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 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Passes, Vetoes Several Key Legeilative Initiatives Benefiting
the California Lodging Industry

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Sacramento, California --October 1, 2004 -  CLIA – the California Lodging Industry Association -- is celebrating success on several key state legislative initiatives benefiting the California lodging industry. CLIA President/CEO Rick Lawrance praised California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing a CLIA-sponsored bill to create meaningful reforms to California’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) codes, and for the Governor’s vetoes of two bills strongly opposed by the Association.

“The Governor’s actions are all highly favorable to the California lodging industry,” says Lawrance.  “The Governor’s vetoes of AB 606, requiring unprecedented and costly rest breaks for lodging room attendants, and AB 2832, which would have raised California’s minimum wage to the highest in the United States, were strongly urged by CLIA and our membership.”

TOT Reform

The CLIA-sponsored Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) reform bill (AB 1916) provides lodging properties with predictable rules in several problem areas, without jeopardizing an important local government revenue source. “CLIA’s leadership was the single compelling force behind TOT reform,” says Sima Patel, CLIA Board Chair. “The signing of AB 1916 is a victory for CLIA and the California lodging industry.”  The bill goes into effect January 1, 2005, and will 1) provide lodging properties with fair protection against back TOT, when government employees claim an exemption; 2) require cities and counties to create a form for government employees to claim exemption; and 3) establish a 4-year statute of limitations for an action to collect past due occupancy taxes.

Victory with Unfair Room Attendant Requirements

“CLIA was steadfastly on record as opposing AB 606, a bill that was unfair to the industry. In that last several weeks, we called upon our members to urge Governor Schwarzenegger for a veto,” says Patel. “Those many messages were influential in gaining this important victory.”  If it were enacted, AB 606 would have created mandatory 15-minute rest breaks in climate-controlled rooms for room attendants and required extensive documentation of the breaks. The Governor, in his veto, stated “[this bill]…singles out one industry and places additional requirements on employers in that industry. These penalties and recordkeeping requirements will prove a disincentive to job creation and economic development, things California needs.”

No Raise in Minimum Wage

CLIA’s team of lobbyist worked with a broad-based coalition, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Restaurant Association, to oppose AB 2832, which would have increased California’s minimum wage to $7.75 per hour, in two steps, by January 2006. The increase, if enacted would have cost California employers from $3 billion to $4.4 billion. In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said, “In recent years, the high cost of doing business in California has driven away jobs, businesses, and opportunity.” 

We applaud the Governor Schwarzenegger’s effort to protect California business practices—particularly in the lodging industry,” said Lawrance.


 
Contact:
Karen Dera
Director, Communications & Business Development
CALIFORNIA LODGING
INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
Post Office Box 15918
Sacramento, CA. 95852
916.447.6565
kdera@clia.org
Also See: The California Lodging Industry Association Names Comfort Suites Antioch-Oakley the 2003 Outstanding Lodging Property Owner and Operator / Aug 2003
After Subcontracting Out the Entire Housekeeping Department the Comfort Suites, South San Francisco Now Being Boycotted by UNITE HERE Local 2 / October 2004
The Falor Companies Acquiring The Tides Hotel on Miami's South Beach; Will Convert into a Condominium-hotel / August 2004


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