The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 13, 2009
Billwatch: Measure to protect furloughed worker discounts dead -- for now

091012 Negrete McLeod.jpgIn case you were wondering, SB 367, died a quiet death in the Senate.

As we reported in this July 9 story, the bill would have shielded businesses from discrimination lawsuits if they offered discounts and freebies to Californians who are furloughed or lose their jobs. Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, authored the bill out of concern that the Unruh Act was being used to target businesses catering to furloughed state workers.

The 50-year-old law, which was revised a few years ago, says California businesses must give "the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services" to everyone, "regardless of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation."

It looked like AB 367 would sail through the Legislature with virtually no opposition. Both political parties, Consumer Attorneys of California and the California Chamber of Commerce all supported the measure. The Assembly approved it 78-0.

But the bill's urgency status meant it needed a two-thirds vote, including support from at least a few Republicans in the Senate. McLeod couldn't muster a single GOP vote after some unrelated issues stirred up hard feelings between the parties and the Republicans pulled support for about 20 urgency bills, including AB 367.

Alfonso Sanchez, McLeod's press secretary, said this morning that the measure could resurface in January.

IMAGE: Gloria Negrete McLeod / dist32.casen.govoffice.com


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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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