As Legislature reconvenes, businesses hone the art of the deal

Sacramento_CapitolWhat’s business looking for in the remaining legislative session and what kind of deals are being discussed to get there?

A number of large business organizations have offered support for funding sources to be used for transportation infrastructure purposes on one hand, while on the other strongly opposed both general and specific tax measures such as a property tax increases on commercial property (SCA5) and making it easier to raise local taxes (ACA4).

Some in the business community probably hope that support for transportation revenue may be balanced with other tax measures and other bills meeting a dead end.

The focus on the minimum wage issue, so recently debated in cities and counties, will come back to the state capitol (Senate Bill 3) along with concerns for rising workers compensation costs. Capitol-centered business interests will argue a double whammy on the economy with minimum wage increases and rising workers comp costs. They will try to find a solution to workers comp increases while leaving the politics of minimum wage to local jurisdictions.

The saga of environmental regulations and the resulting costs imposed on businesses will continue to be played out, especially focused on fuel costs if petroleum reduction measure SB350, and an increased greenhouse gas regulation (SB32) become law.

The California Chamber of Commerce is monitoring its list of Job Killer bills as it does every year.

Business is not a monolith, however. Small business and big business may express different views and even within these broad business categories there are differences of opinion. That could complicate the drive to find common ground with the Legislature and governor.

Business often survives on the art of the deal – a negotiation that leads to a gain for both sides of the negotiation. Similarly, government is said to advance on the art of compromise. So will broad business interests achieve certain goals while satisfying the powers-that-be under the capitol dome?

You can bet the discussions are already taking place. As to the results — we shall see.

2 comments

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  1. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 18 August, 2015, 09:11

    Business (especially big business) seems willing to compromise on increasing transportation taxes in exchange for killing off “split roll” Prop 13 changes. But one problem with such deals is that it holds only the LEGISLATURE responsible.

    After the deal is done and transportation taxes raised, the UNIONS are free to put split roll (or any other tax increase) on the ballot via the initiative process. It costs maybe $2.5 million to do so — chump change for the most powerful group in California.

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  2. Queeg
    Queeg 18 August, 2015, 20:23

    Richie is right. Unions and big business are not your friends nor plutocrats and tech trinket importers.

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