At the 10th annual Meeting of Members, the Family Business Association of California adopted the following public policy goals for 2023.
State tax issues – FBA will remain diligent in the debate to maintain fair and equitable business and personal taxes in California:
Continue our leadership role to maintain prohibition on Estate Tax in California.
Continue to oppose efforts to enact a wealth tax.
Be wary of all proposals to increase business and personal taxes.
Regulatory and lawsuit relief continues to be a top priority for FBA members but regulations surrounding labor relations and human resource management provide additional challenges to our members. FBA will focus on opposing legislation and regulations that impact labor and our workforce and support the ballot initiative for relieffrom PAGA lawsuits against family businesses. Also, continue work to broaden AB 5 of 2019 to exempt more types of contractors who should not be employees and soften the blow from this onerous legislation.
Workforce development - identifying a qualified and available source of labor is an increasing challenge. FBA will work to support workforce development opportunities that help provide a trained workforce.
Explore opportunities to introduce legislation that would benefit family businesses, encourage more to stay in California, and recognize the value of family businesses to California’s economy.
Publicize FBA policy, legislative and regulatory positions.
FBA will work to achieve coverage of our positions and opinions in the news media.
Continue to explore opportunities to assist the transfer of ownership and property between family members and through successive generations and oppose efforts to make that more difficult.
Continue to build relationships with key legislators, new legislators and new administration officials and:
Produce the 11th Annual Family Business Day and Legislative Conference.
Meet one-on-one with key legislators, new legislators, and officials in the Governor’s Office to educate them on the importance of family businesses and the issues that are critical to family businesses.
Encourage FBA members to call on their legislators and engage employees in both education and advocacy to illustrate the impacts state government has on family businesses and their employees.
Participate in coalitions, public events, and hearings advancing the importance of the family business model and family business issues.
Mike Betts is the chairman and CEO of one of FBA’s oldest members — the Betts Company, a sixth-generation family-owned manufacturer and supplier of springs and heavy-duty truck parts in Fresno, founded in 1868. At the 10th Annual FBA Meeting of Members on November 9, he introduced members to a new organization — the New California Coalition.
The New California Coalition is the non-partisan political home and voice for over 6.5 million “Common Sense” voters across California who want results. The group is organizing everyday voters, business leaders, and community organizations from across the state into a movement to demand change and action.
We are deeply disappointed by the Governor’s veto of our sponsored bill, AB 2611 (Daly). The legislation would have created a definition of a family business in state law. As we may be the only organization working to keep family businesses in California, we thought that such recognition in state law would be a good foundation for our efforts. We did have plans to expand on the legislation, but unfortunately, before vetoing the bill, the Governor did not ask us about that.
There seems to be denial at the State Capitol about family businesses and family business owners leaving the state, but we know it is happening. When last we surveyed our members, 50% of those responding said they were either planning to move to a friendlier, more affordable state with less onerous regulations, or were at least considering it. On most national business surveys, California comes up as the most difficult state in the nation in which to do business. Our family business members find it very difficult to deal with the onslaught of new regulations that are signed into law every year.
We want to thank each of our members that have stayed the difficult course of keeping Californians employed, keeping the lights on and families and the world fed. Though this administration did not recognize your contributions, we always will. You are the real heart and backbone of our economy. You are great employers who value your employees and are very philanthropic within your communities.
While the veto of our bill feels like just one more nail in the coffin of family businesses in California, be encouraged that this bill made it to the Governor’s desk with unanimous, bipartisan support and zero opposition. This is a foundation we look forward to building upon.
We have a new member, Friedman Family, LLP. The company was founded by Morton Friedman, who was a prominent Sacramento-area attorney, in 1962. Second generation Mark Friedman now runs the company and has developed many high-quality projects under the name Fulcrum Property. The company also does real estate investments and management. Thanks once again to Dave Lucchetti for bringing another member to FBA.
FBA is pleased to announce that Downs Energy has become the newest family business to join our 10-year-old association. The company was founded in 1940 by Elvin Downs as Downs Oil and has evolved into a commercial fuel marketer serving Southern California. Now in its third generation of Downs family ownership, the Corona-based company strives to provide excellent compensation to its employees, exceptional value to its customers, and generous support to its partner charitable organizations. In other words, another great #FamilyBusiness. Welcome!
AB 2611, FBA’s sponsored bill to define a California-based family-owned business was approved by the Assembly Monday on a vote of 71-0 and referred to the Senate for further action. The bill is needed to create a standard definition of what a family business is. Currently, there are at least six definitions of small businesses across California codes, and creating a standard is essential when making economic development decisions such as tax policies, grant programs, and employee training incentives.
If approved by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor, California would be the first state in the nation to statutorily recognized a family-owned business in a way that decision-makers are able to consider the unique strengths and challenges of operating these businesses when considering future actions.
Our thanks to Assembly Member Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, for carrying the measure.