CSAC Bulletin Article

Bills that Would Increase Local Resources, But Also Employment Costs, Head to Governor

September 19, 2019

The final week of the 2019 legislative session proved both challenging and successful for the CSAC Government Finance and Administration policy team. With the focus now on Governor Newsom’s decisions to sign or veto bills, CSAC representatives continue to engage on a number of important measures.

Pending approval at the Governors’ desk are a number of CSAC-supported bills that will ensure counties can continue to govern efficiently, including SB 268, a bill that will increase local ballot measure transparency for voters, and SB 5, which would make resources available to local agencies for affordable housing and infrastructure.

With this session also came a number of concerning bills that would significantly increase employer costs, including expanding costly workers’ compensation presumptions. By working closely with local government partners to oppose such bills, CSAC advocacy efforts yielded considerable dividends—down to the final day of session, when four priority bills failed to pass and make it to the Governor’s desk: SB 416 (Hueso), AB 418 (Kalra), SB 266 (Leyva), and AB 1066 (Gonzalez).

Below are several priority bills that CSAC is requesting the Governor either sign or veto. Counties are encouraged to communicate their support or opposition to the Governor’s office for these priority measures.

Requesting Signature

SB 268 (Wiener) Ballot measures

This measure would improve ballot transparency for local bonds and tiered-rate taxes, giving voters more information about how the measures might affect their taxes. Specifically, this bill would authorize a local agency to include in the ballot label the phrase “See voter guide for tax rate information” for a bond or tiered-rate tax, then provide a thorough, plain-language description of the measure’s tax effects.

SB 5 (Beall, McGuire, and Portantino) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program

This measure would create an ongoing funding partnership between the state and California local governments (allowing cities and counties to access needed property tax resources) to ensure long-term funding for both affordable housing and the infrastructure to support sustainable development. Under this measure, counties and cities would access significant new funding, ramping up to $2 billion annually over time.

Requesting Veto

AB 314 (Bonta) Public employment: labor relations: release time

This measure would expand terms used to establish eligible employee orientation activities under release time, unwinding a carefully crafted and recently enacted agreement by requiring employers to give release time to employees who serve as the exclusive representative at new employee orientations.

SB 542 (Stern) Workers’ Compensation

Local government advocates successfully pushed back on a number of bills pertaining to workers’ compensation issues this year, including through the final day of session when SB 416 was pulled from a final floor vote, and became a two year bill. Now, only one bill of concern, SB 542, will still move to the Governor’s desk for consideration. This measure imposes costly workers’ compensation presumption expansions on county employers, and remains a priority “veto request” for counties.

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