Chamber Releases Update on Key Business Bills



The following list summarizes top priority bills for the California Chamber of Commerce, as pertaining to the interests of our clients, and their status as of July 15, when the Legislature began its summer recess.  The dates listed are the date the bill was assigned to a committee, the latest date of committee action, the next hearing date or when the bill reached the floor, unless action is stated. Positions and summaries are those of the CalChamber.



Banking/Finance



AB 1321 (Wieckowski) Interferes with current process of recording mortgage documents in order to prolong the foreclosure process, delaying economic recovery. 

Oppose.

Status: Held in Assembly 5/3/11;

Failed Deadline



AB 645 (Davis) Creates additional fiduciary liability for mortgage brokers for failure to counsel borrowers regarding mortgage options and to report subsequent defaults to credit reporting agencies.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Banking and Finance 3/7/11; Failed Deadline



AB 643 (Davis) Creates disincentive to mortgage lending by creating new complex mortgage counseling requirements for borrowers to be provided by brokers. 

Oppose.

Status: Failed Assembly Banking and Finance 4/25/11; Failed Deadline



AB 406 (Davis) Restricts access to capital by prohibiting balloon payments on adjustable rate mortgages, thereby limiting mortgage financing options and loan modifications.  Oppose.



Status: Failed Assembly Banking and Finance 4/25/11; Failed Deadline



AB 407 (Davis) Restricts access to capital by banning pre-payment penalties in all mortgages, thereby restricting low-cost mortgage options for borrowers.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Banking and Finance 3/3/11; Failed Deadline



Health



AB 52 (Feuer) Imposes implementation fees on health insurers to support additional bureaucracy and to regulate rates without addressing the costs that drive the rates.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 810 (Leno) Creates a new government-run, multibillion-dollar socialized health care system supported by an unspecified “premium structure” to be determined by 2014 by prohibiting the sale of any private health care insurance.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations 5/19/11; Failed Deadline



AB 171 (Beall) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by mandating that all health policies cover screening, diagnosis and treatment for autism.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



SB 166 (Steinberg) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by requiring all health plans and health insurance plans to provide coverage for behavioral intervention therapy for autism.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Health 4/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 310 (Ma) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by limiting co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 185 (R. Hernández) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by mandating that all health insurance policies provide maternity coverage.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



SB 155 (Evans) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by mandating that all health insurance policies provide maternity coverage.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



AB 154 (Beall) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by mandating that all health policies cover an expanded list of mental health services.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 72 (Eng) Increases health insurance premiums and increases the ranks of the uninsured by mandating that all health policies cover acupuncture services.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 369 (Huffman) Increases health care premiums by eliminating current cost controls and unraveling consumer protections in the use of prescription pain medicines by eliminating the practice of step therapy.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 428 (Portantino) Increases health care premiums by mandating fertility preservation services for specific circumstances.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 1000 (Perea) Increases health care premiums by limiting co-payments for one type of pharmaceutical—orally administered anti-cancer medications.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 1280 (Hill) Seeks to curb the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine by making it more difficult to purchase pseudoephedrine (PSE).  This bill implements a statewide electronic tracking program in retail outlets that monitors all California over-the-counter PSE purchases in real-time to prevent purchases beyond limits established by federal law.  Support.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 315 (Wright) Increases the cost of health care coverage for everyone by forcing individuals to obtain a prescription for pseudoephedrine products that are now available without a prescription; by making them available exclusively by prescription, the state loses sales tax revenue.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Health 4/26/11; Failed Deadline



SB 136 (Yee) Before gutted and amended, increased health care premiums by mandating that health policies cover smoking cessation services, unless the California Health Benefits Review Program finds there would be a net increase in state costs.  Opposition removed due to amendments; now deals with an entirely different issue.  No Position.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



AB 854 (Garrick) Entitles individuals to a state tax deduction for contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) in conformity with federal tax law, allowing individuals to save tax-free dollars to pay near-term medical expenses and save for future longer-term medical costs. Support.



Status: Held in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Suspense File 5/16/11



Insurance



AB 1063 (Bradford) Forces a higher level of underinsured motorist coverage at a higher cost for motorists without offering them the opportunity to choose or reject this increased coverage.  This eliminates the choice and flexibility of consumers to control the limits and cost for coverage.  Oppose Unless Amended.

Status: Assembly Rules 5/5/11; Failed Deadline



Labor and Employment



AB 400 (Ma) Unreasonably expands both public and private employers’ costs and liability by mandating employers to provide paid sick leave for employees.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



SB 129 (Leno) Undermines employers’ ability to provide a safe and drug-free workplace by establishing a protected classification for employees who utilize medical marijuana.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Inactive File 6/2/11; Failed Deadline



AB 22 (Mendoza) 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.”  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



AB 10 (Alejo) Creates uncertainty by imposing an automatic indexing of the minimum wage based on inflation that fails to take into account the current economic status of the state.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 350 (Solorio) Inappropriately alters the employment relationship by requiring any successor contractor for “property services,” defined as licensed security, building maintenance, 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 104 (Steinberg) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Vetoed



AB 59 (Swanson) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



AB 325 (B. Lowenthal) 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 three days of unpaid bereavement leave.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Appropriations 7/15/11



AB 508 (Swanson) Unreasonable government intrusion upon an employer’s right to hire and/or terminate employees, by forcing an employer who wants to receive a bid preference for public contracts for solid waste handling or recycling, to agree to hire the prior contractors’ employees.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations 6/23/11



AB 51 (Yamada) Imposes significant burdens and restrictions on employers with regard to the use of payroll cards that will discourage any employer from utilizing this method of payment as an option for their employees.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Banking and Financial Institutions 6/23/11



AB 267 (Swanson) Limits parties’ right to contract by characterizing any non-California choice of forum clauses and/or choice of law clauses in employment contracts as void and unenforceable, unless additional compensation is paid to include such provisions.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Third Reading 7/7/11



AB 469 (Swanson) Imposes a burdensome and duplicative notice requirement on employers that could subject them to potential litigation.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 459 (Corbett) Creates additional uncertainty for employers who use independent contractors by imposing new penalties for the unknowing misclassification of someone as an independent contractor even though state agencies provide no clear or consistent definition of an independent contractor.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



AB 950 (J. A. Pérez) Directly attacks the independent contractor relationship by deeming drayage truck operators as employees of the persons who contract for their services.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Inactive File 6/2/11; Failed Deadline



AB 889 (Ammiano) Requires individual homeowners who hire “domestic work employees” to comply with onerous wage-and-hour mandates that even sophisticated businesses in California struggle to satisfy, thereby discouraging such homeowners from retaining the services of these domestic work employees.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 272 (DeSaulnier) Provides employers certainty as to how paid leave should be implemented for paid bone marrow and/or organ donations by clarifying its requirements.  Sponsor/Co-Sponsor.



Status: To Governor



AB 1399 (Committee on Labor and Employment) Imposes overly burdensome restrictions and demands on employers by requiring an employer to maintain personnel records for four years, allowing current or former employees to inspect the records within 21 days of a written or oral request, and imposing a $750 penalty as well as attorney’s fees for failure to maintain the records or allow an inspection.  Oppose.



Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



SB 378 (Dutton) Provides significant benefits and flexibility for employers and employees who want to implement alternative workweek schedules.  Sponsor/Co-Sponsor.

Status: Senate Labor and Industrial Relations 2/24/11; Failed Deadline



SB 389 (Dutton) Provides employers certainty with regard to meal periods and rest periods by stating that the exclusive remedy for a missed meal period or rest period is one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay.  Support.



Status: Senate Labor and Industrial Relations 5/4/11



SB 883 (Correa) Provides employers who rely in good faith upon and in conformity with the opinions, interpretations, guidance, advice, or orders of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement with an affirmative defense against claims challenging the validity of the employer’s wage-and-hour practices on such issues.  Sponsor/Co-Sponsor.

Senate Labor and Industrial Relations 3/10/11; Failed Deadline



AB 240 (Bonilla) Allows the Labor Commissioner of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), a politically influenced position and agency, the authority to award liquidated damages pursuant to any complaint brought before the DLSE that alleges payment of less than the minimum wage.  Oppose.

Status: Senate Third Reading 7/12/11



AB 243 (Alejo) Improperly attempts to create joint liability for farmers by requiring farm labor contractors to print on employee pay stubs the name and address of the entity that contracted with the farm labor contractor.  Oppose.

Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



AB 1396 (Committee on Labor and Employment) Before amendments, subjected employers to triple damages for failure to set forth commission agreements in writing.  Neutral.

Status: Senate Third Reading 7/7/11

AB 1286 (Fuentes) Significantly undermines and discourages the efficient resolution of wage-and-hour litigation through negotiated settlements.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Labor and Employment 4/28/11; Failed Deadline



Legal Reform and Protection



AB 1062 (Dickinson) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Third Reading 6/29/11



AB 559 (Swanson) 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.  Oppose Unless Amended/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Third Reading 6/15/11



AB 1208 (C. Calderon) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Assembly 5/27/11; Failed Deadline



SB 242 (Corbett) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Failed passage in Senate 6/2/11; Failed Deadline



SB 558 (Simitian) Encourages plaintiffs’ attorneys to bring actions under the California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) and avoid limits placed on recovery of damages for pain and suffering, by lowering the evidentiary standard for proving elder abuse under the EADACPA.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 7/13/11



AB 753 (Monning) Potentially bankrupts rental car companies in the event a vehicle model in their fleet is subject to a federal recall, whether or not the recall poses an imminent harm to renters.  Oppose.

Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



AB 1207 (Furutani) Increases unjustified litigation by removing the statute of limitations in lawsuits for any claims related to exposure to a pollutant or hazardous substance.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Judiciary 4/28/11; Failed Deadline



AB 1403 (Committee on Judiciary) In part, amends the Code of Civil Procedure to provide certainty for parties by establishing a deadline, in the absence of one set by the court, for accepting or rejecting a conditional order with an addition or reduction of damages.  Support.



Status: Senate Third Reading 7/12/11



AB 934 (Feuer) Undoes the holding of Action Apartment Association v. Santa Monica Rent Control Board (2007), which indirectly protected landlords from suit under a local ordinance regulating harassing eviction notices for tenants.  Oppose.

Status: Failed passage in Assembly 6/3/11; Failed Deadline



SB 603 (Berryhill) Protects employers from frivolous lawsuits by expanding the definition of a “vexatious litigant” to include plaintiffs represented by an attorney.  Support.



Status: Failed passage in Senate Judiciary 5/10/11; Failed Deadline



AB 20 (Halderman) Discourages frivolous lawsuits over alleged residential construction defects by requiring an attorney to notify clients or potential clients that evidence of the construction defect must be disclosed to potential buyers in a subsequent sale of the property.  Support.

Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary 3/15/11; Failed Deadline



AB 158 (Halderman) Helps improve California’s rock-bottom legal climate by protecting manufacturers, distributors and sellers of products from punitive damages if those products meet government requirements, unless there is sufficient evidence that an individual or entity intentionally withheld or misrepresented information from a regulating agency.  Support.



Status: Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary 3/15/11; Failed Deadline



AB 556 (Wagner) Requires the judge, rather than the jury, to determine the amount of a punitive damages award once the jury has decided punitive damages are warranted in a civil case.  Support.



Status: Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary 3/22/11; Failed Deadline



AB 271 (Nestande) Brings fairness to class action lawsuits in California by allowing a party to appeal an order granting or denying class action certification at the discretion of the appellate court.  Support.



Status: Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary 3/22/11; Failed Deadline



SB 287 (Fuller) Protects auto dealers by limiting the circumstances under which a plaintiff can obtain attorney’s fees and costs in actions dealing with the legality of an automobile sales contract.  Support.



Status: Senate Judiciary 2/24/11; Failed Deadline



SB 111 (Yee) Before amendments, could have resulted in new shakedown lawsuits against business establishments by making it a strict liability violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, subject to minimum damages of $4,000, if a business limits the use of a customer’s language, even if unintentionally.  Removed opposition due to amendments.  No Position/Former Job Killer.



Status: Senate Concurrence 7/11/11



AB 621 (C. Calderon) Before amendments, required car rental companies to accept service of process for international renters who purchase supplemental liability coverage, and to notify them of service. Removed opposition due to amendments.  No Position.



Status: Senate Third Reading 7/12/11



SB 684 (Corbett) Before amendments, unnecessarily limited the freedom of businesses to negotiate choice-of-law provisions in contracts governing workers’ compensation claims. Removed opposition due to amendments.  No Position.

Status: Assembly Third Reading7/14/11



AB 456 (Wagner) Before amendments, required courts to suspend proceedings, after motion of one of the parties, to allow for arbitration according to a self-executing arbitration agreement. Removed support due to amendments.  No Position.



Status: Assembly Concurrence 7/14/11



Privacy and Confidentiality



SB 761 (Lowenthal) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Appropriations 5/10/11; Failed Deadline



AB 1080 (C. Calderon) Mandates a regressive and unworkable online transaction authentication system for companies that process online financial transactions. Also establishes a new private right of action to recover actual damages.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Judiciary 5/9/11; Failed Deadline



SB 208 (Alquist) Authorizes restitution for expenses for a period of three years to monitor an identity theft victim’s credit report and for the costs to repair the victim’s credit.  Support.

Status: Chapter 45



AB 1219 (Perea) Amended from a broad-based bill to a bill that provides clarification for those instances when an entity that accepts credit cards may not request certain types of personal identification information (PII) to complete the transaction.  Specifically, this bill exempts from the prohibition against collecting and retaining PII when the PII is used solely for preventing fraud, theft or identify theft in a sales transaction at a retail motor fuel dispenser or retail motor fuel payment island automated cashier.  Neutral.

Status: Senate Judiciary 6/22/11; Failed Deadline



Regulatory Reform



SB 14 (Wolk) Improves the operation of state agencies through performance-based budgeting.  The periodic review provided by this bill will ensure that agencies and their programs remain up to date and relevant, serving the most important needs in California and preserving scarce public resources. Support.



Status: Assembly Budget 6/13/11



SB 396 (Huff) Creates an ongoing process to review old regulations and establish a process to keep regulations up to date, including analysis of costs, relevance and need for updating to become more effective or less burdensome.  Support.



Status: Failed passage in Senate Environmental Quality 5/2/11; Failed Deadline



SB 400 (Dutton) Adds specific cost and job impacts analysis and an assessment of alternatives during the process of adopting, amending or repealing a regulation.  Support.



Status: Failed passage in Senate Environmental Quality 5/2/11; Failed Deadline



SB 366 (Calderon) Imposes a regulatory review process that would take agency time and resources yet is not designed to solve any of the significant problems with the California regulatory environment.  No Position.



Status: Senate Governmental Organization 2/24/11



Taxation



SBX1 23 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Mischaracterized “budget trailer bill” that is not necessary to implement the state budget.  Rather, this bill creates uncertainty for taxpayers by providing 58 counties, over 70 community college districts, and over 1,000 school districts, subject to voter approval, the authority to impose and/or increase a local tax on all products and services.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Third Reading 6/10/11



SB 653 (Steinberg) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate 6/7/11; Failed Deadline



AB 448 (Ammiano) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation 4/4/11



AB 832 (Ammiano) Imposes a hidden 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.

Status: Assembly Inactive File 6/2/11; Failed Deadline



AB 1239 (Furutani)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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Assembly Appropriations 5/17/11



AB 1130 (Skinner) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Assembly Appropriations 5/17/11



AB 1326 (Furutani) Creates a targeted tax on the oil and natural gas industry in order to fund the California Higher Education Endowment Corporation, thereby discouraging oil production in this state, which may lead to the loss of more jobs.  Oppose.



Status: Held in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Suspense File 5/16/11



SB 364 (Yee) Eliminates the incentive effect of future-enacted tax credits by imposing a penalty on California employers who claim the credit and subsequently experience a loss in employment greater than 10 percent in a single year, whether or not the reduction of employees is connected to the effectiveness of the incentive.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



SB 330 (Padilla) Unfair targeted tax on tobacco industry, a declining revenue source, to fund new government spending programs.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Health 2/24/11



AB 669 (Monning) Imposes a targeted tax of $0.01 per fluid ounce excise tax on distributors of bottled sweetened beverages, sweetened beverages and concentrate, the revenue of which shall be used for childhood obesity programs.  Oppose.
 Assembly Revenue and Taxation 5/3/11; Failed Deadline



AB 1218 (Pan) Imposes a targeted tax on tobacco products by eliminating a tax deduction for advertisement.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation 4/11/11



AB 36 (Perea) Conforms with federal law regarding the treatment of employee premium payments for adult children health care coverage as non-taxable income.  Support.



Status: Chapter 17



AB 1423 (Perea) Provides conformity to federal law regarding the taxable treatment of mutual fund investment companies, so as to provide such California-based companies with certainty.  Support.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 116 (De León) Discourages business growth in California by raising taxes on certain employers with substantial investments in the state in order to fund several other small incentives related to hiring, manufacturing and education (AB 1935 in 2009–10).  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 342 (Wolk) Precludes businesses from utilizing a contingent fee arrangement to pursue and/or challenge a tax issue before the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, or court of law, thereby denying businesses that do not have the financial ability to pay such fees upfront the ability to obtain tax relief from an invalid or improperly calculated tax.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Judiciary 5/4/11; Failed Deadline



AB 318 (Skinner) Stigmatizes California employers for taking advantage of investment incentives by requiring the Franchise Tax Board to provide private tax information in a searchable online database for publicly traded corporations that claim these incentives.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation 5/3/11; Failed Deadline



SB 223 (Leno) Likely increases taxes on business and consumers by providing 58 counties with new taxing authority to impose, pursuant to voter approval, a local vehicle license fee, the revenue of which will be used for general county purposes.  Oppose.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



SB 508 (Wolk) Creates uncertainty for California employers making long-term investment decisions by requiring all future tax credits to sunset after no more than 10 years. “Job killer” provision amended, but CalChamber still opposes.  Oppose/Former Job Killer.



Status: Assembly Third Reading 7/7/11



Unemployment Insurance



AB 391 (Pan ) Significantly shifts costs and resources used to administer the Unemployment Insurance Fund, potentially creating a disruption in the delivery of benefits to the unemployed. This bill requires the Employment Development Department (EDD) to provide in-person unemployment benefit assistance at a comprehensive one-stop career center.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations Suspense File 7/11/11



AB 226 (Solorio) Before amendments, assumed an unrealistic, limited scope of alternatives to bring California’s Unemployment Trust Fund to solvency.  No Position.



Status: Senate Third Reading 7/12/11



Workers’ Compensation



AB 375 (Skinner) Increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace. Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



AB 1155 (Alejo) 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.  Oppose/Job Killer.



Status: Senate Third Reading 7/12/11



AB 947 (Solorio) Increases costs to employers by broadening the definition of the types of injuries that qualify for an extended timeframe to receive temporary disability benefits, from 104 weeks to 240 weeks.  Oppose.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



AB 378 (Solorio) Lowers workers’ compensation costs by removing incentives for physicians to refer patients to pharmacies in which the physician or physician’s family have a financial interest, and establishes a temporary fee schedule to reimburse for compound drugs until the Administrative Director can establish a formal one.  Support.

Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11

AB 584 (Fong) Causes delays in utilization review (UR) and increases costs by unnecessarily requiring UR physicians to be licensed in California.  Oppose.

Status: Senate Appropriations Suspense File 7/11/11

AB 211 (Cedillo) Increases costs in the workers’ comp system by establishing a fl at $6,000 supplemental job displacement voucher to cover retraining and skills enhancement for injured workers without clarifying the timeframe when the injured worker can start receiving the voucher.  Oppose Unless Amended.



Status: Senate Appropriations Suspense File 7/11/11



AB 335 (Solorio) Brings an estimated savings of $42 million to the workers’ compensation system by requiring the workers’ compensation administrative director (AD) to work with the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) to develop regulations regarding notices to injured workers; requires AD and CHSWC to develop and make accessible a booklet written in plain language about the workers’ comp claims process; streamlines and simplifies other notices to employees.  Support.



Status: Senate Third Reading 7/13/11



AB 1168 (Pan) Lowers costs for employers and insurers by establishing a fee schedule for vocational experts’ services. Support.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11



SB 863 (Lieu) Lowers employers workers’ compensation costs by streamlining the liens process and limiting backlogs through implementing recommendations of the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation.  Support.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



AB 397 (Monning) Seeks to address the underground economy problem by singling out contractors that do not have workers’ compensation coverage but requiring contractors that are exempt from having coverage at the time they are licensed to certify they are still exempt or have gotten coverage at the time of their license renewal.  Support.



Status: Senate Third Reading 6/28/11



SB 457 (Calderon) Before amendments, raised workers’ compensation costs to employers by circumventing the Official Medical Fee Schedule and increased delays in claims by allowing more liens. Removed opposition due to amendments.  Neutral.



Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



SB 826 (Leno) Before amendments, increased monetary and frictional costs by penalizing self-insured companies for even small mistakes in filings with the administrative director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  As amended, enforces existing law that requires self-insured companies report to the division certain workers’ compensation-related information and places fines on them for failure to report. 

Neutral.

Status: Assembly Appropriations Hearing 8/17/11



AB 228 (Fuentes) Before amendments, allowed the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) to purchase “reinsurance” to cover the facility of a California-based business located outside of the state.  After amendments, forbids SCIF from advertising the ability to insure qualified employers under the law of any other state. No Position.



Status: Senate Appropriations Hearing 8/15/11