CSEA Gains Important Victory Despite Tumultuous 2020 Legislative Session

On Tuesday night, the California Legislature adjourned for the year after a tumultuous 2020 legislative session. While CSEA business in the Capitol was far from usual this year both from a tax policy and an EA advocacy perspective, we did have a major victory despite all the legislative turmoil.

In January, CSEA entered into a coalition to oppose AB 1140 (Stone), a bill that would have placed stringent disclosure requirements on tax preparers. Due to the coordinated effort of a number of tax groups and CSEA’s lobbyist, Jennifer Tannehill, opposition to AB 1140 was successful, and Assemblyman Stone gutted and amended the bill.

This highlights how adept CSEA is at leveraging the Society’s influence and relationships to create tangible benefits for EAs. Our advocacy team, comprised of the Legislative Affairs Committee, Jennifer Tannehill, and Advocacy and Governance Manager Brian Pedersen, works around the clock on your behalf despite the difficult circumstances.

Other important notes from the end of the session include:

             In part due to 2020 being an election year, legislators did not pursue any large tax increases. AB 1253 (Santiago), which placed an additional tax on higher incomes, was held in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. The Committee held a hearing on the bill to discuss the issue, but chose not to vote.

             Legislators continue to talk about the possibility of a Special Session being called during the fall to discuss additional economic stimulus measures and possibly taxes. Earlier in the year, Democrats in the legislature created a $100 billion COVID-19 response plan that consisted of borrowing against future revenues. If the economic stimulus bill is to move forward, the Governor will have to call on the Legislature to hold a special session, but it’s not clear if that will happen.

             In addition to finding a way to balance a California budget with a $54 billion deficit as a result of COVID-19, other legislative priorities this year included changes to law that were required to help every sector of the economy adjust to the pandemic (transportation, education, healthcare, etc.), wildfire resiliency, and homelessness.

Our advocacy team will continue to keep you updated as election season approaches!