The California Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday released a list of 18 bills it says will reduce jobs and hurt the state economy.
The chamber introduces its so-called “job killers” every spring and boasts a high success rate of blocking bills on the list from becoming law. Critics question the organization’s methodology to determine the list.
All of the bills labeled job killers this year were introduced by Democratic lawmakers and four carried over from 2015.
“As everyone knows, California has areas that are booming economically and other areas that are stagnating,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber, in a statement. “Each part of California has unique problems and these job killers will negatively impact future economic growth.”
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, made the list again with a bill to allow groups of independent contractors to organize as unions. The chamber says Assembly Bill 1727 harms consumers and the economy by allowing contractors “to collaborate and set prices for their services.” Gonzalez is one of the only lawmakers to routinely pass bills facing strong opposition from the chamber.
18 number of bills on California Chamber of Commerce’s ‘job killer’ list
Senate Bill 878 by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, requires grocery stores, restaurants and retail stores to give employees a work schedule at least one week in advance. The chamber said the bill “eliminates worker flexibility and exposes employers to costly penalties, litigation, and government enforcement.”
The chamber said Assembly Bill 2162 from San Jose Democrat Kansen Chu to require a permit to cut down oak trees “erodes housing affordability” by increasing the cost and delays for housing projects.
Another bill, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8, would give Californians the right to vote on a property tax increase to fund water projects. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat who the Chamber helped defeat an incumbent to win his seat in 2012.
The chamber represents more than 13,000 companies and spent $4.3 million to lobby in California in 2015. The chamber expects to add more bills to the list in the next few weeks.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 9:48 a.m. March 30, 2016 to correct the author of Assembly Bill 2162 to Assemblyman Kansen Chu.