Family Policy

Back Article Oct 14, 2016 By Robin Epley

The Family Business Association of California is a lobbying firm founded to protect the interests of California family businesses in the state legislature, and to “fight against proposals which will add new regulations and costs to family businesses.” Below is a look at the organization’s 2016 priority list to offering insight into what the organization stand for, against and how they fared this year in the state house.

AB 419, a bill by Assemblywoman Young Kim and supported by the FBA, would have required the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (also known as GO-Biz) to create and maintain an easy-access point on their website for business owners to find and study California regulatory laws. The author argued that small businesses are “disproportionately affected” by misunderstanding the complex process. The bill is currently dead, having failed deadline.

Related: The Family Fund

AB 1430, which the FBA not only supported but also sponsored, was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Cooper and would have defined a California family business as “an independently owned and operated business that is not dominant in the field of operation … located in California, the officers of which are domiciled in California, … has 100 or fewer employees, and average annual gross receipts of 10 million dollars or less … or is a manufacturer as specified.”  The FBA called this their “Top Bill” of 2015. It is currently inactive.

AB 2535 sought to clarify which employees an employer must track hours and record those hours on an itemized wage statement. The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, passed both houses in June of this year, was signed by Gov. Brown in July and was supported by the FBA.

SB 3, a bill addressing the minimum wage adjustment, was opposed by FBA. Senator Mark Leno’s bill called for another round of minimum wage increases, up to $15 per hour, concluding in 2023, and provided for automatic increases each year thereafter. It was signed by Gov. Brown in April.

SB 1234, introduced by President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, deals with the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program. FBA opposes SB 1234 “because it potentially creates liabilities, costs and administrative burdens for employers by creating a mandated state-run retirement savings program … without addressing concerns regarding employer liability, ERISA, costs and other outstanding issues,” according to the association’s priority bill list. The bill has been passed by both houses and is currently ordered to the Office of Engrossing and Enrolling.

SCA 5, a senate constitutional amendment introduced by Senator Loni Hancock, would institute a “Split Roll Property Tax.” It would reassess all commercial property once a year to raise new tax revenue — approximately $9 billion, and is opposed by the FBA. The association wrote that “a split roll tax would adversely impact all businesses,” regardless of whether they rent or own, because property taxes and lease costs would go up every year. The bill has been re-referred to the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance.