In an unexpected development, the state Senate has passed AB 376, a measure aimed at shielding businesses from discrimination lawsuits for offering discounts or freebies to furloughed or laid off workers.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has 12 days to sign or veto the bill. Administration spokeswoman Rachel Arrezola said that he hasn't taken a position yet.
Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, authored the measure and brought it through the Assembly without a single no vote, only to watch it stall in the Senate, as we explained in this post.
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans who had blocked AB 367 along with other urgency measures that require a few GOP votes to reach two-thirds passage had a collective change of heart. The chamber passed the measure 35-0.
"It all happened so quickly," McLeod press secretary Alfonso Sanchez told The State Worker this morning. Sanchez had told us just a few days ago that the bill probably wouldn't resurface until next year.
It's worth noting that a Republican, Sen. Tom Harman of Huntington Beach, co-authored the measure. And it probably helped that no one opposed the bill, including the trial lawyers' lobby.