Capitol Alert

Will the Legislature send remaining ‘job killer’ bills to their graves?

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California lawmakers are busy counting votes for their signature measures as a Friday deadline looms to pass bills out of their house of origin.

This week also marks a test for the California Chamber of Commerce’s marquee lobbying tactic: the infamous “job killer” list.

Each year the chamber slaps the “job killer” label on bills that it says reduce jobs or deter companies from doing business in the state. The practice has been widely successful. Less than 10 percent of the bills on the list have become law since it debuted in 1997.

This year, the business interest group named 24 bills the worst of the worst.

The chamber dropped the label on two bills after amendments eased its opposition. Out of the remaining 22 bills, two Assembly bills and seven Senate bills dubbed “job killers” had advanced to the floor in their house of origin as of Tuesday morning. The Senate then passed several “job killer” bills to the Assembly, despite the chamber’s opposition.

Last year Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson passed a bill through the Legislature to require small employers to provide six weeks of job-protected unpaid maternity and paternity leave to new parents. But Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the measure. Jackson reintroduced the bill this year and expanded it to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which the Senate passed Tuesday.

The Senate similarly defied the business group when it passed SB 33, a measure written in response to the Wells Fargo banking scandal. The bill, introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd, invalidates arbitration agreements applied to fraudulent bank accounts and other contracts created without the consumer’s consent.

Another “job killer,” Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León’s measure to require the state to meet and uphold Obama-era federal environmental, public health, and labor standards, also passed.

Stay tuned this week for key votes on other “job killers,” such as Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins’ call to create a universal health care plan for all Californians and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s attempt to expose pay inequities for women under AB 1209.

Meanwhile, the chamber hosts its annual Capitol Summit today at the Hyatt Regency on L Street. The event includes an evening reception at The Sutter Club and a breakfast Thursday at the Sacramento Convention Center where Gov. Jerry Brown will give a keynote speech.

WORTH REPEATING: “We need to run like a girl because we need to reclaim that term and re-purpose it to mean ‘be yourself.’” – State Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma, in an essay for California Women Lead encouraging women to run for office

JEFFERSON: Supporters of a movement to create the “State of Jefferson” in Northern California are gathering at the Capitol Wednesday to urge support for a lawsuit filed earlier this month against Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Citizens for Fair Representation claim the system of dividing districts equally by population has weakened the votes of rural residents and are instead calling for one senator per county and more Assembly districts. The rally begins at 10 a.m. on the west side of the Capitol.

LOOKING AHEAD: U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna is in San Francisco today to participate in a forum on “Trump’s Next 100 Days” hosted by the Commonwealth Club. Joined by representatives from the California Republican Party and Stanford University, Khanna and others are expected to discuss Trump policies and his impact on domestic and foreign affairs, health care, the environment and the contentious relationship between the new administration and the press. The forum begins at 6:30 p.m.

MUST-READ: Alexei Koseff explains the movement in the California Legislature to rein in rising prescription drug costs.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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