I was contacted by Senator Feinstein’s office and she is looking at introducing legislation to assist small businesses in dealing with frivolous American with Disability lawsuits. Is this a problem in your area? Do you know attorney’s filing these lawsuits? Do you know how many lawsuits have been file in your area? Do you know the cost of these lawsuits?
Please see below piece I have put together outlining activities for Small Business California for 2011. I would appreciate your forwarding this to small businesses you know or if you are active in an association including in your newsletter.
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116
Small Business California was founded in 2005 to provide information to grass roots small businesses around California and to advocate for the economic development of these small businesses. We pull data from small businesses around the state in our annual survey to determine the most important issues. In 2011, we received over 1,300 responses from every county in the state.
The issues identified in our 2011 survey in order of high/top priority are:
1. The availability and rising cost of health care
2. The quality of public education
3. Repairing and enhancing the State’s infrastructure
4. Reducing state taxes/ Access to capital
5. The worker's compensation system
6. The cost of energy
You can see the rest of the 2011 responses and responses from prior years by going to our website: http://www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org/
Small Business California has put together a very extensive email tree throughout California. This email tree lets small businesses know about what is going on in Sacramento and to a lesser degree, Washington, DC. It also has become a very good resource for the media around the state. Many members have been quoted in most of the major media outlets, not only in Sacramento, but in Washington as well. Small Business California has a lobbyist in Sacramento. Between board members and our lobbyist, we frequency testify at committee hearings in Sacramento. Some of the bills we testified on are below.
The following bills that were testified on and were signed and passed by the Governor:
· AB 29 (J. Perez) – Creates the Governor’s Office of Economic Development-
· AB 155 (C. Calderon) – Known as the E-Fairness bill, AB 155 will coordinate the enactment of federal law giving states the authority to require out-of-state internet retailers to collect state sales taxes and enable California small businesses to compete on a level playing field with on-line retailers.
· AB 335 (Solorio) – Enables the Department of Industrial Relations Division of Workers’ Compensation to produce an informational pamphlet and create a web accessible site that explains the workers’ compensation system and notices of benefits to employees.
· AB 361 (Huffman) – Establishes the formation of a new form of corporate entity known as benefit corporations and eases the requirements for a small business corporation to amend its articles of incorporation to take advantage of this option.
· AB 1426 (Solorio) – Reduces costs and increases transparency by eliminating an unnecessary layer of state government in removing the duplicative function of the court administrator position and distributing the duties to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and the Division of Workers’ Compensation Administrative Director.
· SB 32 (Leno) – Would enable local restaurants and bars to infuse alcoholic beverages with herbs and flavorings by revising an outdated statute that prevents them from doing so.
· SB 826 (Leno) – Currently, the state is experiencing a shortage of workers’ compensation data that is used among other things in accurately assessing employer’s workers’ compensation premiums. This data is already required by law to be reported by the insurance carrier’s claims administrators; however, there was no penalty for non-compliance. SB 826 establishes a minor penalty on the claims administrator for the failure to report this data. The bill was fashioned in a way that will not pass on any additional costs to the employer, but to ensure a more accurate calculation of premium.
The following bill was vetoed:
· SB 823 (Corbett) – This bill will establish a “Made in California” label that will assist in the marketing of California-made products. This bill will also establish an advisory group of small businesses representatives who will advise the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GO ED) on the requirements and the criteria for carrying the Made in California label. (Vetoed)
On the federal level, we were a major force in the appeal of the requirement for business to file 1099 and all their 1099 independent contractors. We also have been recognized by the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for getting the Small Business Innovation Program reauthorized after more than five years.
Please consider joining us as a member of Small Business California by going onto our website:http://www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org/
SB-Cal is a non-partisan advocacy organization lobbying the legislature on behalf of small businesses in California. We develop solutions to your problems, creating the basis for effective new small business legislation in Sacramento. As a SB-Cal member, you will be called on to add your focus and insights into how California legislators should address small business issues, develop and support legislation and pro-active policy solutions to challenges faced by you as a small business owner. That is our strength; the force of informed small businesses acting together.
Small Business California