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social innovation

Official Press Release: CA Governor Approves Huffman Bill to Create New Business Model

Assemblymember Jared Huffman issued an official press release this morning, following the approval of AB 361 (benefit corporations) legislation by the Governor just before the midnight deadline last night.You can also read more about the process and passage of AB 361 here.AB 361 Signed Into Law

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Sign the Care2 Petition to Support Benefit Corporations (AB 361) in California

The question of whether California will create a new corporate form to recognize socially responsible business will be answered soon. The bill (AB 361) has successfully made its way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for final review and approval.
care2.com logoAnd now Care2.com–an online community of over 16.5 million members committed to social, environmental, and animal welfare— is giving you a quick and easy way to show your support for California’s benefit corporation bill.

Sign the Care2 Petition Below to Show Your Support for AB 361

Go to Care2 petition for CA benefit corporation: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/993/713/047/

Or use the widget below

window.Care2Widgets.add({rssPath:”http://www.thepetitionsite.com/xml/petitions/993/713/047/feed.swf”, adSize:”180×250″, publisherID:”1249″, borderColor: “#000000”, buttonColor: “#1aaca6″, grabbed:”0”});

Other Ways to Get Involved with California’s Benefit Corporation Bill

1. Send an email or letter of support to Governor Brown.  Read more on where to send  here

2. Keep up with the latest news on AB 361. Stay tuned to news from B Lab blog, or on any of the websites mentioned above, and right here on Innov8Social.

3.  Read the Official Fact sheet on AB 361.  Take a look at the official AB 361 fact sheet released by Assemblymember Huffman’s office. It contains information on the benefit corporation legislation, its background, requirements, as well as a partial list of supporters and opposition.

4. Get plugged in to the LinkedIn conversations on  AB 361. There have been a number of discussions started on LinkedIn regarding California’s benefit corporation legislation. Take a look here and here and share your thoughts. 

social innovation

AB 361 Passes CA Assembly. On to Governor Brown for Approval!

In a vote of 57-17*, AB 361—California bill that would create a new corporate form called benefit corporation—passed its concurrence vote in CA Assembly today.

It is now on the way to Governor Brown’s desk where it will be for 12 days or less for his review and signature.
This is a key time to express support for AB 361.  AB 361 support letters, calls, op-ed pieces, blogs, tweets, personal meetings, emails and faxes can be directed to Brian Putler, Deputy Legislative Secretary, Fax: 916-558-3177.
You can catch up on the progress of AB 361 as well as read a fact sheet about the bill through links on this recent post:

Read more about today’s vote in this press release from Assemblymember Huffman’s office.

AB 361 (Benefit Corporation) Passes CA Assembly (News Release)
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*Note: These numbers have been updated from the when the post was originally posted (50-14) to reflect the final official vote count.

social innovation

AB 361 (Benefit Corporation) Passes State Senate, On to the Assembly

This just in…with a vote of 23-7 AB 361–California legislation that would create a new corporate form called a benefit corporation– successfully passed through the California State Senate today. It is now bound for the State Assembly for a concurrence vote. With a majority vote in Assembly, it will proceed to Governor Jerry Brown for final approval and to be signed into law.There is still time to show your support for AB 361. Letters of support from your business or company can be sent to Governor Brown’s Office (see Governor Brown’s contact information), with a copy sent to the bill’s sponsor Assemblymember Jared Huffman (see Assemblymember Huffman’s Sacramento office contact information in the bottom left margin)If you are catching up on the benefit corporation legislation in California, here are a few posts that will walk you through what it’s all about and the journey thus far:The Story of AB 361 (Benefit Corporation) As Told Through Blog Posts:

Note: This post has been edited to update the final Senate Floor vote count on 8/22/11 (which was 23 Ayes, 7 Noes, 10 non-votes). The bill needed 21 votes to pass. 
social innovation

Fact Sheet for AB 361 (California Benefit Corporation)

Here is a recent fact Sheet prepared by Assemblymember Jared Huffman‘s office outlining AB 361—-California’s “benefit corporation” bill. Read below to learn key points about the bill.

Fact Sheet AB 361 (Benefit Corporations)
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To continue the conversation, you can contact your California state senator to support or comment on the bill.  Also, you can read more about the journey of AB 361 in this post that recaps the progress of California’s benefit corporation legislation.

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State Senate Floor Vote: Next Stop for California’s Benefit Corporation Legislation (AB 361)

California State CapitolIf you have been following the journey and progress of AB 361— California’s bill that would create a new corporate form for social entrepreneurship called a benefit corporation— from idea to law (see here for a rundown of recent posts), you may be wondering where AB 361 stands right now. And, if there is anything you can do to support this social innovation legislation.Good news, we have updates! And, there are a few simple ways to show your support and cast your ‘vote’ for policies designed for social innovation.

Nod by Senate Appropriations

As California Assemblymember Jared Huffman (the bill’s sponsor) noted in this brief interview taken in July 2011, AB 361 was awaiting final vote from the State Judiciary Committee and, on approval would  head to the State Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 361 did pass State Judiciary and, most recently, was referred forward by the CA Senate Appropriations committee (as per CA Senate Rule 28.8) since the bill will not have a significant fiscal impact on the state budget.

Up Next: Senate Floor

As early as next week the California State Senate will review the benefit corporation bill in its second reading and will vote on it after a third reading.

Then: Back to State Assembly for Concurrence Vote

Once AB 361 passes in State Senate it will be sent over to the California State Assembly for a final vote, called a concurrence vote.

Finally: to the Governor’s Desk

Passing in the State Assembly, AB 361’s final stop will be Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for final review and signature.

Cast your “Vote” for AB 361

If you are a state resident, you can contact your California state senator and express your support for AB 361 and other legislation that reflects the changing paradigm of business—with the new emphasis on social entrepreneurship. You can mention that how entrepreneurs and consumers in California and specifically your district want options that enable corporations to incorporate not only to generate profit but to have a net positive impact on society.

You can read more about California’s benefit corporation legislation in this Fact Sheet for AB 361 released by Assemblymember Huffman’s office.

photo: votesmart.org
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California State Assemblymember Huffman Talks About AB 361 [VIDEO]

How do you get from idea to state law?

In following the journey of California’s AB 361 and the number of other bills across various states that would create (or have created) a new corporate form called a benefit corporation—learning the impetus for the legislation is often as interesting as

photo: votesmart.org

photo: votesmart.org

understanding the process.

And the story of California’s AB 361 is particularly interesting. You can watch California State Assemblymember for the 6th Assembly District Jared Huffman talk about the crowdsourcing origin of AB 361 and other key points of the bill below.

Assemblymember Huffman is the sponsor for AB 361, which was recently voted through the California State Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions and also successfully passed through the State Judiciary Committee.

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California Senate Judiciary Votes AB 361 Forward, 4-0

Now it’s the Judiciary Committee’s Turn

california state capitolAs you may recall, last week AB 361— the California bill that would create a new corporate form called a benefit corporation— was presented by sponsor Assemblymember Jared Huffman and witnesses (including certified B corporations, attorneys, and investors) at the California State Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions. It marched forward from there with a resounding vote of 5-1.

The next stop was the Senate Judiciary Committee which heard arguments for AB 361 on July 5th 2011.

How did it go?

With many many more bills on the docket this time around, Senator Noreen Evans— Moderator for the Judiciary Committee– warned early on that argument and testimony for all bills would be kept brief.  When AB 361 was presented, Assemblymember Huffman once again introduced the legislation and outlined his three-prong argument for the bill.

Attorney Donald Simon testified to the legal structure and rationale behind AB 361, emphasizing the reaching effect it could have by creating a unique reason for entrepreneurs and founders to opt to incorporate in California instead of other states, in order to be able to be registered as a benefit corporation. He also provided counter-arguments to opposing concerns—emphasizing the complementary relationship that b corporations have already demonstrated to have with non-profit sector.

A number of certified B corporations and supporters (Innov8Social included!) also provided ‘me too’ testimony.

Opposition to AB 361 also voiced their concerns that California may not yet be ready for a new corporate form for socially responsible business and/or availability of other hybrid structures and potential opposition from California non-profit organizations.


How did the Judiciary Committee vote?

In a vote of 3-0 the bill was dubbed ‘on call’ — to be forwarded to Senate Committee members who were absent at the time of the vote.

By the following day, the final vote was in: 4-0 with one abstaining vote. AB 361 moves forward.

Is there video of the hearing?

Calchannel.com streams State Assembly and Committee hearing sessions online. You can find the Judiciary Committee testimony here: http://www.calchannel.com/channel/viewvideo/2810.

Keep a lookout around 1:30 for the beginning of AB 361 argument.


What’s next for AB 361?

Next is the Senate Appropriations Committee in August after the summer recess, followed by the Floor of the State Senate, then back to Assembly, and then to Governor Brown’s desk. That is the path that AB 361 will have to successfully follow to become California Law.

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    Sustainable Enterprise Conference 2011 – Expanding an Ecosystem of Sustainability

    I had the chance to attend the Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Sonoma this past Friday. It was an opportunity to get plugged in on local efforts, campaigns, and ventures in the realm of sustainability.It was a great experience—I was struck by the sense of community within the sustainable enterprise movement. Like a tuned ecosystem–many of these companies collaborate, pool resources, and both support and are supported by a growing infrastructure of conservation and social responsibility  Here’s a high-level overview of the event and sessions I attended (note: there were a number of other workshop options)…with links so you can continue your research into the various orgs, speakers, and concepts mentioned.sustainable enterprise conference
    Welcome by Genevieve Taylor (Partner, CircadiaOne), Brad Baker (President/CEO, Codding Investments), and Robert Girling Ph.D. (Author).Keynote address “California Legislation for a Sustainable Future” by California State Assemblymember for the 6th Assembly District Jared Huffman, JD

    Keynote address “Ecological Sustainability and Economic Drivers” by Maggie Winslow, Ph.D. (Academic Dean, Presidio Green MBA)

    Keynote address “Green Energy in the Golden State Under a Brown Administration” by Panama Bartholomy (Deputy Dir., Effiency and Renewables Division, CA Energy Commission)


    Workshop: “Straus Family Creamery Strategic Planning” panel including Edward L. Quevedo (Sr. Counsel & Chair of Sustainability Practice, Paladin Law Group, LLP), Sarah Isabel Parriott (Sustainability Strategy PM, Paladin Law Group), and Deborah Parrish (CFO, Straus Family Creamery), with special guest Albert Straus (Founder of Straus)

    Keynote address “Pulp Non-Fiction: Changing the Paper Industry” by Jeff Mendelsohn (President/Founder, New Leaf Paper)

    Workshop: “Behind the Scenes with B2B B Corporations: Building the Vision and Infrastructure to Shape, Support, and Scale the Sustainable Business Economy” panel including Matt Reynolds (CEO of Indigenous Designs), Jonathan Storper (Partner & Chair of Sustainable Business, Hanson Bridgett LLP), and Carolyn McMaster (Principal, ThinkShift Communications)

    Workshop: “Localization and Sustainability: Tales of Success” with panel including Mike McGuire (4th Dist. Sonoma, County Supervisor), Tom Scott (VP and GM, Oliver’s Market), Nancy Bailey, (GM, Quivira Wineyards & Winery), and Evelina Molina (Co-Founder, North Bay Institute of Green Technology)

    Lessons Learned, Call to Action and Closing Statements by Oren Wool (Executive Director, Sustainable Enterprise Conference)

    Read More: