NEWS: GRASSROOTS BUSINESS ALLIANCE AND ADVOCACY POWERHOUSE CELEBRATES RECORD LEGISLATIVE WINS

Posted October 29th, 2021

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 28, 2021) – A nonprofit business alliance dedicated to aggressively advocating for business growth, job creation and economic vitality logged a record 70% legislative win rate following a whirlwind 10 months of back-to-back education campaigns, multi-platform mobilization efforts and direct outreach to legislators.

The Los Angeles County Business Federation “BizFed” advocated on a total of 54 bills during the California State Legislature’s First Legislative Session of 2021:
29 Assembly Bills
24 Senate Bills
1 Assembly Constitutional Amendment
Of those 54 bills, 20 advanced to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature or veto. BizFed pushed hard for Newsom to sign 15 of those 20 bills, activating its frontline policy team and massive network of members representing diverse industries to submit letters and emails, testify during public comment periods, and amplify sentiments on social media. BizFed’s mobilization machine also churned out educational content targeting misinformation, spurring broad public support and connecting stakeholders with topical experts. Newsom signed all but 2 of the 15 bills for which BizFed advocated its support.

BizFed urged Newsom to block the remaining 5 bills passed by the California Legislature and logged a 20% win rate on the veto front, despite Newsom’s veto rate this session dipping to about half of what it was during his first year as governor. He blocked only about 8% of the bills that reached his desk in 2021.

Acting on the recommendations of BizFed’s policy committees and COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force, the nonprofit’s Board of Directors elected to back a wide range of bills this session that pave the way for sustainable — and sorely needed — solutions across housing, transportation, broadband, infrastructure, workforce development, health care, energy and education policy.

BizFed celebrated victories in four key areas that will shape and define the pace of California’s pandemic recovery, while setting the stage for long-term job growth:
Housing & transportation (SB 44)
Workforce development (AB 61 and SB 314)
Broadband (AB 14, SB 4 and SB 378)
Education (AB 928 and AB 1111)
A deeper analysis of the 20 bills BizFed advocated on that advanced to the governor’s desk reveal impressive foresight, legislative strategy, and problem-solving savvy on the part of BizFed’s committee, task force, and Board members. The BizFed-backed bills signed by Newsom are all crafted around practical answers to pressing issues. BizFed members recognized early in the legislative process that these smart, actionable solutions could win broad-based support on both sides of the aisle.

SUPPORTED BY BIZFED

AB 14 (Aguiar-Curry) – Authorizes ongoing collection of existing surcharge on revenues collected by telecommunications providers, funding the California Advanced Services Fund, which provides rural and urban communities with vital broadband grants. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 658, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

AB 61 (Gabriel) – Makes it easier for restaurants to expand outdoor dining by allowing local jurisdictions and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to relax a variety of regulations, including how food is prepared and served outdoors, how restaurants arrange and use outdoor spaces to increase dining capacity and where alcohol can be served. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 6, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

AB 80 (Burke) – Excludes Paycheck Protection Program grants from being taxed as income. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 17, Statutes of 2021. April 29, 2021.

AB 442 (Mayes) – Allows Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to more effectively update Colorado River Aqueduct. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 166, Statutes of 2021. September 16, 2021.

AB 535 (Quirk) – Ensures Californians will quickly benefit from high-speed broadband projects by requiring local governments to approve or deny broadband permits within federally mandated timelines. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 467, Statutes of 2021. October 5, 2021.

AB 928 (Berman) – Simplifies college transfer process and increases value of Associate Degree for Transfer at California Community Colleges, strengthening educational foundation of regional workforce pipeline. Championed by BizFed’s Anti-Poverty Committee. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 566, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

AB 1111 (Berman) – Creates new course numbering system at California Community Colleges, reducing unnecessary confusion, streamlining transfers, and reducing excess credit accumulations, saving students time, money, and hassle. Championed by BizFed’s Anti-Poverty Committee. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 568, Statutes of 2021. October 6, 2021.

AB 1261 (Burke) – Requires the California Air Resources Board to establish specified processes to assist in achieving greenhouse gas emisions reduction goals, including a process to identify overlap between incentive programs. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 714, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

SB 4 (Gonzalez) – Requires the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development “GO-Biz” to coordinate with other agencies and organizations to explore ways of facilitating streamlining of local land use approvals and construction permitting for projects related to digital equity goals. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 671, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

SB 44 (Allen) – Streamlines CEQS for major public transit rail line infrastructure projects that meet certain sustainability standards and labor requirements, spurring community development and affordable housing production. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 633, Statutes of 2021. October 7, 2021.

SB 255 (Portantino) – Authorizes association of employers to offer large group health care service plan contract/large group health insurance policy consistent with ERISA if certain requirements are met, meeting more Californians’ health care needs. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 725, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

SB 314 (Wiener) – Helps restaurants, bars and music venues recover from the impacts of pandemic shutdowns by creating more flexibility in how they can serve alcohol. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 656, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

SB 378 (Gonzalez) – Requires local agencies to allow microtrenching for installation of underground fiber, accelerating efforts to expand broadband access and address digital inequity. Supported by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 678, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

AB 1302 (Quirk) – Allows the legal cannabis industry to place billboards along most CA roads, including interstates 15+ miles from state borders, while ensuring placement away from schools, parks and playgrounds. Supported by BizFed. Vetoed October 8, 2021.

SB 556 (Dodd) – Requires cities, counties and publicly owned local electric utilities to make utility poles and support structures available for broadband infrastructure, making it easier for service providers to install small wireless facilities. Supported by BizFed. Vetoed October 4, 2021.

OPPOSED BY BIZFED

AB 701 (Gonzalez) – Requires employers with large warehouse distribution centers to disclose quotas and pace-of-work standards to employees, and prohibits quota requirements that prevent compliance with meal or rest periods, use of bathrooms or occupational health and safety laws. Opposed by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 197, Statutes of 2021. September 22, 2021.

SB 28 (Caballero) – Repeals the requirement that franchise holders annually report on the availability and use of broadband and video service, instead requiring the California Public Utilities Commission to collect granular data on the actual locations served by state franchise holders. Opposed by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 673, Statutes of 2021. October 8, 2021.

SB 242 (Newman) – Requires a health care service plan/health insurer to contract with its health care providers to reimburse, at a reasonable rate, business expenses that are medically necessary to render treatment to patients. Opposed by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 538, Statutes of 2021. October 5, 2021.

SB 646 (Hertzberg) – Exempts only certain janitorial workers covered by collective bargaining agreement from Labor Code’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), leaving wide swath of aggrieved employees free to pursue unnecessary litigation. Opposed by BizFed. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 337, Statutes of 2021. September 27, 2021.

AB 1074 (Gonzalez) – Renames and extends provisions of the “Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act” to cover hotel workers, adding unnecessary burdens to small, family-owned businesses by broadly dictating hiring practices. Opposed by BizFed. Vetoed September 28, 2021.