California Legislature Approaches Adjournment

With just over two weeks left in the legislative session lawmakers are poised to decide the fate of over hundreds of bills as the California State Legislature is set to adjourn for the year on September 11. Yesterday’s hurdle was a significant one as the Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees released or held bills off their suspense file which are those bills with an annual cost to the state of more than $150,000.  Members of the Appropriations committees in both houses looked at the fiscal impact and decided which bills were too expensive or lacked political support. Legislation held in committee will not be acted upon this year.  

Those held in committee included bills to raise the minimum wage, ban oil drilling off the coast and requiring state agencies to provide identity theft prevention and mitigation services at no cost for 12 months if the agency was the source of a data breach.  Bills that advanced include protections against warrantless government access to private electronic communications such as emails, text messages and GPS data that are stored in the cloud and on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other digital devices.

The final two weeks of session will consist of floor fights and negotiations on a slew of issues.  Most notably, issues to regulate unmanned aerial vehicles, conditions of employment and a gender wage differential to provide for equal pay for substantially similar work, and the privacy expectation afterlife for electronic communications – and let’s not forget there are rumors of a speakership fight in the Assembly. The Governor will have until midnight on October 11 to sign or veto legislation.  Stay tuned for updates….