Advocacy

AMBayArea partners with California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), which works with state government to develop balanced laws, effective regulations and sound public policies to stimulate economic growth and create new jobs while safeguarding the state’s environmental resources. AMBayArea provides advocacy information from CMTA and similar organizations for education purposes and encourages members to do their own research on topics provided.

Capitol Update

Posted September 16, 2021 – Via cmta.net

Costly climate change bill defeated, and CMTA turns to economy-wide regulatory scoping plan

On Friday night California manufacturers could breathe a sigh of relief as AB 1395 — a bill attempting to achieve California’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, but no later than 2045 — was defeated, garnering only 14 votes with 21 needed in the Senate. The vote followed very encouraging comments from legislators concerned about the economy and jobs.

CMTA’s advocacy team worked with many employer and labor groups on an effective engagement strategy. Early in the process we fought to get provisions in the bill to allow for carbon capture and storage, and optionality on technologies to allow for cost effectiveness and technological feasibility. Without those amendments and others the legislation was left with potentially devastating economy-wide impacts. Over the past two weeks we partnered with stakeholder groups in our advocacy and public facing campaigns to defeat the bill.

The bill has now been moved to the inactive file and can be brought up again next year. CMTA will remain engaged of course and will be prepared for 2022.  For now, we will focus our particular climate efforts on the massive Scoping Plan being developed at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the Governor’s Carbon Neutrality Executive Order. On that side of things, earlier last week CMTA also submitted a letter on behalf of 19 organizations asking CARB to provide functional optionality, allow carbon capture processes, and ultimately draft policies that are cost effective, as it rolls out economy-wide requirements to reach Governor Newsom’s Carbon Neutrality goal by 2045.  For three months, our regulatory working group has worked to refine our principles so we can speak with a unified voice in the rulemaking process for CARB’s Scoping Plan Update.

The potential impact of decisions made in this Scoping Plan process are unprecedented. California is a major player in the global economy, and our policy choices in this process will either inspire other jurisdictions to follow our lead or serve as a cautionary tale of the unintended consequences that come from results-oriented thinking. To achieve sustainable environmental benefits, California needs to do the former and avoid the latter, and CARB’s approach to modeling carbon neutrality scenarios is one of the most critical steps in achieving that outcome.

Here is a link to the first letter we submitted last week.

We are adding new supporters every week. Please let us know if your company is interested in lending it’s name to future letters.  We will keep you informed through this update on the dynamics of the Scoping Plan.

“Chasing Arrows” label reserved for only a few select recycling products

During the closing week of session, manufacturers opposed and lost on a bill that would prohibit a broad spectrum of packaging and consumer products from being labeled with the familiar “chasing arrows” recycling symbol or any other information deeming it recyclable, based on stringent criteria.

Ultimately SB 343 will lead to consumer confusion and stymie manufacturers’ efforts to recover and recycle packaging and consumer products to be used as post-consumer content in new packaging and products.

Some examples of products that can’t carry the label or provide consumer guidance are:

  • Temperature exchange equipment, such as fridges and air-conditioning units
  • Large screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 square centimeters
  • Large equipment such as washing machines, copy machines, rooftop solar panels
  • Small equipment such as vacuum cleaners, smoke detectors, clocks and watches
  • Small IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Reusable bags
  • Fresh produce plastic clamshells
  • All Packaging and products marked “Store Drop Off”
  • Film plastics despite the fact that new, domestic in-state infrastructure has come on line to support recycling / processing of this material

You can read more here about the challenges of the bill in a piece authored by Lance Hastings and placed in Capitol Weekly last week.  We will be urging the Governor to veto the bill.

COVID Vaccination bills get held up

After Assemblymember Buffy Wicks shelved her proposed vaccine verification bill until 2022, Assemblymember Low ran out of time on Wednesday night to approriately amend his bill for a vote before the end of session.

Both bills would generally require that all employers, both public and private sector, require all employees who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to show proof of vaccination or take a weekly COVID-19 test.

CMTA supported increased vaccination rates through the negotiation process but remained concerned about increased liability litigation and significant costs of service for employers.

Manufacturing Emergency Preparedness bill passes

Last year CMTA began to understand the need for manufacturing focused resources during emergencies, as it built and navigated the Association’s online “Safely Making California” exchange for California-made PPE. That’s why we are happy to report the passage of AB 1036 — CMTA’s “Manufacturing Maker” bill that provides support and relief to California manufacturers during emergencies and recoveries so we can maintain a reliable supply chain of essential goods. 

AB 1036 will better position manufacturers to meet the challenges of large scale emergencies. Modeled after existing incentive frameworks, the California Manufacturing Emergency Preparedness Act of 2021 creates a mechanism whereby manufacturers can seek loan guarantees and other funding assistance to retool, repurpose, and expand production and product distribution to maintain a reliable supply of essential goods during a declared state of emergency.

As a result, California-made products can remain available and accessible to our residents and aid in the successful response to declared emergencies.The program will be available to manufacturers of all sizes and would only become operative upon an appropriation from the Governor.

 

Carbon Neutrality at the Forefront in CA

Posted July 15, 2021 – Via cmta.net

On the heels of Governor Gavin Newsom asking the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to look at a Scoping Plan for California to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, there is a bill AB 1395 (Muratsuchi), which creates a brand new climate target of reducing greenhouse gases to 90 percent below 1990 levels by 2045.  The bill passed out of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on July 12th with a final vote of 5-2, and the bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. This measure would direct the Air Resources Board to establish new climate goals with no clear understanding of how much emission reductions will be necessary and what policies will be used to reduce those undefined emissions. The lack of carbon capture provisions in the bill were especially concerning.

CMTA President Lance Hastings testified in opposition alongside other employer groups and at least 20 representatives from different trade unions. Hastings testified on the intense concern about changing rules on large energy users and the economy as whole without any real plan for getting it done right.  The large coalition of opposition was impressive and showed the deep economy-wide apprehension for moving California forward on carbon neutrality plans without a viable strategy to accomplish the State’s goals in a cost-effective and technologically-feasible manner.

In the end, the bill’s opposition was so deep that Chairman Senator Allen stopped the testimony after the sixteen-minute time cap was reached. The Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee will be proposing future amendments to this measure in hopes of appeasing its opposition as it moves forward in the process.

AB 1395 is set to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee after the members return from summer reccess, and CMTA will continue its work alongside our coalition counterparts in opposition. We are also watching closely and will be engaging CARB’s Scoping Plan process for the Governor’s Carbon Neutrality mandates.  For any questions or concerns with AB 1395, please contact Dean Talley at dtalley@cmta.net.

Gov. Newsom Signs “Budget Bill jr.”

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a virtual “Budget Bill jr.” this week (SB 129) which reflects a majority portion of the 2021-22 State budget agreement.  Additional implementation and trailer bills are to follow.

The most important part so far for manufacturers is that, after months of advocacy, more than $50 million in additional funding was sent to the Employment Training Panel (ETP) program.  Through the ETP, CMTA has already funded more than $700k in training funds for its members in 2021, and this addition means there should be more money available in 2021-22 for your training and modernization.  (Contact Rob Sanger at rsanger@cmta.net if you are interested in applying for funds).

The Governor also approved in another trailer bill (AB 130) an additional $150 million in ongoing funds for career technical education incentive grants, which is something CMTA and the GetREAL Coalition have fought for over the past few years.  This means there will be more money for public high schools to introduce hands-on and career technical courses and equipment in our public high schools.  We hope this helps deliver students both to the workplace and to our University systems with more workplace relevant skills.

According to the Governor’s office, the overall Budget agreement, titled the $100 billion California Comeback Plan, does the following:

  • Provides immediate relief to Californians hit hardest by the pandemic
  • Confronts homelessness and the housing affordability crisis
  • Transforms public schools into gateways of opportunity
  • Bolsters wildfire resilience and tackling climate change
  • Builds the infrastructure of the next century

The “Budget Bill jr.” signing came two weeks into the new fiscal year which clearly indicates this year’s Budget process has been more confusing than ever.

View release HERE.

CA Gets New Secretary of Labor

Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Natalie Palugyai this week as California’s Labor Secretary.  Palugyai is California’s first Latina Labor Secretary and steps into this position with the departure of Secretary Julie Su, who was confirmed this week by the U.S. Senate to serve the Biden Administration as Deputy Secretary of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor.  

CMTA enjoyed a strong relationship with Secretary Su and looks forward to working with incoming Secretary Palugyai.  Her position is critical to manufacturers as it enforces workplace laws, combats wage theft, ensures health and safety on the job, connects Californians to quality jobs and career pathways, and administers unemployment insurance, workers compensation and paid family leave. 
 
View press release HERE.

 

Potential Manufacturing Help from Governor’s May Revised Budget Proposal

Posted May 20, 2021 – Via cmta.net

Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his massive $100 billion California Comeback Budget Plan within his May Revison proposal of the Budget. The Plan outlines strategies and major investments in key areas so that California can come back from the pandemic. 

Gov. Newsom’s Administration lists the following as his ultimate goals:

  • Providing immediate relief for those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Confronting the homelessness and housing affordability crisis
  • Transforming public schools into gateways for opportunity
  • Building infrastructure for the next century
  • Combating wildfires and tackling climate change

Below are some quick CMTA highlights of items that could impact manufacturers positively. 

  • $50 million for the expansion of the Employment Training Panel fund to train workers in competitive leakage-prone industries. (See CMTA Statement). The increase means a lot to your ability to obtain funding to train your facility workers.
  • $750 million for regional collaboratives to plan and implement quality job creation and workforce strategies in sectors or regions most affected by the state’s transition to carbon neutrality.
  • $250 million to help the industrial sector with energy efficiencies.
  • $115 million for High Road Training Partnerships to upskill current workforce.
  • $125 million renewal of the Food Production Investment Program to help reduce the use of energy in the food processing sector.
  • $1.1 billion commitment to pay down California’s Unemployment Insurance liability.
  • $147 million for Main Street Hiring Credit to assist firms who made hires during the current fiscal year.
  • $180 million expansion of CalCompetes tax credit allocations.
  • $250 million CalCompetes grant program for businesses that promise to meet one of the following four criteria: establish at least 500 net new jobs; make a significant infrastructure investment; commit to a high-need, high-opportunity area of the state; or receive a designation from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development that the application is a strategic priority of the state.

Here’s a link to the entire Proposal Document.  CMTA will be exploring ways to ensure the manufacturing community can benefit from these funding streams.

Here’s the context from the Governor’s five press conferences leading up to today:

On Thursday, May 13, Governor Newsom unveiled $1.5 billion in the state’s COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant program. That’s in addition to Governor Newsom’s $6.2 billion tax cut for those businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, the largest state tax cut of its kind in history. Read more here.

On May 12, Governor Newsom announced $20 Billion in investments for Transforming Public Schools as Gateways to Equity & Opportunity. Read more here.

On May 11, Governor Newsom announced a historic $12 Billion package to confront the Homelessness Crisis. This investment will provide 65,000 people with housing placements, more than 300,000 people with housing stability and create 46,000 new housing units. Read more here

On May 10, Governor Newsom announced the largest State tax rebate in American history, including unprecedented investments to address the state’s most persistent challenges, starting with nearly $12 billion in direct cash payments to Californians hit hardest by the pandemic. Read more here.

On May 10, Governor Newsom also announced a $5.1 Billion package for Water Infrastructure and Drought Response as part of the $100 Billion California Comeback Plan. Read more here

Rep. John Garamendi and U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Mike Braun Reintroduce Made in America Act

Posted April 14, 2021 – Press Release Via Garamendi.house.gov
Bipartisan and Bicameral Legislation Would Strengthen Buy American Requirements for Taxpayer-funded Infrastructure Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA03) and U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mike Braun (R-IN) reintroduced the “Made in America Act” to strengthen “Buy America” requirements for all major federally funded infrastructure projects to support American businesses, manufacturers, and workers.

The “Made in America Act” identifies federal programs that fund infrastructure projects not currently subject to “Buy America” standards and ensures that building materials used in these taxpayer-funded projects, including steel and iron, are produced domestically. When certifying that materials used in construction are “Made in America,” the bill requires the U.S. Department of Commerce to ensure that their manufacturing processes support American jobs.

“Congress is poised to make the most significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure in nearly half a century. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance commonsense ‘Buy American’ and ‘Make it in America’ policies to rebuild and modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure with American workers and materials. This will create thousands of good-paying jobs that can never be outsourced and make America competitive in the 21st century. I am thrilled to reintroduce the Made in America Act with Senators Baldwin and Braun to ensure that taxpayer dollars support domestic manufacturing and create new opportunities to grow the American middle-class,” said Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA).

“We need to make a bold investment that puts people to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and I want to make sure that we do it by supporting American workers and American manufacturers,” said Senator Baldwin (D-WI). “We should not spend taxpayer dollars on infrastructure projects that are not subject to Buy America requirements. My legislation will make sure we are buying what America makes when we rebuild our infrastructure.”

“After building a transportation and logistics company in Indiana, I know firsthand how the Made in America Act will help businesses and workers in our country,” said Senator Braun (R-IN). “This legislation ensures taxpayer dollars help American business owners, which is especially important as we recover from the global pandemic.”

Congressman Garamendi met with President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Buttigieg in Oval Office to express his support for including strong “Buy American” standards in the infrastructure package Congress is currently developing with the White House.

House Original Cosponsors: Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH09), Mark Pocan (D-WI02), Cheri Bustos (D-IL17), Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL09), Cynthia Axne (D-IA03), Tim Ryan (D-OH13), Paul Tonko (D-NY20), Frank J. Mrvan (D-IN01), David N. Cicilline (D-RI01)

The “Made in America Act” is supported by AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), United Steelworkers, Alliance for American Manufacturing, American Foundry Society, Forging Industry Association, Non-Ferrous Founders Society, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), and International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC).

The text of the House legislation is available here.

CMTA President Testifies in Jobs Committee

Posted April 5, 2021 from CMTA.net

Lance Hastings testified recently in the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and Economy Committee regarding CMTA’s Manufacturing “Maker Bill” AB 904 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson. It’s an increase in the cap on a manufacturing equipment purchase tax credit.

Here are some specifics on the bill itself:

The bill would amend Sections of the Revenue and Taxation Code. As a tax levy, the bill would take effect immediately upon chaptering. Section One of the bill would amend Revenue and Taxation Code Section 17039.3 (in the personal income tax law) to include the credit allowed by Section 17053.50 relating to credit for manufacturers’ machinery and equipment to the $5 million cap on the use of business tax credits between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022. Section Two of the bill would add Revenue and Taxation Code Section 17053.50 (in the personal income tax law) to provide a tax credit for eleven years for qualified taxpayers for a percentage of the amount paid for qualified personal tangible personal property up to $1 million. The credit would be allowed from tax years beginning January 1, 2021 through 2031. The bill would define the terms “fabricating,” “manufacturing,” “primarily,” “processing,” “qualified business,” “qualified personal tangible property,” “qualified taxpayer,” “refining,” and “useful life.” A “qualified business” would be defined as a business described in Sector Codes 31 to 33, inclusive, of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) published by the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 2017 edition. “Qualified personal tangible property” would be defined as including items such as machinery and equipment, including component parts, and equipment or devices used or required to operate, control, regulate, or maintain the machinery. It would also include special purpose buildings and foundations.

Contact Lawrence Gayden at lgayden@cmta.net if you have any questions regarding AB 904.

Hastings also testified on the need to secure more funding for California’s highly successful Employment Training Panel program to train manufacturers and our future workforce, and CMTA is part of a coalition to increase this funding.

You can watch the testimony here.

Report: PAGA lawsuits mean less for worker, more for attorneys

Posted April 5, 2021 from CMTA.net

The California Business and Industry Association released a revealing report recently on the impacts of California’s broad and challenging Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), which authorizes employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. The Act creates a path for a type of class action lawsuit in place of a proper complaint hearing decided by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA).

According to the report the current average payment a worker receives from a PAGA case decided by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) is 95 percent greater than for a PAGA case filed with a court — $4,100 from an LWDA-decided case, versus $2,100 from a court case. 

Even though workers are receiving higher awards from LWDA-decided cases, employers are paying 60 percent less per award. On average employers pay $504,000 per LWDA-decided case and $1,232,000 per PAGA court case.

LWDA-decided cases do not award attorneys’ fees, which contributes significantly to the huge difference in award amounts between LWDA-decided cases and PAGA court cases. Attorneys who file PAGA cases with a court are compensated with fees that represent 33% or more of the workers’ total recovery, coming to more than $405,000 per case on average. 

CMTA remains committed to finding and advocating for PAGA reforms to ensure that aggrieved workers receive proper restitution and that employers get a fair hearing under the LWDA system.

You can read the report here.

Manufacturing “Maker” Bill AB 904

Posted March 9, 2021 from CMTA.net

CMTA’s flagship legislation has arrived. Our ultimate Manufacturing “Maker” bill, AB 904 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson, seeks a more competitive environment by requiring a manufacturing exemption from California’s existing $5 million equipment and R&D tax credit cap.

For decades the driving engine of California’s economy has been manufacturing. Fueled by the state’s research, technological and intellectual resources, California has grown to employ more manufacturers than any other state.  But that growth is stagnant and we are losing manufacturing investments for mass scale production to other states. With a 1.8 percent decline in manufacturing jobs since the recession in California compared to the rest of the nation’s 8.0 percent increase, we have work to do. Which is why we are focusing on this bill and others to provide an incentive for new and existing manufacturers to scale up facilities here in the Golden State. The production sector is a primary pathway to the middle class for many working families.  This point will be emphasized as CMTA works to get the bill passed.

“California manufacturers consistently innovate, and research and develop products here, but we must find a way to provide those companies operational cost relief so they can compete and invest more in longterm production here in the State,” said bill author Assemblymember Tim Grayson. “With CMTA’s great partnership and lots of early support on this legislation I think we have a real chance at helping manufacturers create high quality opportunities for California‘s working families.”

 

Details on what the AB 904 adjusts in the tax code:

Section 1 and Section 3 – Exemption from Tax Credit Cap

Revenue & Tax Code Sections 17039.3 (PIT – amended) and 23036.3 (CIT – added)

adds the term “qualified business credit” to exempt the manufacturing machinery and equipment tax exemption from the $5 million cap.

Section 2 and Section 4 – Manufacturing Tax Credit Revenue & Taxation Code Sections 17053.50 (PIT – added) and 23650 (CIT – added)

– Tax credit on “qualified personal tangible property,” as defined, to a “qualified taxpayer” for up to $1M

– Definitions to describe the processes

– Definition of “qualified business” is limited to Manufacturing NAICS codes

-“Qualified personal tangible property” defined as:

  • Machinery and equipment
  • Equipment/devices to control, maintain, operate the machinery
  • Used in pollution control
  • Special purpose buildings/foundations used as integral part of manufacturing

Does not include:

  • Consumables with useful life less than one year
  • Furniture, inventory
  • Equipment used in extraction process
  • Equipment used to store finish product
  • Primarily used in administration, general mgmt. and marketing

– “Qualified taxpayer” defined as MFG on or after 1/1/20

– Defines “useful life” as one or more years

– Tax credit percentage

  • 6% for MFG with 99 or fewer employees
  • 5% for MFG with 100+ employees

– Carryover until credit exhausted and not beyond 1/1/35 for smaller MFG or 1/1/34 for larger MFG.

 

Section 5 – Legislative declarations re goal, purpose and objectives of the bill

– To incentivize, attract/retain and support recovering small/medium-sized companies.

– Measurements – FTB prepare written report re utilization to be shared with relevant legislative fiscal committees.

National Apprenticeship Act of 2021

Posted February 4, 2021 from Manufacturing Institute

Tomorrow, the House will vote on H.R. 447 – National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. The bill codifies many of the existing rules on registered apprenticeships while also making improvements to the registration system, creates a National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships and authorizes over $3 billion over five years for the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs. In addition to streamlining some of the reporting requirements that have long been burdensome for manufacturers that want to support a registered apprenticeship program, we worked with the committee to add language that ensures that program costs, including new machinery and equipment, were included as allowable costs for all grant dollars. We appreciate Congresswoman Slotkin’s (D-MI-8) amendment that addressed that concern. Due to these improvements in the overall registered system, The Manufacturing Institute is supportive of the bill. You can read our letter of support here. For more information on the bill, here is a section-by-section on the bill and a fact sheet.

Manufacturing Institute Workforce & Education Policy Committee
The MI Workforce and Education Policy Committee will hold its next meeting on Friday, February 12, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EST via Zoom.  RSVP Online

New COVID OSHA Regulations

Posted November 20, 2020 from CMTA.net

After a lengthy hearing yesterday, the Cal OSHA Standards Board unanimously voted (6-0) to adopt the emergency regulation on COVID-19 workplace prevention standards. Thank you to all who answered our ongoing survey and responded with comments.

CMTA’s Nicole Rice testified on the following topics concerning the impact to manufacturers:

  • Timing of regulation did not afford adequate stakeholder engagement, which would have identified and possibly corrected inconsistencies and implementation challenges for manufacturers.
  • Emergency rule was unnecessary given the myriad of existing laws, including SB 1159 (COVID-19 workers comp presumption), AB 685 (COVID-19 exposure notice requirement) and the Cal OSHA sectorial and general industry COVID-19 guidance that the Division has been enforcing for months.
  • Many of the engineering and administrative control mandates are infeasible in a manufacturing/industrial setting with controlled environments.
  • Manufacturers need flexibility in implementation to balance workplace safety with operational integrity.
  • The overly broad testing mandate is excessive and will be extremely costly to manufacturers. Additionally, the outbreak definitions do not align with existing statutory requirements and will result in confusion and compliance challenges. For example, which rule are we to follow – state, local, federal, Cal OSHA??

The regulation now heads to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for approval. They have 10 calendar days to act. While OAL could find that the rule exceeds Cal OSHA’s authority and reject it (sending it back to the Division for additional editing), that outcome is highly unlikely as their involvement is usually pro forma. If approved, regulation would go into effect on November 29, 2020 and remain in effect for 180 days with the possibility of two 90-day extensions.

At the Board’s request, we anticipate that staff will convene an advisory committee on the regulation as early as next month (December) to address many of the concerns raised by CMTA and other industry representatives during the meeting.

CMTA will continue to engage in and monitor this process and update you with more information on future actions to mitigate the impacts on California manufacturers.

For more updates, visit cmta.net.

Prop 15 Split Roll Property Tax Measure 

California Proposition 15

Posted September 2020

The Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative (Prop 15), is on the ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 3, 2020.

Since manufacturing facilities make up a substantial portion of the square footage of industrial properties in the Bay Area, AMBayArea wants to ensure manufacturers are aware of this proposition.

Resources:

 

The Association of Manufacturers Bay Area (AMBayArea) is providing this information for educational purposes and encourages members to do their own research on the topics provided.