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tv   [untitled]    October 18, 2011 4:30am-5:00am PDT

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with the accrual method, we can calculate that cost based on anticipated usage would be between $25,000 and $50,000, and we're willing to take that risk. the first thing we will do, i guarantee you, is we will get below that 100-employee threshold by closing a store. immediately 20 people will lose their jobs. that is a direct consequence of the difference between a cool and expenditure. the other thing i want to say really quickly is you keep talking about how this money -- you know, someone has to wait four years for pregnancy, etc., but what never is discussed is that the great part of healthy san francisco is the clinics you have built. few people understand the relationship between health cost expenditures and help the san francisco. healthy sanford cisco for our part-time employees with average $600 a year for them to be a
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part up. we have to put aside, based on supervisor campos' amendment, $2,000 to $4,000. that is not discussed enough. first of all, the actual context of having to wait four years to get pregnant i think is a little fallacious. again, i think we should be more focused on health the san francisco. >> have you been a dollars by the board of supervisors for your great work in the city? >> the great irony, as i said -- i have been working here for 35 years. we have seen hospices. we have seen tenderloin after- school programs. we contribute. i was instrumental in starting the community market. one of our murals is in supervisor campos' district.
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we were recognized before this whole debate began as one of the most benevolent businesses in san francisco. i take enormous pride in the relationship i have with not only san francisco, but with my employees and my partner. in fact, when i received the award, which was directly related to the development of the mission community market, if you listen to the speech that is recorded at the board of supervisors, i say that, you know, one thing that i was proud of was that it was the first time i had been involved in something where private, public, and nonprofit entities worked together for the public good. i thought i was at the beginning of the dawn of a new age where all these different entities would put aside their own agendas to work for the common good, but unfortunately, now, i
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find myself on the exact opposite side of the equation where i feel that the supervisor campos amendment is directly an assault on the viability of my business. supervisor campos: if i may, i was proud and remain proud to have recognized the work you do. i do not think anyone questions your commitment to the community, and we are very grateful and appreciative of that. that is not what this is about. we can disagree about policy and still recognize the work that you do at the community level. just want to make that clear. >> i appreciate it. i also appreciate your intent, but i feel that this is not a debate that has been really well thought out. supervisor campos: well, we believe otherwise, but let me just make the point that are you
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aware that a business that has more than 50 employees, the way you are using the accounts, was federal law goes into effect january 2014, you will not be able to use hra's as standalones and meet federal law requirements without any penalty? >> are you aware that that is federal law that you are talking about relating to basically full-time employees? i understanding is it is for employees that work 30 hours or more, which we would be in compliance with right today without spending the extra money. [applause] supervisor campos: i do not know how many of those are full time or not. >> all our full-time employees get full health insurance independent of the hra. they always have. i cannot say everyone in the fast food business does that, but we do. if that law comes into play today, you are dead wrong because we would be in total compliance without the hra.
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basically 60% of our payroll is underneath the federal requirements. supervisor campos: i think the devil is in the detail, but to the extent you are saying that very lot is going to kill the jobs, the same argument is being made and has been made with the obamacare legislation, which basically follows the same principles. >> you are changing the debate here. i directly answered your question, and you are going off on a tangent. i am sorry. [applause] we need this compromise to occur. i am in complete agreement with all the other nuances. it is all about expenditure versus accrual. we tell our employees. we have never charged more than 4%. we have done everything with our
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head up. all the other nuances are easy compromises. the small business community is an equitable community and wants to do the right thing. the only thing that matters here is the city controller said there would be 400 or 500 jobs lost. he does not know. i am one employer who will lose 20 or 30 jobs. expand that to see the ramifications of this. [applause] supervisor chiu: next speaker. >> i am the owner of arcadia home care and staffing. a lot of attention has been given to the restaurant business, but my business serves seniors and disabled children, many of whom are funded by government forces such as medicaid, medical.
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your legislation does not actually apply to many nonprofit agencies. those same nonprofit agencies many years ago stopped serving the actual population that i do serve. interestingly enough, the state of california has not raised any competitive reimbursement for over 11 years for those same clients being served, the disabled children and seniors who remain in their own home. i am against any legislation in san francisco that further raises cost to a business because when those costs go up, when you have a fixed source of revenue, people will lose their jobs. today, president chiu, i thank you for an alternate looked --
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look. supervisor campos has been steadfast in saying that this is a nonstarter issue and has refused to look at anything other than what he wants. this applies to more than just restaurants. it applies to people who are in need who will go without care. thank you. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. if there are other members of the public who wish to speak on this item, i have gone through all the cards. feel free to line up. >> thank you for the opportunity to comment. i am and owner of two restaurants for nearly 15 years, and we employees -- we employ about 115 san franciscans. we support health care and health care access. i am here today to strongly advocate for an amendment that
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first and foremost does work and is practical for our employees, but one that also is achievable for businesses. i am appreciates at our legislators are working very hard to find a solution that provides health care for our employees without adding additional costs -- i appreciate that our legislators are working very hard. small businesses are a very important employer, creating tens of thousands of jobs, entry-level jobs and also career advancement opportunities, and in these difficult economic times and our high unemployment rate, striving to find a solution that achieves what this legislation wants to achieve without compromising businesse'' ability to keep their doors open, many of which really are struggling to stay open and
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maintain their work force. supervisor chiu's proposal can work to accomplish this, improving health care access. we believe that is an important thing to clean up with this situation, but really feel back proposing this undue burden financially on businesses is not a responsible way to proceed. i think we have this two-year gap between what we have now and what we will have with federal government, and i understand wanting the most progressive solution is very commendable, but what is being proposed puts businesses significantly at risk in these two years, and i think we will lose a lot of businesses that just will not make it until whatever is ideally going to be best for this country with health care is
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determined. so i urge you to proceed with due diligence and to take the necessary time to really work on determining a consensus amongst all of the parties that achieves what we want for our employees but also does not risk businesses and jobs. i want to thank you, supervisor chiu, very much for this amendment and i hope your colleagues will support this well thought out and thoughtful amendment. thank you. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. i am the less gregarious general manager of escape to new york pizza. [laughter] i have had lots of conversations with paul about the solution.
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the ordinance several years ago for delivering health care to san francisco employees politically allow businesses to pay for it. there are a lot of flaws in it. not a perfect lob. in trying to solve the problem, it actually spectacularly fails at delivering health care. hra's are not a very good way to deliver health insurance. you have identified many of the flaws, but we need a pragmatic answer. short of me being able to jump up and down and take my part- time employees to help the -- healthy san francisco and sign them up, no hra will allow me to do that. the only people i can make that preventative care, make be covered on a daily basis are my full time employees that we cover through kaiser, so i am
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left with this gap. i will do anything. i run around and tell them to use it. to buy health insurance. to do anything. if they had a lump sum of money, that is all they see. until they get sick, they will not use it. if you can make a mechanism which says i can sign them up, it will cost me $600 or $700 a year for the average part-time employee. i am not trying to advocate -- abdicate my responsibility. i would rather they go get a shot then be out with a week with -- out for a week with the flute -- the flu. what i need is a pragmatic approach where i can pay the bills. whether it is six months, a year, 18 months, you cannot make me move the money into account, which we all agree that under the best circumstances, 50% will get used over time.
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let me pay it on a cruel. they need it, i write a check. but if you make me move that money, park it into account that over the next couple of years, $150,000 might be used, i do not have it. anyone wants to ask questions, i have numbers. i can show you i have $30,000 of liability. there has been an extensive talk about leveling the playing field. i have a competitor on one side of me with 19 employees, no liability. one of the other side with 25 to 30 employees. they have 65% of my employee -- of my liability. let me pay on an accrual basis, and i can survive. supervisor chiu: thank you. the speaker. >> good afternoon. i own a small hotel and a
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nightclub. these guys that have come before me i think what it pretty well. it is irritating to me as someone who has $3 million of my own money invested in this community to hear a supervisors say this is policy. it is not policy to me. it is my livelihood, the money i have worked my entire life to earn. over the last few months, i have raised almost $2 million in a private fund to expand my business, and yesterday in a board meeting because of this issue and this hearing, my board members decided to table two offers we were about to make in restaurants in san francisco that currently employed no one because they are close. when i bought my restaurant, it had four employees. it now has 22. i have had a proven track record of creating jobs, and we're going to take that track record and get out of the city and county of san francisco because the board of supervisors in particular does not appreciate what small business does, and we are going to look to liquidate our holdings in san francisco
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and moved outside the city and county. thank you. [applause] supervisor chiu: next speaker. >> good afternoon. i lead a human-resources function for a small private restaurant group. we employ 900 team members. of those, just shy of 90 reside and work here in san francisco. i will not even get into the administrative issues that this causes, particularly with small organizations. definitely here in support of president chiu's amendment. i will echo some of the comments already. it is all about the accrual. i think we lose track of the larger issue. healthy san francisco is intended to provide access to health care, not intended to pay for that mri in full or that c section in full.
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we offer full-time health benefits. any employer who works for us 30 hours or more per week has full access to a full medical, vision, and dental coverage. we also offer a major program which will likely be going away in 2014. -- we also offer a mini program. we have less than 50% of our part-time employees who even participate in that catastrophic health insurance provided for them. they can use the hra to pay for that. we communicate that to them. i want to be clear -- our restaurant does not charge a surcharge. i think it is horrific that restaurants are charging the surcharge and not using that for
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their employees. i urge you as a board of supervisors to help us. supervisor chiu: thank you. and if i could ask anyone else who wishes to speak to police lineup. >> my wife and i are the owners of san francisco suit company. we started our business in the city and continue to try to grow the business in the city. i was asked a couple of days ago from a reporter what small business is doing to create jobs in san francisco. i thought about it and said that was an amazing question. we made plans to create and grow business. the natural consequence is creating jobs. i'd not have a job plan. i have a business plan. -- i do not have a job plan. i have a business plan. one of the most important issues
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to everyone in the city, state, the country is jobs, jobs, and jobs. we have heard time and time again that uncertainty and fear is what is preventing economic growth in our country. i am afraid to say that the amendment that supervisor campos has passed and hopefully will not come to walk, but that amendment that has been passed will create a significant amount more -- of more uncertainty and fear in san francisco. it requires that businesses put a massive cash outlay for potential health care expenses. this will send a massive shock to the existing economic system, which will without a doubt cause a major impact on the jobs market in san francisco. i specifically and very close to signing a lease on a new location in the city. however, if this law does pass
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and goes into effect, i will certainly not signed that document and wait to see how it all plays out because you never really know. but when there is a massive change like this, that is just not a risk i can take to invest more and more into the city and a plan that i am really very fearful of. the accrual account proposal is much more manageable and in line and something we are more comfortable with doing and have been doing. i think that supervisor chiu -- or president chiu's proposal does close a lot of existing loopholes. our current -- company right now does not charge a surcharge at this time. hope we do not have to in the future, but i am more comfortable with that as far as growing our business, the economic vitality in the city and the success of all of us
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working together. thank you very much. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. executive director from the golden gate restaurant association. we represent just over 1000 member locations in the bay area, most of which are in san francisco. i think there has been some compelling testimony today, and i just want to reiterate some of the issues that were raised because i think there are some very important points we do not want to lose. primarily it is the accrual versus cash component. there has been not one single episode since they have tracked this where an employee has gone to them and said -- filed a complaint.
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that is a component which is a solution that does not have a problem. i think it is also important to reiterate, as someone who represents the vast majority of my members are small businesses in san francisco. it is really important to remember that the small business commission, who is chartered to represent an be the voice of small business to this body and to the city government, voted unanimously to oppose supervisor campos' approach and unanimously to support chiu -- david chiu's approach. we need to be responsive and reflective of the guidance that comes from the entity chartered to provide that guidance. the issues that have been raised as far as problems -- the golden gate restaurant association agrees with and believes that
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there are issues and ways to resolve some of these deficiencies in the current law. we want to increase utilization rates. we want to address the
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together towards a consensus approach, including the mayor's office, in finding a way to move this forward without hurting jobs. thank you. supervisor campos: if i may, i wanted to also give you an opportunity -- last time you were here, you ask a question about -- we talked about some of the unfortunate, deceitful information that was put out their peer award to make it clear for the record backdgra -- that dgra was not involved in any of that. >> you said it just there, and i appreciate that. supervisor campos: can i ask a clarifying question? the issue of cash versus accrual is a different issue of whether or not the account accumulates up to a limited or and limit the amount -- or an unlimited amount. in terms of those issues, what is the level of importance of each?
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on the former, whether it is cash versus a cool, i think that we have expressed certainly and openness are around that issue that i am trying to understand how that relates. >> thank you very much for that question. i think you have properly defined that as two very separate issues. the cash versus accrual really is a death knell to the business community because it takes cash out of their ability to pay the bills at a time when it is a very difficult economic environment. that is a very big issue. the liability -- so then the second question is the ability to grow the liability or to continue to grow the liability on the books. and a definite liability creates problems in the sense of if you want to sell your business, take out a line of credit, how you are paying your taxes, you have to account for all of those, you have to account for increased
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liability, so it makes things difficult if you have that ongoing accrued liability on your books. that is why we support a proposal like supervisor chiu's that does not create a unending growth in the liability. to that, i am afraid of an unintended consequence. it has not been set in this environment, but it should be. it creates a perverse incentive to allow for a large accrual and then decreases the incentive to lay people off. if they have $30,000 sitting in their account, that is a strange incentive you have created now with the employee or employer
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about how they deal with that employee. by allowing the sort of ongoing of cool, it creates a dynamic that you're so afraid would have unintended consequences. >> i see that. i do not know of the discussion about a cool and cash is one that i would think would involve more than just having one set approach, that maybe it is a combination or who knows? but i see your point. thank you. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> thank you very much. i am a member of the small business commission, and i would just like to say that, yes, our commission did recommend the approach before you, the legislation before you at 6-0 because it really addresses employer responsibility for health care access, but it keeps our economic safety net intact.
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i think it is important as we look at this issue to keep our focus on health care and health care access without eroding our employment base. we have absolutely nothing to gain as a city from a policy perspective by in sending our employers to reduce their staff, their hours, or relocate out of san francisco. i believe we need to preserve our economic diversity and keep the various levels of skill and education -- i am sorry, to keep economic or employment opportunities available to people of various levels of skill and education in san francisco. i am afraid that this policy that we are addressing, if we are not careful, will actually erode our working class employment base. also, if it really does and since the businesses -- if it really disincents the employment
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base, it adds to the hollowing out of our city economically and socially. i would like you to look at the broader policy direction when this kind of legislation is being crafted. to that, i would really ask you to support the legislation before you. i think it is a measured approach. i think it addresses each point very clearly, gives us some certainty going forward. it allows businesses to continue on their business plan regarding job creation and increasing their employment. i really would like to support the consensus approach, and particularly recognize that this issue falls


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