State Legislative Session Ends, Major Paid Family Leave Bill Passes
Irwindale, CA - On Monday, the California State Legislature concluded its regular 2020 session with a sprint to the finish at midnight. Although some major bills did not pass, partially due to time mismanagement by the leadership in Senate, several important pieces of legislation were passed and now head to Governor Newsom's desk to be signed or vetoed.
One of the most prominent bills at the end of session was the critically important deal on tenant evictions, AB 3088. Unlike other competing alternative proposals, AB 3088 allows landlords to evict tenants who cause problems at the property, such as by causing nuisances or threatening their neighbors. It also would allow owners to terminate the tenancies of renters who have the wherewithal to pay rent but refuse to do so. The bill offers eviction protections to tenants with legitimate financial hardships due to COVID-19. Starting with September’s rent, however, those tenants with COVID hardships would have to pay at least a portion of their rent to maintain eviction protections. Failure to do so by Jan. 31, 2021 would result in the landlord being permitted to proceed with an eviction case on or after Feb. 1, 2021.
A very significant new paid family leave bill, SB 1383, passed both chambers and is on its way to Governor Newsom, who strongly backed the proposal. SB 1383 will harm over 150,000 small businesses in the state by requiring any employer with only as few as 5 employees to provide 12-weeks of protected leave each year and opening them to litigation for unintentional mistakes in tracking that leave. The new paid family leave bill comes at a time when businesses across the state are struggling financially, with widespread declines in consumer spending and confidence, reducing revenues and jeopardizing the survival of these enterprises.
Another dangerous bill heading to the Governor's desk is SB 972, a bill that would require the Franchise Tax Board to breach a taxpayer's right to confidentiality by producing annual reports on corporate taxpayers with gross receipts of $5 billion or more. The reports would include not only public companies but privates employers as well. The mandated reports, which would be shared with the State Legislature's two tax policy committees, would include the taxpayer's name, tax liability, and the amount and types of tax credits claimed for the taxable year. Moreover, such information would now be accessible to the public. Such a breach of confidentiality is extraordinary treatment for important corporate contributors to the state is unprecedented.
The Partnership has sent veto requests to Governor Newsom for both SB 1383 and SB 972. AB 3088 has already been signed into law to take immediate effect.