Over the last year and half, Democrats in the California Legislature introduced 33 proposals to raise taxes and fees on hard working Californians. Altogether, these bills would have cost Californians more than $269 billion a year. That would have doubled what taxpayers already pay.
Capitol Democrats regularly ram costly and ineffective laws and regulations through the Legislature. These bad bills have forced many family owned businesses to leave the state or close their doors for good.
With these poor policies in place, it’s no surprise that California’s tax climate ranked 48th in the nation in a 2018 report by the Tax Foundation. The state also came in dead last in the nation for individual income taxes, according to the same report.
While the majority party in the Legislature continues to ignore the needs of small businesses and ordinary Californians, my Republican colleagues and I will not. We have fought against harmful bills and I want to share with you a few bad for business proposals that we have successfully killed this year.
For starters, Capitol Democrats attempted to ban the sale of gas-powered engine vehicles in the state. All new cars registered in the state would have had to qualify as a zero emission vehicles. Business owners, farmers and families across California would have needed to overhaul their entire transportation means at a cost that many would not have been able to afford. Thankfully, this attack on drivers fell short and Californians don’t have to worry about the restriction.
Another proposal would have punished employers with large fines for making a minor payroll error. California already has strong laws on the books against wage theft. This bill would have created drastic penalties for even minor, unintentional payroll errors. Thanks to strong opposition, the bill failed to make it through the Assembly Business and Finance Committee. Sacramento needs to encourage a culture that helps businesses succeed, rather than burdening them with costly penalties every step of the way.
Last on this list, but certainly not least, is a proposal that would have taken away a business’s ability to provide a safe, drug-free workplace for its employees. Democrat lawmakers pushed a bill to require businesses to provide a safe space for workers to use medical marijuana on the job. This proposal could have created hazardous and unsafe conditions with workers under the influence of marijuana allowed near heavy machinery. Although it didn’t make it through the Legislature, the proposal may be heard at a later date. We will continue fighting to ensure Californians feel safe and secure at the workplace.
These are just a few of the bills introduced this year that would have hurt our state’s economic backbone. California is already one of the hardest states to do business. The list of companies abandoning the Golden State continues to grow. Even large corporations like Carl’s Jr., Toyota, Nissan and Jamba Juice have fled for better business climates. If these giants struggled in our state, imagine the pains small businesses are suffering.
We need to continue to battle against the anti-business culture in the Capitol. Sacramento must start treating entrepreneurs and employers as friends and work together to help them succeed. My Republican colleagues and I are fighting to make sure they get the treatment and respect they need to thrive in our state. California and our businesses deserve better.
Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle serves the 1st district in the California Legislature, which includes all or parts of Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.