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Microbusiness Bills in the 2021-22 California Leg Season

The 2022-23 legislative session was successful for CAMEO. CAMEO supported 17 bills, 11 were signed into law by Governor Newsom, and 6 bills died in the legislative process. Out of the 17 bills, 9 were CAMEO priority bills, meaning they had direct impact on our members , the microbusiness ecosystem or small and micro businesses (6 passed, 3 died).  CAMEO often weighs in on other bills that have to do with economic development, consumer issues, and housing issues when a connection can be made to small business. We don’t go into the details of these bills, but summarize them for you at the end. We do not include the non-priority bills that died here.

Key highlights from our priority bills from the 2022-23 legislative session: 

Bills that have been signed:

Two bills that help food entrepreneurs

  • SB 907 (Pan): will increase healthy access to food markets by allowing for EBT processing at farmer’s markets across the state. This allows small agricultural producers to sell healthy food to low income families. 
  • SB 972 (Gonzalez): adds street vending to the California Food Retail Code. This is a great win for micro enterprise as California continues to expand more options for aspiring chefs. Read Carolina’s statement regarding the passage of SB 972

A bill that support the entrepreneurial ecosystem

  • SB 625 (Caballero and Limon): was put into the budget bill that passed. This effort will provide state grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) through the California Treasury Department to be used for organizational capacity building so that CDFIs can meet the increased demand for capital. 

A bill to help small business retain talent

  • SB 1126 (Cortese): will provide employers with five or less employees with the ability to provide their employees state backed retirement plans. This is important for very small businesses because it will allow them to provide a low cost, high value benefit, to attract new talent and retain existing employees.

A bill that will provide more state contracts to minority-owned small businesses

  • AB 2019 (Holden and Petrie-Norris): will require the CalOSBA small business liaison for the Department of General Services to develop an “economic equity first” action plan that would ensure small businesses are benefiting from the state’s procurement process. AB 2019 would also require CalOSBA to have a minimum 25% participation goal for small business, including micro business.

A responsible lending bill

  • AB 2433 (Grayson): will allow the DFPI to enforce regulations that DFPI enforces even after the bad actor stopped the bad actions that caused the DFPI action. 

Other bills we supported that are now law include:

  • SB 633 (Limon): requires a translator for consumer contracts when any signee is not proficient in English.
  • SB 951 (Durazo): revises the formula for computing State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage benefits from 60% to 90%.
  • SB 1002 (Portantino): deletes the requirement that an employee be referred by a licensed physician and surgeon to an Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and would require an employer to provide an employee with access to an LCSW.
  • SB 1407 (Becker): establishes the Employee Ownership Outreach and Technical Assistance Grant Program to fund education and outreach programs that increase awareness and technical assistance for employee ownership transitions.
  • AB 2342 (Cervantes): requires the Inter-Agency Leadership Team to include policies for grant funds to fund business and workforce investments in multiple sectors.

Bills that died:

  • SB 1324 (Durazo): would have established a set of rules and regulations for debt collectors to follow and prohibited debt collectors from operating in California without a license from the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) with the goal of preventing predatory debt collectors from operating in the state. 
  • AB 2269 (Grayson): would have required digital financial asset companies such as cryptocurrency exchanges to be licensed and overseen by DFPI, which would have provided necessary regulatory clarity for both industry and California consumers.
  • AB 2314 (Petrie-Norris): would have established a task force to examine the regulations, statutes, directives, and other requirements related to the Small Business Expansion Fund and California Capital Access Fund in order to determine whether the administration of those funds allows for the full participation of financial institutions and financial products that support small businesses, while preventing financial institutions and financial products from utilizing these funds if their practices or features do not support the long-term health of small businesses.  CAMEO sponsored the bill and will continue to work with Assemblymember Petrie-Norris’ office to further the responsible small business lending practices.

Written by Addison Peterson.