Southwest California Legislative Council - August Update
The Southwest California Legislative Council (SWCLC) convened its August meeting with a presentation by Matthew Jennings, Treasurer-Tax Collector for Riverside County. During the meeting, the council reviewed the remaining 2023 calendar and discussed a range of issues relevant to the state of California.
One key topic of discussion was the eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance, with a focus on the efforts by California unions to revive a push for unemployment benefits for striking workers. This bill was introduced by Senate Appropriations Chair Anthony Portantino, co-authored by Democratic Assemblymembers Laura Friedman and Chris Holden, and is being backed by the powerful California Labor Federation. The proposed legislation is expected to create some political division among Democrats due to the complex interests of labor and business groups.
Another significant issue that the SWCLC discussed is the AB 1657 (Garcia) Safe Drinking Water, Wildfire Prevention, Drought Preparation, Flood Protection, Extreme Heat Mitigation, Clean Energy, and Workforce Development Bond Act of 2024. This bill would place a $15.95 billion climate resilience general obligation bond before the voters on the March 5, 2024 Primary Election ballot.
The SWCLC also received updates on several other notable pieces of legislation. The SB 399 (Wahab): Employer Communications: Intimidation bill has been stopped for the year and is now a two-year bill. The SB 627 (Smallwood-Cuevas): Displaced Workers: Notice: Opportunity to Transfer bill will be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 21st.
In addition, the SWCLC reviewed the status of some bills that are still in Appropriations Suspense, including the SB 253 (Wiener): Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, SB 525 (Durazo): Minimum Wage: Health Care Workers, SB 616 (Gonzalez): Sick Days: Paid Sick Days Accrual and Use: Unpaid Sick Leave, and AB 594 (Maienschein): Labor Code: Alternative Enforcement, and the AB 524 (Wicks): Discrimination: Family Caregiver Status bills.
Overall, the SWCLC August meeting presented a range of complex issues and legislation facing California, and highlighted the importance of continuing to engage in robust and informed dialogue around key policy initiatives.
For more information about the Southwest California Legislative Council, please visit www.southwestca.org.