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Tuesday, 04 August 2020 20:35

CAA Lobbyist Reports California Capitol Still Up and Running

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While shops throughout the Golden State are coming up with new ways to survive during the pandemic, things are still happening at the Capitol, according to Jack Molodanof, registered lobbyist for the California Autobody Association (CAA), and president of Molodanof Government Relations.

The government machine in Sacramento is still up and running and bills are still moving, but things have been modified and scaled back in the interim.

 

“There will be a condensed legislative schedule throughout the pandemic with fewer bills, but the system is still in operation, and that’s why we have to stay ahead of the game.” Molodanof said. “These are unprecedented times, so we have to be prepared and vigilant if we’re going protect the interests of small businesses, including body shops.”

 

Keeping the Capitol safe for everyone on a daily basis is priority No. 1 right now, Molodanof said. The legislature is allowing members to vote remotely, especially those who are over 65 or have health concerns. All safety protocols have been put into place to assure no one gets the virus.

 

Two people who work for the Assembly got the virus around the 4th of July but no cases have been reported since.

 

Here is a brief list of bills that can affect body shops in California, either positively or negatively.

 

AB 196 and AB 664: Workers Compensation---Coronavirus

 

CAA position: Oppose

 

Status: Pending in the Senate

 

AB 196 would increase workers comp costs for employers by “conclusively” presuming that contraction of coronavirus by essential employees is a workplace injury, without the ability of the employer to provide evidence to the contrary.

 

“AB 196 is called a job killer by the CalChamber because if anyone on your crew gets the virus, it’s assumed that they got it at the shop, without an opportunity to provide other evidence,” Molodanof said. “Let’s say one of your techs claims that they got the virus at your workplace, but then later [you] find out that they went to a large COVID-19 party the week before. Under the bill, you would be prohibited from providing this evidence to the judge.

 

"We are obviously concerned about this because in the end the shop will have to pay higher rates for their worker’s comp.”


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