California Government Relations Update – June 2022 | McGuire Woods Consulting

Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate Speaker Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon revealed their joint $300 billion spending plan for the 2022-2023 fiscal year after months of debate. The relief plan includes a suspension of diesel sales tax, which will reduce the price by 23 cents per gallon. The budget does not include a suspension of the state gasoline tax, which will increase by three cents on July 1.

The focal point of the bill is a $17 billion package that includes direct payments to about 23 million Californians. Households earning up to $75,000 for individuals or $150,000 for joint filers would receive $350 per taxpayer, plus an additional $350 if they have at least one dependant. Households earning more than $75,000 but less than $125,000 — or $250,000 for joint filers — would receive $250 per taxpayer and $250 or $200 if they have at least one dependant. The tax refund will not be tied to owning a vehicle, as Newsom previously wanted. Low- and middle-income taxpayers and families with children will receive more money than higher-income earners. In addition, $1.1 billion will be distributed to recipients of Complementary Social Security or CalWORKs. Californians likely won’t get a discount until October.

Many details of the budget bill were outlined in “trailer bills” released over the weekend. These bills can include major policy changes seemingly unrelated to the budget and are drafted without public scrutiny. The Legislative Assembly is considering these bills in hearings that began on June 27 and will likely approve many of them before leaving for summer recess on July 1.

National elections

California’s primary election took place on June 7, but ballots continue to be counted after Election Day during the solicitation period. County election officials must report final official results to the Secretary of State by July 8, and the Secretary of State will certify the results on July 15. Republican Sen. Brian Dahle will advance to a runoff in November with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has held a comfortable lead in the race. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled, succumbing to a confluence of crime problems and massive opposition spending. His loss is a blow to the national progressive prosecution movement.

Current Attorney General Rob Bonta holds a comfortable lead in the race, with the main challenger, Republican U.S. Attorney Nathan Hochman, also advancing to the November runoff. Independent Anne Marie Schubert was unable to overcome her party bias and did not advance. Campaigns routinely consider an option with no party preference as a more viable choice, but this election demonstrated that California’s more than five million Republicans tend to toe the party line.

Republican Lanhee Chen will advance in the race for state controllers, as one of the GOP’s hottest prospects in November, and will face Democrat Malia Cohen, chair of the state equalization board. In the race for the US Senate, Senator Alex Padilla and Mark Meuser, a Republican constitutional attorney, will qualify for November’s general and special elections.

Broadband

The California Legislature has authorized the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to collect information on Internet company operators through a few recent statutes, including SB 156. The state mandate has sparked a standoff with Internet companies about legislative orders requiring them to share their customers’ addresses. with officials. The mandate aims to show which households do not have internet, as authorities attempt to provide universal broadband across the state. CPUC has been trying for months to persuade internet companies to share addresses and internet speeds of their broadband customers; carriers refused to meet the June 1 deadline.

Internet companies argued that providing addresses and broadband services purchased by their customers would violate confidentiality and privacy concerns and also jeopardize proprietary trade secrets. Some legislative members are concerned that having incomplete state broadband data will undercut the federal dollars allocated to California broadband expansion.

Work

SB 1162, introduced by Senator Monique Limón, builds on a 2020 law that requires companies with 100 or more employees, including one based in California, to report their workforce demographics annually in state in all job categories and pay bands in California. Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The proposed bill would require the DFEH to expand its reporting to include wage data from specific companies and would require employers to provide data on median and average hourly rates paid by race, ethnicity and gender. In addition to salary data, private companies with more than 15 employees would be required to include the salary range for a position advertised in a job posting. SB 1162 would enact the most comprehensive pay transparency law in the United States and would affect companies headquartered inside and outside of California. The proposal made it through two Senate committee hearings and is now heading to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Bernard P. Love