The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 16, 2009
Surprise! Bill to protect furloughed worker discounts clears Senate

Thumbnail image for Senate logo.jpg 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.

Click here to read the bill. This link opens the Senate Judiciary Committee analysis of the measure.

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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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