Here for full Report
ASAC has secured Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez’s summary of her Assembly Bill 5 which defines how to classify employees vs. independent workers. See how many organizations supported it. Also know that the bill has been temporarily enjoined while truckers’ issues are resolved. More to come on this issue and ASAC will keep you informed.
Here for full Report
By, Skip Daum
January 6, 2020 marks the reconvening of California’s biennial legislative session. More than 1,000 additional bills will be introduced before the end of February, and several dozen others face final votes by this month’s end as they were held over from 2019.
Among the most controversial for all employers is Assembly Bill 5’s “redux”… or a re-do because, as signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom last fall, it has numerous effects on independent contractors vs. employees. It proclaims that an independent worker is really an employee deserving of benefits, wage and hours protections, and the right to unionize. Even though special carve-outs were injected into the bill at the last minute to satisfy certain groups and industries, others such as Uber, Lyft and Doordash have pledged to launch a $90,000,000 (!) ballot initiative (or a new bill) to change its terms. Construction trades were excluded from AB 5, but ASAC will be watching closely as major lobbying forces will be in the halls daily; these include the Chamber of Commerce, labor, book writers and journalists, nurses, care givers, minimum wage earners, etc. In addition, lawsuits have already been started challenging the new law.
2020 promises to be problematic for other reasons. It’s an election year, campaigning has begun, political action committees are being solicited for contributions, and the emerging edginess of our national standing due to the impeachment and the recent assassination of a prominent Iranian General. Legislators will be pressed for their opinions on these matters as they run for election or reelection. Most will not introduce any bill that draws opposition from constituents and which jeopardizes their chances of winning.
That said, and despite a good economy and large treasury surplus, California’s housing shortage and the growing number of homeless persons will dominate the news. This means there will be at least one dozen meaty bills to address these issues, among another dozen that will go nowhere due to their terms or a legislator’s lack of political “juice”. And, according to the Department of Finance’s “Population Division” more people left California than entered it, including those without visas. That’s a ten-year low which cannot signal a prosperous future.
Too, the collapse and bankruptcy of the state’s utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric due to wild fires spawned by poor overhead line maintenance will assuredly have the State chip in some relief for tens of thousands of residents whose homes and entire towns have been burnt to the ground. Shareholders and Wall Street are also gloomy about the financial hit they’ll take.
Two bills that ASAC supported were signed into law and merit discussion: Assembly Bill 456: The law prescribes various requirements regarding the formation, content, and enforcement of state and local public contracts. It provided (until January 1, 2020) that contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017 include a claim resolution process for any claim by a contractor in connection with a public works project against a public entity. It defines a claim for these purposes as a separate demand by the contractor for one or more of the following: a time extension for relief from damages or penalties for delay, payment of money or damages arising from work done pursuant to the contract for a public work, or payment of an amount disputed by the public entity. This bill extends the operation of this claim resolution process until January 1, 2027.
And, Senate Bill 197: Existing law prohibited the CA Department of Transportation, until January 1, 2020, from withholding retention proceeds when making progress payments for work performed by a contractor. This bill deletes the sunset of 2020, thereby making the prohibition operative indefinitely. ASAC was a strong advocate in support of the original retention bill and also SB 197.
Stay tuned for more news from Sacramento. ASAC is monitoring bills daily in your behalf.
By: Smith Currie
The California Legislature introduced more than 3,033 bills in the first half of the 2019-2020 session. Via the link below, we summarize some of the more important bills affecting contractors in their roles as contractors, effective January 1, 2020, unless otherwise noted. Not addressed here are many other bills that will affect contractors in their roles as businesses, taxpayers, and employers. Each of the summaries is brief, focusing on what is most important to contractors. Because not all aspects of these bills are discussed, each summary's title is a live link to the full text of the referenced bills for those wanting to explore the details of the new laws.
Visit Smith Currie for Full Report HERE
Legislative Halftime Report
With Skip Daum
The Super Bowl Circus of all time was had on a full moon evening Friday the 13th in the State Capitol. With hours to go before the deadline to recess until January around 1,000 bills either moved ahead, were held over until January when session resumes, or were killed. Amidst the chaos were hundreds of lobbyists and a larger mob of anti-vaccine protestors who disrupted floor proceedings in both the Senate and Assembly. One tossed a bag of blood onto the Senate floor from the visitors gallery as she screamed something like "this is from the dead babies".
Senators evacuated the floor and resumed work in a large committee room until 3:15 a.m. Also among the throng of opponents to the vaccine bill were Uber and Lyft drivers protesting AB 5 which would make them employees instead of independent contractors. (That bill exempts licensed contractors, and several other "carve outs" were amended into the measure.) Other bills regard the environment, pushing back on President Trump's regulatory changes, police restraint, affordable housing and local housing density reforms, retentions, and dispute resolution.
ASAC's bill, AB 1736, was adroitly maneuvered amidst this frenzy and is now sitting on the Governor's desk; he'll act on it within the month. It requires local agencies to develop prompt notification processes so you can be promptly informed about whose bid was deemed lowest. (See attached letter to the governor.) More on all these measures in a week... time for a coffee break.
ASAC AB1736 letter to Governor
Legislative Bill Status Report
American Subcontractors Ass'n. - CA
Your call makes a difference!
THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, IS "D-DAY" FOR 462 LEGISLATIVE BILLS SET FOR DISPOSITION IN THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. ASAC'S AB 1736 (NOTIFICATION TO BIDDERS) IS AMONG THEM.
Our bill has survived opposition from numerous local public entities and, as of today, has no formal OPP. However, the Senate Approps Comm has reigned in hundreds of bills and put them on the "Suspense" calendar because they may cost the State more than $150,000 to implement. The Committee staff hypothecated more than 1,000 entities would bill the State for their costs to develop notification policies and post the names of the apparent lowest bidder to their websites. Hence... it's on suspense.
Leaving it where it is means it'll become a 2 year bill. That means no movement during the legislative recess between September and January. And, it also means that it must pass from the committee to the Senate floor on the very first hearing in January... or die.
We hope to move it out of committee on Friday to the floor for possible amendments, yet again, in order to lower the cost estimate by the staff, and the Governor's Department of Finance estimate of the bill costing $4.3,000,000 !! We'll have approximately 2 weeks to do so if we want to move it to the Governor before October; it can stay on the floor until January and this would avoid the rule requiring an 'up or down' vote in the Committee's January hearing. In this manner we'll have a couple months in 2020 to work the bill.
AGC, numerous trades, and unions have supported our bill. We have sent to you a request to call the Appropriations Committee Chairman's office urging support. As this is your bill, we trust you made the calls. Anthony Portantino (D) is the Chair.
Importantly, our author, Assembly Member Tom Daly (D), is meeting with the Chairman this week to determine if he will allow the bill to reach the floor on Friday.
ASAC, and hundreds of other organizations will be on hand to hear the verdict on these bills; no testimony will be allowed... just a reading of the list for the bills to "remain in committee" or pass to the floor.
If you haven't yet called Chairman Portantino's office... NOW IS THE TIME!
Phone Chairman Anthony Portantino's office and leave this message, even on after hours voice mail: (916) 651-4025. Leave your name, company, and phone number with the message below.
"I'm a construction contractor and I'd like the Senator to approve AB 1736 by Assembly Member Tom Daly. The bill provides me with a timely notification of my bid to start work on a local agency's project. Thank you!"
Thank you all for helping lobby in favor of this fair and important measure.