CAMARILLO, CA – On Tuesday, May 25th, the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA) Board of Directors voted to oppose proposed legislation in the California Senate and Assembly that, if passed, would have negative impacts on the economy of Ventura County. These proposed legislative actions would limit the viability of business throughout the state and place unnecessary burden on business.
In reviewing the proposed legislation, VCEDA has considered the potential impacts of each of the following bills.
Unneeded Mandated Family and Parental Leave
VCEDA’s members collectively work to provide employees benefits to assist them in attending to family matters, including maternity and paternity leave, and firmly believe that these matters should not be legislated but rather become reflective in best practices. As such, VCEDA has taken an “Oppose” position with regard to the following proposed legislation:
- Oppose SB 1166 (Jackson) – This misguided measure would intentionally unduly burden and increase costs to small employers with as few as five employees, as well as large employers, by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for maternity or paternity leave, and up to four months of existing pregnancy disability leave, for employees who have worked for the employer as little as one day. Mandated leave is an additional cost to business beyond state-required sick leave, paid vacation and time off, and additional employer-paid sick leave.
- Oppose AB 2405 (Gatto) – This measure would burden small employers by modifying California’s Family-School and Partnership Act, passed in 1995. The Family-School and Partnership Act allows parents, grandparents, and guardians to take up to 40 hours of unpaid, job-protected time-off for school activities and school-related emergencies per calendar year; AB 2405 would require that 24 of those 40 hours be paid time-off.
Increased Regulations Regarding Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The members of VCEDA believe that the state of California should be a leader in addressing climate change, but that the effects and outcomes of past legislation must be understood before we proceed with establishing more mandates and targets. As such, VCEDA has taken an “Oppose” position with regard to the following proposed legislation:
- Oppose SB 32 (Pavley) – This measure further modifies the original AB 32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) that has numerous obligations and targets for reducing greenhouse gases and establishing goals for climate change in California.
Unnecessary Regulations on Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry is an important component of the economy in California and Ventura County, accounting for more than 180,000 jobs statewide in 2013. AB 1882 (Williams), AB 2729 (Williams), and AB 2756 (Thurmond) as proposed would add exorbitant, unjustified, and unnecessary costs, create additional layers of bureaucracy, and institute laws that create further regulatory uncertainties – in the process seriously curtailing job growth and reducing existing jobs statewide. As such, VCEDA has taken an “Oppose” position with regard to the following proposed legislation:
- Oppose AB 1882 (Williams) – This bill jeopardizes the production of California-based fuel by creating a confusing and duplicative underground injection permit process that will lead to time-consuming and costly legal challenges, and does not provide additional environmental and groundwater protections beyond those already provided under existing law.
- Oppose AB 2729 (Williams) – California has approximately 20,000 oil and gas wells that have been idle for more than five years and would be classified as long-term idle wells by this bill. Operators have legitimate economic reasons for idling wells in the short term, and this bill makes it more costly to leave wells idle for long periods of time and only allows operators to avoid fees if they develop a plan to reduce their stock of idle wells.
- Oppose AB 2756 (Thurmond) – AB 2756 would authorize the State Oil and Gas Supervisor to consider specified circumstances when establishing the amount of a civil penalty (currently not to exceed $25,000 under existing law), and at his or her discretion, to treat each day a violation continues or is not resolved as a separate violation.
VCEDA is recognized as the regional voice of business on issues affecting the economy in California and Ventura County. Established in 1949, VCEDA is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization that has been recognized as the regional voice of business on issues affecting the Ventura County economy. VCEDA provides members the advocacy, intelligence, networking and support necessary for success in today’s business climate.
For more information about VCEDA, including upcoming events and membership, contact Info@VCEDA.org or (805) 676 – 1332.