Glenn Morris, President/CEO, Santa Maria Valley Chamber
As the leading voice for business in the Santa Maria Valley, the Chamber’s board regularly advocates for legislation that will help advance economic vitality and against proposals that make it more difficult for entrepreneurs and businesses of all size to create jobs and investment in our economy.
Legislation that can impact businesses and the economic playing field in California can come from several directions. Most commonly, new laws and rules come via legislation passed by the Assembly and Senate and signed by the Governor. Frequently, businesses are impacted by regulatory decisions made by various agencies acting under their delegated authority. More and more, legislative mandates now come from voters, acting directly to approve or reject ballot propositions.
This fall, California voters will decide seven (7) measures via the general election ballot. Based on recommendations from the Chamber’s Business/Government Roundtable, the Chamber Board of Directors chose to issue a vote recommendation on two (2) propositions that we determined would have significant and direct negative impacts on the business climate of our state.
Proposition 29: Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative (Requires On-Site Licensed Medical Professional at Kidney Dialysis Clinics & Establishes Other State Requirements)
Chamber Recommendation: OPPOSE
Essentially a repeat of a proposition which was defeated in 2020 with over 60% of voters voting no, this initiative would require dialysis clinics to have at least one physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant on site while patients are being treated. It would also impose new reporting requirements and ownership disclosures. Finally, the initiative would require clinics to obtain permission from the State of California before closing or reducing services and prohibit clinics from refusing to care for patients based on their payment source.
The Chamber opposes this proposition based on the following reasons:
The initiative would increase costs, and potentially reduce access, for patients who rely on dialysis treatment. The Legislative Analyst’s Office stated that the proposition would result in “… increased state and local health care costs … resulting from increased dialysis treatment costs.”
Requiring physicians to oversee treatments is unnecessary. Dialysis treatment is prescribed by a patient’s physician and administered by specially trained nurses and technicians.
Proposition 30: Wealth Tax to Support Clean Air Programs (Provides Funding for Programs to Reduce Air Pollution and Prevent Wildfires by Increasing Tax on Personal Income over $2 Million
Chamber Recommendation: OPPOSE
While presented as an initiative to raise funds to support zero emission vehicles and wildfire prevention activities, this proposition is essentially a tax increase. The proposition indicates that revenues raised by this increased tax rate would be used to subsidize the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, fund investments in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, and pay for wildfire suppression and prevention programs.
The Chamber supports the goals highlighted by the proposition, but opposes this proposition based on the following reasons:
California already has the highest personal income tax, gas tax, and sales tax rates in the country. This initiative would make that status worse, at a time when inflation and other economic headwinds already threaten to push our economy into a recession.
California is already investing in the activities called out by the proposition. In announcing his opposition to the initiative, Governor Newsom pointed out that “… just this year our state committed $10 billon for electric vehicles and infrastructure.”
California has the resources to support investments in these policy choices. The 2021 fiscal year ended with the state realizing a $97 billion surplus, indicating that the challenge is for the legislature to prioritize how current revenues can be used to address these objectives.
Remaining Propositions. While the Chamber does not have a specific position on the remaining five (5) propositions on the November ballot, we strongly encourage members of our community to become educated about these issues and to exercise their right to vote. These propositions include:
Proposition 1: Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom
Proposition 26: Allows In-Person Roulette, Dice Games, Sports Wagering on Tribal Lands
Proposition 27: Allows Online and Mobile Sports Wagering Outside Tribal Lands
Proposition 28: Provides Additional Funding for Arts & Music Education in Public Schools
Proposition 31: Referendum on 2020 Law that would Prohibit the Retail Sale of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products
Additional Resources. In addition to websites and campaign materials created by the proponents and opposition to each individual propositions, the Chamber recommends these sites as starting points for individuals looking for summaries and analysis of the proposals:
Legislative Analysis of Propositions: https://lao.ca.gov/BallotAnalysis/Propositions?date=11%2F8%2F2022
General Overview and Information about Propositions: https://ballotpedia.org/California_2022_ballot_propositions