BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN OF NEVADA COUNTY
POSITIONS ON LEGISLATION and POLICY – 2020 (As of June 30, 2020)
NOTE ON IMPACT OF COVID-19: The CA legislature was in recess from mid-March to May 4, 2020. Guidance issued by legislative leaders and Governor Newsom reflect a new reality: limited finances and a focus on addressing the health and economic impacts of the pandemic as the highest priorities. Further, advocacy will be largely done on a virtual and online basis, with very limited personal contacts with legislators. Most pending bills were put on hold for 2020, with a select few bills remaining active, and most legislative action devoted to the budget. While a budget bill was enacted by the statutory deadline of June 30, further action on budget issues is expected in August, dependent on revenue received.
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION 2019-2020 REGULAR SESSION
- ACTIVE BILLS
AB 196 Workers’ compensation bill for COVID-19, for essential workers (Gonzalez) – pending in the Sen. Cmte. on Labor, Public Employment and Retirement.
A workers’ compensation bill that replaced a bill on paid family leave on May 5, 2020. The new bill makes COVID-19 illness occurring after March 1, 2020 subject to workers’ compensation, for most workers in “essential” occupations and industries. Exceptions are made for firefighting, peace officers, healthcare workers in acute care hospitals, and certain Office of Emergency Services coordinators.
AB 3216 Expanding sick leave and family leave, post-COVID-19 (Kalra and Gonzalez, Sen. Durazo) – Passed in the Assembly June 18, 2020; pending in the Senate.
Provides emergency paid sick leave to all California workers, expands family and pregnancy leave to all employees, makes leave easier to access during an emergency, provides a right of recall for workers who have been laid off in heavily COVID-impacted industries, such as hotels.
SB 312 Cosmetic Fragrance and Favor Ingredients Right to Know Act (Leyva) – Formerly SB 574, replaces text of former SB 312 as of 2/24/2020; pending in Environmental Safety Committee in the Assembly as of June 18.
Requires manufacturers to fully disclose hazardous ingredients in fragrances and flavors used in cosmetics and personal care products sold in California.
SB 973 Employer annual report on pay data (Jackson) – Passed in the Senate June 25, 2020. Pending in the Assembly.
Requires that large private employers report pay and job title data annually to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, broken down by gender, race and ethnicity.
Supporters consider it an essential tool to address persistent pay gaps for women and minorities. Unlike predecessor bills, this one allows employers’ reports to the federal EEOC to satisfy the bill’s requirements, so long as substantially similar data is included. (Predecessor bill, SB 171, passed in the Senate and died in Appropriations Committee in the Assembly.)
SB 1383 (Jackson) Expanding (unpaid) parental leave for child care (Replaced by job protected leave provisions June 18) Passed in the Senate June 23. In process.
Protects Californians from losing their jobs when they take leave from work to care for themselves, a new child, or a seriously ill family member. Applies regardless of employer size both to sick leave and other family care leave. The Governor’s proposal for job protected leave for pregnancy-related disability has been limited to employers of 5 or more.
CA BUDGET ISSUES – 2020-21
Expanded job protections for working families (placed in SB 1383, above). Signed on to joint support letters sent to budget committees on May 18, 2020, and for Senate floor votes on June 23)
The Governor’s January, 2020 budget proposals and May, 2020 budget revision, during the COVID-19 epidemic, include crucial measures to protect Californians from being fired when they take time off from work to bond with a new child or take care of their own or a family members’ illness. Job protections apply to all employers for sick and family leave, and to employers of 5 or more for pregnancy disability leave. Budget provisions replaced those in SB 1383 on June 18.
- BILLS ON HOLD
AB 31 (Garcia) No Tax on Tampons
[Note: a temporary exemption, 1/1/2020 to 1/1/2022, was included in the budget bills)
Similar to prior unsuccessful bills which BPWNC supported, this would exempt feminine hygiene products from the sales and use tax at both the state and local level.
AB 732 Reproductive Dignity for Incarcerated People Act
Requires specific medical treatment and services for pregnant and post-partum women who are incarcerated in prison or jails in California, and for all incarcerated women, free personal hygiene products.
ACR 110 Resolution declaring California to be a Reproductive Freedom State for All (Wicks) – Adopted by Assembly in 2019; in the Senate, pending in the Judiciary Committee as of February 12, 2020)
The Resolution would commit the California legislature to guaranteeing the right to abortion and supporting increased access to reproductive and pregnancy-related care.
SB 493 Gender Equity in Education Act (Jackson)
Seeks to ensure that state-funded institutions of higher education have adequate processes in place to prevent and respond to sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and assault.
- BILLS ENACTED
ACR 1 Resolution opposing Public Charge regulatory changes for immigrant admissibility (Bonta) Final regulations were issued in August, 2019, going into effect February 24, 2020, but litigation is ongoing. The resolution became law on September 26, 2019 – but it is moot.
The Assembly Concurrent Resolution would condemn regulations under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, to prescribe how a determination of an alien’s inadmissibility is made, based on the likelihood that the alien will become a public charge. (The current rule is that a person may be or likely become a public charge if they are primarily dependent on public benefits.)
SB 24 (Leyva) College Student Right to Access: providing on-campus medication abortion) (Enacted October 11, 2019)
Requires California public university on-campus student health centers (SHCs) to provide medication abortion onsite, by January 1, 2023. It provides funding for grants of up to $200,000 to University of California and California State University SHCs for “medication abortion readiness.” It permits the use of telehealth to provide medication abortions.
SJR 4 Title X Resolution (Sen. Leyva)((Asm. Limon) (Enacted in 2019; related lawsuit challenging regulatory changes had an adverse ruling in the 9th Circuit in 2020.)
States the California legislature’s opposition to the new Title X regulations. This resolution highlights the importance of the federal Title X family planning program in California and urges the Trump Administration to rescind the Title X regulations that threaten to impede access to essential, time-sensitive health care for low-income women, men and teens across our state and throughout the country.
- BILLS THAT DIED
AB 1524 Medi-Cal Access for Student Health Centers (Chiu) – Stalled in Assembly in 2019; died in 2020
Would create a fast-tracked enrollment process for qualified clinics, allowing student health centers (high school through college) that choose to participate to enroll in both Medi-Cal and Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment programs in about 30 days.
AB 1760 Privacy for All (Wicks) – Stalled in Assembly in 2019, died in 2020
Would strengthen the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act’s protections for personal information that companies collect and share. The potential for discriminatory misuse of private information has been demonstrated, e.g., by Google ads for high paying jobs being shown disproportionately to men rather than women.
AB 3052 Forced Sterilization Compensation Program (Carrillo) (Held in Asm. Appropriations Com., June 3, 2020 ) [Note: alternative mechanism: funding was not included in June budget bills, but may be reconsidered in August]
Would compensate survivors of state-coerced sterilization under CA eugenic laws of 1909-1979, and incarcerated women sterilized between 2006-2010 without adequate consent. Would allow for compensation to an estimated 800 women survivors.
SB 673 Opt-in consent for sexual health education for students under seventh grade(Morrell) (Voted down in Senate committee in 2020)
Requires opt-in parental consent for grades six and under for sex ed, rather than the current opt-out process, which would lead to more students being denied such instruction.
H.R. 8 Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (Thompson, D-CA)(Passed by the House in 2019; held in the Senate by the majority leader)
This bill establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals), using the current process designed to prevent individuals who are prohibited from obtaining firearms from doing so.
H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (Clyburn, D-SC) (Passed by the House in 2019; held in the Senate by the majority leader)
This bill strengthens the background check procedures for licensed parties to transfer firearms, closing a loophole that allowed a dealer to sell or transfer a firearm if it had not received a response within 3 days through the background check system.
LITIGATION – AMICUS BRIEFS
California v Becker (Kings County, CA) – Bail motion (Joined in amicus brief in support of an emergency motion for bail review and release, in mid-April, 2020.)
The defendant in this case, Chelsea Becker, was jailed in Kings County, CA, in November, 2019 on murder charges, based on claims that her stillbirth was caused by methamphetamine use during pregnancy. The brief we joined in focused on the public health and policy consequences of criminalizing pregnant people and substance use disorders. The high risk of contracting COVID-19 while incarcerated adds urgency to the motion.