Yesterday, both houses of the California State Legislature dealt with hundreds of bills on their fiscal committee’s “Suspense File.”
Any bill that has a significant cost to the state’s General Fund, generally $150K or more, goes to Suspense. This ostensibly allows the committee members to get a full picture of new costs to the state, prioritize requests, and limit the impact on public funds for new legislative initiatives.
However, the business community has long complained that this process does not also consider costs to private sector companies or impact on jobs – both of which have an indirect impact on the state budget. Even with that, the Suspense File is a place where bills we oppose tend to stall.
Over 950 bills were collectively on Suspense. The Senate held 48 (13%) while the Assembly held 171 (28%). Here are few of the bills held by the committee:
AB 2829 (Low) Certified Access Specialist Inspection Grant Program. (SUPPORT)
The bill would authorize small businesses, defined to mean a business with fewer than 50 employees, as specified, with a physical property in the state, to apply for a grant for a CASp inspection of the small business’s property, in an amount equal to the actual cost of the inspection, not to exceed $3,000 per inspection. The bill would require the State Architect to develop an application and to develop criteria to evaluate and award the grants, as specified, and would require the State Architect to annually submit a report to the Legislature on the results of the program.
AB 1679 (Fong) Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development: California Business Investment Services Program: Supply Chain Senior Advisor. (SUPPORT)
This bill would require the director to appoint a Supply Chain Senior Advisor within the office to be the principal advocate in the state for the interests of business and industry related to supply chain development and operation and to advise the director on legislation, administrative regulations, and other issues affecting the state’s supply chain.
AB 1858 (Quirk-Silva) Substandard buildings. (OPPOSE)
Extends existing inspections and code enforcement to any buildings used for human habitation, regardless of zoning, and creates tenant protections when buildings are deemed unsafe. The language is vague enough to include your properties.
AB 2570 (Daly) Unemployment insurance: Unemployment Fraud. (SUPPORT)
This bill would make a one-time transfer of $7,250,000,000 from the General Fund to the Unemployment Fund for the purpose of paying down outstanding debt in that fund.