Bills, Votes, and a Signing Pen

Wednesday marked the end of the legislative session and the fate of many bills hoping to make their way to the Governor’s desk for signature.  We’d like to send a big shout-out to our friends at CalMatters for keeping us all informed on how the bills did at the end of session, as well as their detailed incredible bill tracker.  A few of the bills we’ve been watching around the watercooler didn’t do so well in those final hours, while others received the necessary support to move on.  Here are some highlights:

SB 866 was tabled by author, state Senator Scott Wiener, as he didn’t see a path forward.  The controversial bill would have allowed youth 15 and older to get vaccinated without parental consent.  

AB 1577, which would have allowed legislative staff to unionize, met its demise.  Unlike other world settings where workers can vote for a union, it’s flipped in the capital where employers have to vote to give workers representation.  It’s ironic that those legislators, who fight for unions and the right to organize, have voted against this for their own staff.

AB 2188 did not “go up in smoke” as it will be moving on to the Governor’s desk to sign.  If the Governor agrees, the bill will make California the 7th state to protect pot-smoking employees from being punished by employers for smoking outside the workplace and testing positive for the drug.

SB 1338 (CARE Court) ended up passing after a lengthy debate.  The bill, which Governor Newsom has championed, will provide court-ordered treatment for homeless Californians struggling with mental illness and addiction.  Push back on the bill came from civil liberties groups and disability advocates.  

AB 257 is “hungry” for the Governor’s signature.  The bill would create a Fast Food Council to negotiate industry standards and pay.  As you can imagine, restaurant owners are opposing the bill.

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