Written by William Hekman
California already has a number of economic problems. The state spends way too much, businesses around the state can not hire, and we still face a supply chain crisis mostly caused by over-the-top environmental regulations. Last year was a rollercoaster for business, but 2022 will be a very important year for businesses in California.
COVID sick leave is being re-considered by the state legislature for 2022. Workers were guaranteed extended sick leave for COVID-19 and for the vaccine side effects, but it ended in September of 2021. With the Omicron variant now, Democrat Assemblywoman Wendy Carillo is attempting to revive COVID-19 sick leave. But this time, the money for sick leave would come from just California, instead of both state and federal government aid. Fellow Democrat Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks from Oakland proposed a bill back in 2021 that would require workers to show vaccination to their employer or face weekly testing. But Wicks put the bill on hold until 2022, saying she wanted, “to make this the strongest bill possible headed into 2022.” The Biden administration put out a vaccine requirement back in November 2021, but the order is currently sitting in the legal system, “We cannot be a New York” said Robert Lapsley, President of California Business Roundtable. New York City put a vaccine mandate for all in-person workers at private businesses.
California could also have an $18 per hour minimum wage, which could be on the 2022 ballot. Joe Sandberg, investor turned anti-poverty put a measure forward that would make California have an $18 per hour minimum wage by 2025. California is also still facing an unemployment crisis, as California has the highest unemployment rate in the country. Not only is unemployment high, the state is still reeling from the COVID unemployment fraud that siphoned billions of dollars that were meant to go to people who lost their jobs because of COVID and instead went to prisoners and fraudsters. California also owes a ton of money to the federal government and Californians could see a tax increase as a way to pay off the debt.
California is in somewhat of a weird state. While most of its citizens are over the pandemic and have gotten back to their lives the government is stuck in the past and still fears the virus despite the vaccine being available. Jennifer Barrera, CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce said that, “2022 is going to be a very busy legislative year”.
Photo Cred: California.com