The Legislature is now returning to work after its summer break, with one month left before final adjournment Sept. 15. Hundreds of bills remain undecided, including seven of mine pending in the Senate.
Many important issues have been decided, including passage of a state budget. Unfortunately, huge gas tax increases and attempts to alter the longstanding right of Californians to recall their elected representatives have also become law. A bill establishing a government-payer health care plan for California has been tabled temporarily, over concerns about the program’s extreme cost and the bill’s failure to provide a realistic funding source to cover the $400 billion price tag.
Bills still being considered include legislation fining business owners for cooperating with federal immigration authorities and another immigration-related bill that would make California a “sanctuary state,” risking the loss of billions in federal dollars. Another bill would impose a data collection mandate on employers by forcing them to post the median salaries of men and women sharing the same job titles on publicly accessible websites. Other pending legislation would impose new restrictions on Second Amendment rights, weaken North County influence within the San Diego Association of Governments and chip away at Proposition 13 by lowering the tax increase voting threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent for transportation, affordable housing and library projects. These are just a few of the contentious issues that will be decided over the next month.
On a positive note, legislation is also pending that would provide more training programs for under-skilled workers, continue a voluntary tax contribution program for breast cancer research and improve Medi-Cal coverage to provide continuous glucose monitors for diabetes patients.
As always, Gov. Jerry Brown must give final approval to all bills by mid-October before they become law.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.