Despite lopsided Democratic majorities in both legislative houses, the California Chamber of Commerce has been remarkably successful so far this year in softening, stalling or killing legislation it had labeled "job killers."
Just five of the 37 bills given that epithet by the business organization survived the first half of the legislative session that ended Friday with a deadline for measures to win approval from their original legislative houses.
The other 32 were either put on hold - including a raft of constitutional amendments that would make it easier to raise taxes - or they were rejected in floor votes, held in committee or amended enough that the chamber dropped its "job-killer" designation.
Just one Assembly bill on the chamber's list made it out of the lower house intact. Assembly Bill 10 by Watsonville Democrat Luis Alejo would raise the state's minimum wage by $1.25 per hour over the next three years to $9.25 and then automatically index it to inflation thereafter. It was sent to the Senate on a party-line 45-27 vote on Thursday.
Four Senate bills labeled as "job killers" made it out of the upper house:
Senate Bill 404 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to expand the Fair Employment and Housing Act's anti-discrimination provisions to cover those deemed to be "family caregivers."
Senate Bill 365 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to sunset business tax breaks.
Senate Bill 686, also by Jackson, to bar auto dealers and rental companies from renting or selling cars they should have known had been subject to safety recalls, unless repairs have been made.
Senate Bill 691 by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, to increase penalties for air pollution by businesses.
PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, right, talks with Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, after the Assembly approved Alejo's minimum wage measure on Thursday. Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press