discretion

Unreasonably increases business litigation costs by limiting judicial discretion to reduce or deny exorbitant attorneys fees in fair employment and housing claims that should have been raised in a limited civil proceeding.

AB 1062 (Dickinson; D-Sacramento) Undermines Efficient Dispute Resolution

Dramatically increases litigation costs for employers by eliminating the right to appeal a court order denying or dismissing a petition to compel arbitration, driving more cases into the courts.

AB 1208 (C. Calderon; D-Montebello) Court Inefficiency

Creates uncertainty, inefficiency and unpredictability for litigants, further aggravating California's reputation as a bad place to do business, by decentralizing control of trial court funds.

SB 242 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) Technology Sector Liability

Worsens California's reputation as a highly litigious state by exposing tech-sector employers to unlimited civil liability, and creates an unworkable regulatory scheme with which internet companies must comply.



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