California businesses are mobilizing against a number of costly policies exacerbated by inflation, high fuel prices and skyrocketing costs of doing business in the state.

Far West Equipment Dealers Association joined business coalitions to support ballot issues voters are expected to decide in November:

California Car Dealers Assn. Matches Contributions for PAGA Replacement

Advocates for Californians for Fair Pay and Accountability say California needs a better way to resolve claims and labor code disputes without lengthy and costly lawsuits authorized by the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) in 2016. PAGA settlements totaled about $5 billion over the past five years and have entitled employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations.

The advocate group says workers walk away with pennies while lawyers get millions of dollars following years of litigation before resolution by the courts. “In a recent settlement, for example, attorneys made $21 million while the wronged employees only received $108 each,” according to Californians for Fair Pay and Accountability. “Family-run businesses and nonprofits have become major targets for predatory lawsuits that are often for minor technical violations of the 800+ page labor code.”

Proponents of the ballot measure seek to replace the PAGA system with employment enforcement by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. The Act would create additional penalties where not already provided by statutes but it prohibits “stacking” penalties; all proceeds go to the employee. It would also create a mechanism for confidential consultations and binding compliance while prohibiting the outsourcing of enforcement duties and actions.

If approved by voters the measure would:

  • Resolve workers’ claims faster under the Labor Commissioner
  • Eliminate shakedown lawsuits
  • Avoid prolonged and costly court cases
  • Provide penalty payments to workers, not lawyers or the state

Backers say they have 50 percent of signatures needed to place measure on the ballot and they’re confident they will be successful in collecting the sufficient signatures by the deadline. California New Car Dealers are matching any contributions to the committee dollar-for-dollar, so any contribution will be doubled. DEADLINE TO QUALIFY is June 30, 2022, signatures should be turned in 60 days prior to the deadline for verification purposes.

FWEDA urges dealers to contribute online or as follows:

For check donations, please make your check payable to:

Californians for Fair Pay and Employer Accountability, sponsored by farmers, small businesses, independent restaurants and nonprofit organizations

ID: 1442822

455 Capitol Mall, Suite 600

Sacramento, CA 95814

For wire donations, please use the following information:

Californians for Fair Pay and Employer Accountability, sponsored by farmers, small businesses, independent restaurants and nonprofit organizations

Account #: 5799671382

ABA #: 122232109

California Bank & Trust

550 S. Hope Street, Suite 100

Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 228-1709

Funding details at https://www.fppc.ca.gov/

Tax Revenues Double in a Decade: TPA Would Restrict Taxes and Fees 

To help mitigate the cost-of-living crisis currently enveloping California, the California Business Roundtable (CBRT), proposes the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act (TPA), an initiative for the 2022 ballot that would give voters more say in future state taxes and place more restrictions on the implementation of fees and charges.

“The voters are owed the opportunity to be able to make the final decision about whether they want future taxes, and what kind of taxes,” Robert Lapsley, president of the CRBT, said. “Given that they pay them on all of these things.”

California has witnessed a sharp rise in taxes over the past decade with tax revenue increasing by 113% from $122.5 billion (FY 10-11) to 261.5 billion (FY 22-23 proposed budget), and state fees/charges increasing by 57% over the same period.

The TPA would not cut current state tax rates or spending. Instead, it gives voters more power over future tax increases by:

  • Ensuring all future state tax increases are passed by a majority of voters after a 2/3 majority vote by the legislature and the governor’s signature. 
  • Requiring local, citizen-sponsored tax increases to be passed with a 2/3 majority vote.
  • Prohibiting unelected officials, like the California Air Resource Board, from imposing charges or fees; it places that responsibility onto a majority vote in both houses of the legislator along with the governor’s signature.
  • Broadening the definition for a “tax” in the state constitution to include, what is currently defined as fees or charges.
  • Requiring a legally enforceable use of funds, tax rate, and duration disclaimer on the ballot for any tax propositions.

The California Business Roundtable, with a majority of funding from Kilroy Reality, Douglas Emmett Properties, and the Western National Group, are circulating petitions for signatures to place the Act on the ballot in November.

Nearly 1 million signatures are needed by August 2. Join the coalition to help get the act on the ballot in November.

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