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California Legislature Introduces New 2017-18 Legislation

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The California Legislature is busy introducing new legislation for the 2017-18 legislative session. The deadline to introduce new bills is February 17. CLFP staff is reviewing these bills and determining which measures will impact the food processing industry in California. Most of the new bills being introduced are non-substantive "spot bills" that will later be amended. There will be a flurry of amendments in late February as policy committees begin hearing bills in March. Each legislative house must pass bills to the other house by the end of May.

Several labor bills have been introduced that will discriminate against arbitration, expand employment litigation and mandate another leave of absence:
  • SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) seeks to ban arbitration agreements, which studies have shown provide individuals with a better remedy than pursuing lengthy class action litigation. 
  • SB 62 (Jackson; D- Santa Barbara) will significantly expand the type of individuals for which employees can take leave under the California Family Rights Act, allowing California employees to take up to 24 weeks/six months of protected leave in a 12-month period. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed a similar proposal in 2015. 
  • SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) requires a California employer who employs as few as 20 employees within a 75-mile radius to provide 12 weeks of protected parental leave. This proposed mandate comes on top of the current requirement that employers with only five employees allow up to 16 weeks of protected pregnancy-related leave.
CLFP will join the California Employers Coalition in opposition to these measures.

CLFP will be supporting regulatory reform measures by Assembly Member Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) and Assembly Member Fong (R-Bakersfield) that call for more legislative oversight and economic review. 

CLFP will also be reviewing several tax measures including a manufactured tax exemption for research and development as well as the Governor's proposed gas tax.

Climate change will be a major issue in the Legislature. Legislation is expected to be introduced that will extend the Cap and Trade program beyond 2020.

By Trudi Hughes, CLFP Government Affairs Director


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