Assembly Bill 1699, which aimed to make state worker payroll a continuous appropriation, failed to get two-thirds of the state Senate vote needed to pass on Tuesday, the last day of the legislative session.
The measure fell four votes shy of the 27 it needed in the 40-member upper house, with 10 senators voting against it and six senators failing to vote. One seat in the Senate is vacant. Click here to see a list of how the lawmakers voted.
Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, authored the bill. State employee unions had rallied behind it since it would have shielded state worker pay from being withheld during a budget impasse. Senate Democrats tried to pry loose Republican opposition by amending the bill to confer continuous appropriation status on payments to businesses that provide goods and services to the state during a budget impasse.
Hernandez put up similar legislation earlier this year, but the Senate blocked it. The state employee unions, particularly the scientists and the engineers groups, have been pushing for years to get the law changed.
We expect the legislation to resurface during the Legislature's next session.