Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
The California Chamber of Commerce has been on a roll when it comes to fighting so-called “job killer” bills, and the most recent legislative session has been no different.
Out of 31 job killers, only two have reached the desk of Gov. Gaven Newsom. And for one of those — the one most primed to negatively impact the Central Valley — Newsom has indicated an impending veto.
That bill, SB 1, would further reduce the amount of water that flows to the Central Valley from the Delta. As state Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Sanger — a Democrat — put it in a recent oped piece in the Fresno Bee, “SB 1 would have held the state into a single scientific approach, resulting in litigation that would have derailed these important negotiations. This derailment would have jeopardized the Central Valley’s access to safe drinking water and caused economic devastation to our region’s economy.”
The other active job killer on Newsom’s desk is AB 51, which bans employment arbitration agreements. As attorney Steven Crass of Fresno law firm Wanger Jones Helsley put it, “The real reason for AB 51 is the rise of wage and hour class actions. These types of cases are particularly devastating to businesses, but very profitable for the plaintiff’s bar.”
If AB 51 were to become law, it would undoubtedly be challenged in court, according to the CalChamber, becoming a litigation nightmare without providing any benefit to employees as it was intended. In fact, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, stating “it plainly violates federal law.”