The State Legislature returns on January 6 to complete the second half of the 2019-2020 session. 120 California legislators – 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators — will assemble in the State Capitol to begin work on some of the most consequential issues that have faced our state.
It’s likely that around 3,000 bills will be introduced over the next few weeks. All legislation must be submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel by January 24 so that bill language can be drafted by the final introduction deadline on February 21. Bills must be passed to the alternate House by May 29, and all work must wrap up August 31st, when we finally adjourn.
Major issues include wildfires – prevention, aftermath, homeowners insurance, home hardening/safety, the related issues of energy and utilities, and the state’s role in helping to solve these monumental problems. More policy issues include the environment, health care, Medi-Cal expansion, fallout from passage of AB 5 and the Dynamex decision, their impact on employment and the gig economy by reclassifying independent contractors, like Uber, Lyft, independent truckers, interpreters, freelancers etc. Other issues include privacy rights under California’s Consumer Protection Act, cannabis, vaping, housing and homelessness, local government and taxes, Prop. 13 and split-roll proposals, public safety, prison closures, highway funding, water …. it’s a very long list.
Unlike Washington D.C. there is alot more debate and discussion in Sacramento. We often disagree, but we also work together on many issues, especially the opioid crisis, mental health issues and housing. Since most of these problems impact everyone regardless of party, non-partisan solutions can be achieved. Many bills in Sacramento pass with wide, bi-partisan support. However, when the rubber hits the road on fundamental principles, there is a deep divide – issues such as public safety and taxes.
Unaffordability in our state (including high taxes and housing costs), traffic congestion and lack of treatment services for mental health/substance use disorder is a direct result of missed priorities of the majority party. In addition, now AB5 (limiting independent contractors) is putting thousands of hard working Californians out of the flexibility to earn money to keep a roof over their heads. Republicans made it clear at the floor vote how AB5 would affect workers all across the board but that didn’t matter to the majority. There are no “unintended consequences” to this bill as many media outlets are opining. It was all debated upfront and voted on with full knowledge. Adding more exemptions to the bill will not work – it needs to be withdrawn. Republican legislation to deal with the Dynamex decision never even got committee hearings – Republicans introduced AB 71 (Melendez & Kiley) which would have codified the Borello test, which had been in place since 1989. That bill died without a hearing in Assembly Labor & Employment Committee. We pushed that AB 5 should not apply retroactively, and should not affect entire classes of workers rather than individual occupations/professions but that hit deaf ears.
It is important for legislative representatives to hear from constituents regarding these proposals and other issues. Please contact me at:https://ad75.asmrc.org/
As Minority Leader, I am looking forward to working with my legislative colleagues as we addresses major policy issues and problems that will impact California for decades to come. Next session be productive and very consequential.
Assembly Republican Leader 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.