Public Policy GuideThe Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce is a diverse organization of business professionals and civic leaders working together for a better Carlsbad and a thriving North County. In order to more effectively represent the Carlsbad business community, the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors recently adopted an update to our public policy guidelines to govern the Chamber’s positions on a wide variety of important issues. Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Platform Updated: December 18, 2019
COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATIONPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as an option for local-control energy procurement. POSITIONS:
- Support formation of a regional CCA to increase purchasing power, reduce risk, and spread overhead costs over a broad customer base
- Ensure governance of regional CCAs is fair, transparent, and equitable
- Ensure customers reserve the ability to opt-out of CCAs and choose a provider of last resort
- Ensure customers who remain with utilities do not bear the costs of customers exiting utilities for CCAs
- Ensure the development of a robust risk policy to ensure customers are protected from price volatility
- Advocate for an independent and accurate assessment of energy costs prior to CCA adoption
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote, preserve and enhance a positive business climate. POSITIONS:
- Support strategies that encourage manufacturing and growth industry clusters that produce high multiplier effects and strengthen global competitiveness.
- Support programs and legislation that will promote Carlsbad and North County as a location for business.
- Support a balanced regulatory climate that promotes economic growth with reasonable regulatory requirements.
- Support legislation, regulations and government agency actions that give full consideration to the rights of private property owners.
Education & Workforce DevelopmentPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a strong education system that meets the needs of business for an educated and highly skilled workforce. POSITIONS:
- Support the offering and expansion of new technology throughout the educational system.
- Support a strong education system at all levels with statewide, globally competitive academic and performance-based standards emphasizing English language capability, rigorous academic coursework, and practical workplace skills.
- Support locally determined priorities and implementation for attaining statewide academic standards.
- Support Local Control Funding.
- Support cooperative action among educators, the business community, parents, and community organizations as to education goals and priorities.
- Support safe and drug-free school environments.
- Support placing education and educational facilities as a high-level state funding priority.
- Support higher educational systems maintaining a strong balance between applied learning, research capability and theory.
- Support the offering of foreign language education, music, and arts throughout the educational system.
- Support adult retraining through incentive-based public and private sector programs.
- Support effective and timely communication between businesses and the education community to assure that education and training programs are closely linked to employer and labor market needs.
- Support one-stop resource centers that provide ready access to job markets, training, job opportunities, and prospective employers.
- Support the ability to form and operate Charter Schools.
ENERGYPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote the achievement of a reliable, safe, stable, and competitively priced energy system for businesses and consumers. POSITIONS:
- Support legislation to increase the long-term supply of power through new power plants, alternative energy sources, and diverse supply and delivery mechanisms.
- Support improvements in generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure required to support future statewide growth and reserve needs.
- Encourage close coordination between state and local regulatory agencies to ensure responsible protections for the environment while supporting reasonable growth needs.
- Support continued research, development and use of cleaner, alternate power sources.
- Support development of infrastructure and technology that enables adoption of clean transportation opportunities.
- Support projects and investments that increase electric system protection, safety, and reliability in the region.
- Support systems redundancy as a security measure.
- Support legislative and regulatory solutions that help employers and the state reduce greenhouse gas emission in the most cost-effective, technologically feasible manner while allowing flexibility to ensure a stable energy future.
EnvironmentPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote the protection of our environment without sacrificing economic prosperity or global competitiveness. CITY OF CARLSBAD SPECIFIC POSITIONS:
- Support the City of Carlsbad Growth Management Plan
- Support the City of Carlsbad Habitat Management Plan.
- Support proper, ongoing beach and lagoon maintenance.
- Support the involvement of business in developing environmental protection, pollution prevention and emission reduction strategies.
- Support environmental regulations that are based upon sound science and produce achievable, cost effective and measurable benefits to public health and the environment.
- Avoid unnecessary duplication of permits and enforcement.
- Clarify ambiguous guidelines and make them consistent.
- Reduce time and costs of compliance and reporting commensurate with legitimate benefits of program.
- Require economic cost/benefit and/or risk assessment analysis as a prerequisite to agency rulemaking and new legislation.
- Equitably spread the cost of compliance to society as a whole rather than the financial burden falling disproportionately on business and property ownership.
- Support consistency and coordination in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to streamline processes and curb abuses such as excessive litigation.
GOVERNMENT REFORMPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a continuous, ongoing review of the role of government in providing essential public services. POSITIONS:
- Support government which is streamlined and provides cost-effective services.
- Support the elimination of unfunded State and federal mandates.
- Support enactment of effective public pension reforms.
- Support local control where appropriate and beneficial to the community.
- Support a more equitable method of distribution of funding of local governments.
HealthcarePOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote healthcare policies that provide long-term control of both quality and cost of healthcare. POSITIONS:
- Support federal and state income tax deductions for expenses incurred by citizens who choose to self-procure health coverage in any form.
- Support tax deductions for businesses offering health coverage to employees.
- Oppose single-payer proposals to replace free enterprise with a government directed system.
- Oppose any mandates upon employer-provided, or forced employee healthcare coverage.
- Oppose governmental partial payments for services rendered through its managed health programs resulting in shifting of cost to the private sector.
- Support Medicare reforms with appropriate levels of reimbursement for hospitals, promote pay-for-performance for doctors, modernize the care provided through a prescription drug benefit, and preserve the overall solvency of the program.
- Allow companies to band together and form Small Business Health Plans that can negotiate lower prices and better choices than small businesses can find independently.
- Support healthcare programs based on quality, outcome data, and preventative care.
- Support innovative models of delivering healthcare.
- Support healthcare policies that encourage lower costs, higher quality outcomes and a better patient experience.
- Support local control, business innovation and lower regulatory burdens.
- Support government accountability for the health services the government is mandated by law to provide or fund.
Human ResourcesPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a safe workplace that protects worker’s rights and respects a flexible employment structure. POSITIONS:
- Oppose legislation that requires California employers to pay a “living wage” to entry level workers who would otherwise receive a “minimum wage” allowed by Federal law.
- Oppose legislation related to overtime pay in California that does not take into account the fact that employees have 24-hour access to business-related technologies and have a choice to access those technologies or not.
- Oppose legislation that requires an increase in “Exempt” employee salary thresholds that does not take into account the economic variations in industries, geographic location, business size, and non-profit status.
- Oppose legislation that does not allow solopreneurs, consultants, and others who want to maintain the right to be an independent contractor, to maintain that right.
- Oppose legislation that increases unnecessary administrative or financial burdens on employers, where the only remedies are employee lawsuits.
- Support legislation that specifically addresses the problems to be solved with remedies that do not promote lawsuits.
- Oppose legislation that impose vague safety rules not based on scientific data.
- Oppose legislation that impose benefit mandates on the employer.
- Support legislation that recognizes that benefits are a competitive tool for businesses to attract and retain employees.
- Oppose State legislation that conflicts with Federal regulations.
- Support State regulations that confirm to Federal regulations to prevent increased costs due to duplications and inconsistencies.
- Support legislation that promotes streamlining the workers’ compensations system, fraud reduction, and reduction of other workers’ compensation system abuses.
- Oppose providing unemployment benefits to striking workers.
- Oppose forcing businesses to release pay data to state agencies.
HOUSINGPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote policies that facilitate and assist the creation of a full range of housing options necessary to accommodate California’s population and economic growth. POSITIONS:
- Support policies to enhance Carlsbad’s ability to maintain local control by enabling housing production to meet legal requirements and stay ahead of state mandates.
- Oppose ballot-box land use planning.
- Support the use of Programmatic EIR’s that allow for streamlined environmental review for implementing projects.
- Support full disclosure of the impacts of local growth-controlled initiatives.
- Support full disclosure of the impacts of local development projects.
- Support fiscal rewards for communities in high job-growth areas for approving new housing.
- Encourage participation and awareness of Green Building technologies.
- Streamline and simplify approval processes.
- Oppose rent control expansion.
- Support the construction of low-income, moderate-income and middle-income housing through incentives.
- Support policies that streamline processing and reduce fees associated with adding Accessory Dwelling Units to our housing stock.
IMMIGRATIONPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a comprehensive national program that addresses border security, temporary worker programs, employment verification and enforcement, as well as a path to legal status. POSITIONS:
- Support a streamlined process for bringing in foreign-born skilled labor when businesses need it to meet skills gaps in their workforce.
- Support creating a clearly defined path to citizenship for foreign-born workers already legally in California and the United States and that are seeking proper legal channels to gain citizenship.
- Support strengthening national security by providing thorough screening of foreign workers and creating strong disincentives for illegal immigration.
- Support strengthening legislation and public policy by establishing clear, sensible immigration laws that are effectively and vigorously enforced.
- Support use of “E-Verify” and other technologies for employment verification.
INTERNATIONAL TRADEPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote international trade amongst our local and regional businesses. POSITIONS:
- Supports expansion of international trade as well as fast track, free trade agreements with foreign nations where national security and American companies’ proprietary rights are not compromised.
- Support global environmental protection policies that create a “level playing field” between U.S. and foreign trade partners, with input from small, medium and large local businesses.
- Support the extension of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a means to negotiate and approve trade agreements.
- Support legislation and programs that promote business investment in California and/or Carlsbad.
- Support continued funding of Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States.
- Support California conformity to federal intellectual property rights laws and regulations.
LEGAL REFORMPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote the elimination of lawsuit abuse and unwarranted or excessive litigation. POSITIONS:
- Support changes to existing case law and legislation, which will reduce frivolous lawsuits, reduce litigation fees, and speed the resolution of litigation without limiting the rights of business owners to protect their legal interests.
- Support legislation, which holds down the explosive growth in medical liability awards and insurance costs by limiting awards for non-economic damages.
- Support legislation, which protects businesses from frivolous employment-based claims and lawsuits, and the award of attorney fees to the prevailing party.
- Support capping punitive damages awards against small businesses, and change the joint and several or “deep pocket” laws so that defendants pay for damages according to their degree of fault.
- Support legislation and/or modification of case law that would restrict the award of lifetime future lost earnings paid to a wrongfully discharged employee.
- Support efforts that require proof of consumer injury as a basis for data breach and/or related litigation.
- Support the protection of “binding arbitration” if businesses choose to utilize this form of conflict resolution.
PRIVACY AND CYBERSECURITYPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Support legislation that protects consumer privacy without imposing unreasonable burdens on business. POSITIONS:
- Support legislation that protects businesses from unreasonable burdens associated with the California Consumer Privacy Act and other privacy related issues.
- Support legislations that mitigates against unintended negative impacts of CCPA and other privacy related policies on businesses and consumer.
PUBLIC SAFETYPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote measures enhancing the public safety of the businesses and residents of the city of Carlsbad. POSITIONS:
- Support a strong state, county and local public safety emergency response system including police, fire and medical treatment components that enhance community safety.
- Support programs that provide education about business, home and personal safety and protection.
- Support legislation to fix Prop 47 (the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014) and limit the number of times someone can be charged with a misdemeanor for stealing under $950 worth of value.
- Support legislation to fix Prop 57 (The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016) and clarify its definitions of “non-violent” crimes.
REGULATORY REFORMPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a simplified regulatory environment that is business-friendly. POSITIONS:
- Support measures that reduce administrative burdens on businesses created by regulations and permit requirements.
- Support mandatory periodic reviews of existing regulations.
- Support measures that require governing bodies to include input from the impacted businesses before promulgating regulations.
- Support measures that increase government accountability, including adequate opportunities to appeal regulatory decisions.
- Support programs that educate businesses on regulatory and permitting requirements and assist businesses in complying with those requirements.
SOLID WASTE/RECYCLINGPOLICY OBJECTIVES: Promote a balanced approach to solid waste management that does not unfairly burden the business community with high fees. POSITIONS:
- Support an equitable approach to solid waste handling fees.
- Support the partnership of the solid waste providers, the cities and private enterprise that recognize business’ efforts to recycle.
TAXES AND FEESPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a tax structure that encourages economic growth. BUDGET REFORM POSITIONS:
- Support legislation that requires the governor and legislature to permanently forfeit their pay and per diem for each day the state budget is overdue.
- Protect legislation that allocates funds to local governments in a fair and equitable manner.
- Support balanced local, state and federal budgets that reduce spending without shifting costs to or imposing mandates upon other levels of government.
- Support state security regulations conforming to federal regulations to prevent increased costs due to duplicities and inconsistencies.
- Support Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) to enhance access to private capital investment.
- Support the privatization of government services given that:
- It is demonstrated that the benefits achieved are long-term in nature.
- The safety and welfare of the public is protected.
- Private enterprises are able to provide the same or increased level of services with enhanced economic efficiency.
- Private enterprises are able to provide services at or above the service levels of government
- Support an across-the-board reduction in state business income taxes
- Support tax laws conforming to federal tax laws to assure comparable opportunities and to prevent costs due to duplicities and inconsistencies.
- Oppose inequitable, hidden or burdensome taxes and fees on business.
- Oppose taxes imposed on one group or tax base.
- Support simplification of the tax code.
TELECOMMUNICATIONSPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a communication infrastructure that supports the evolving needs of business and the community. POSITIONS:
- Encourage the development of universally available telecommunications products and services including the most recent technological advances.
- Support streamlining bureaucratic practices at all levels of government to remove costs from providers and ultimately consumers.
- Support the evolution of long term, sustainable, free market competition among all providers in all types of services.
- Support legislation and public policy that encourages investment in telecommunication infrastructure.
- Support the repeal of discriminatory or excessive telecommunication taxes and obsolete regulations that limit access to innovative services and choices.
- Support increasing the spectrum for innovative wireless services.
- Support limiting or eliminating burdensome regulation on telecommunications at all levels of government, but particularly the regulation of internet, or services on the internet.
- Support the build-out of wireless infrastructure.
TRANSPORTATIONPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a well-maintained community infrastructure supporting economic expansion, and the efficient movement of people, goods and services. POSITIONS:
- Support long-term and stable federal, state, county and local funding sources for road and highway improvements.
- Support the restoration of diverted funds back to highway accounts at federal, state and county levels, restoration of state diverted property taxes to local transportation agencies, and ongoing retention of locally generated funds in the area where generated.
- Support a reasonable balance between highway construction and mass transit improvements that improve mobility in both sectors.
- Support the extension of the runway at Palomar Airport
- Support the right of public agencies and Caltrans to contract with the private sector for professional services related to transportation.
- Support climate change laws and regulations that are cost-effective, technology neutral, and promote the use of market-based strategies to reduce Green House Gases (GHG).
- Only support changes to California’s state GHG laws that safeguard the economy while having a demonstratable impact on GHG reductions.
WATER SUPPLY AND STORM WATERPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote proper maintenance and management of water resources and water facilities. POSITIONS:
- Support the development and maintenance of clean and reliable water supplies (including desalination) supporting economic growth balanced with environmental protection.
- Support the county’s ability to purchase its fair share of water at a fair cost from various water agencies including Metropolitan Water District.
- Support water recycling development as a viable part of the region’s water supply portfolio.
- Support water conservation and retention efforts that consider the effects and needs of the business community.
- Support legislation, policies, and local projects leading to greater water reliability and independence (e.g., desalination), including water marketing, water transfers, and water storage.
- Support economically feasible environmental regulations that allow for the proper maintenance and management of water resources and water facilities.
- Support a long-term solution for the water conveyance challenges in the BAY Delta that ensures both the resiliency and equity of Southern California’s water supply.
- Support cooperation among water agencies leading to water management efficiencies and ultimately savings to ratepayers.
- Support for policies and local projects leading to water source and storage diversification.
- Support storm water pollution reduction measures that are innovative, outcome-based, and regional, and that fairly balance the needs of both the environment and affected businesses.
- Oppose programs that produce onerous storm water fines on businesses without opportunities to contest and correct problems.
WELFARE REFORMPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote a system of welfare accountability that reduces dependence on Government subsidies. POSITIONS:
- Support employers’ active involvement with policy makers in developing welfare reform implementation strategies involving welfare-to-work transitions.
- Support job training and workforce preparation activities, actively engaging in efforts linking job training and education to future job growth.
- Support job creation and hiring incentives that encourages employers to hire welfare workers.
- Support welfare reform legislation that includes protection for employers for Unemployment Insurance (UI), Workers’ Compensation and State Disability Insurance (SDI).
- Support programs that have identifiable time frames, and when appropriate, sunset provisions.
- Support welfare reform legislation that requires the recipient to work concurrently with receipt of welfare funds, unless excused by physical or mental disability.
- Support welfare reform legislation related to the use of food vouchers, among other things, to limit use at grocery stores, similar businesses, prohibit the use at fast food businesses, and to limit the amount of cash that can be received by the recipient at check out in lieu of using the voucher for food.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATIONPOLICY OBJECTIVE: Promote workers’ compensation system that efficiently provides timely and fair benefits to injured workers and minimizes administrative and frictional costs to employers. POSITIONS:
- Support policies calling for aggregation and centralization of data from the entire system supply chain.
- Support use of advanced analytics to detect fraud.
- Support the use of the Medicaid model of suspending fraudulent providers.
- Support policies that minimize costs associated with permanent disability claims and prolonged treatment.
- Support policies the encourage efficiency in handling of claims and delivery of benefits.
- Support policies that effectively address the costs associated with cumulative trauma claims.