CSAC Employee Relations and Administrative Services Signed and Vetoed Bill Summary
October 6, 2016
AB 1244 (Gray). Workers’ Compensation: Support – Signed. Creates notification and suspension guidelines for physicians or practitioners in the workers’ compensation system who have been suspended from the Medi-Cal system for reasons like felony conviction or misdemeanor like fraud or abuse. CSAC supported this measure as a positive initial step towards reducing fraud in the workers’ compensation system.
AB 1546 (Olsen). Vital Records: Sponsor – Signed. Allows the Department of Public Health to suspend the use of certain currently required security features of a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage record when necessary. CSAC sponsored this bill to address recent problems with supplies of specialty paper needed to keep vital records available.
AB 1676 (Campos). Wage Discrimination: Neutral – Signed. Clarifies existing law to ensure that prior salary alone cannot be used to justify any disparities in pay rates. CSAC had initial concerns with the bill but, following negotiated amendments from the author, was able to come to a neutral position.
AB 1787 (Gomez). Translation of Public Comments in Open Meetings: Support – Signed. Requires local legislative bodies to provide additional time for members of the public who need an interpreter to address the body. CSAC supported this bill as a good governance option to aid the public in accessing local government.
AB 2143 (Irwin). Electronic Recording: Support – Signed. Allows additional entities to record certain types of digital or digitized electronic records, and updates requirements for authorized submitters regarding general liability coverage. CSAC supported this measure on the grounds that it will make document recording more efficient for all parties.
AB 2257 (Maienschein). Local Agency Meetings Online Agenda Postings: Dropped Opposition – Signed. Requires agendas for the legislative bodies of local governments to be accessible on the homepage on the local agency’s primary website through a “prominent, direct link.” Local agencies are exempt if they use an integrated agenda management platform that meets certain requirements, including that the current agenda is the first on top and that all agendas posted are machine-readable and platform independent. CSAC opposed earlier versions of this bill because it imposed onerous requirements with very specific restrictions but successfully negotiated amendments with the author to, among other things, include exemptions for agencies using integrated agenda management platforms. Following this negotiated compromise, CSAC changed to a position of neutral.
AB 2636 (Linder). Electronic Application for Vital Records: Sponsor – Signed. Allows local jurisdictions the option to accept online requests for vital records; counties that choose to offer this option would provide a multilayered remote identity authentication method to establish the identity of the requestor, thereby ensuring the highest level of privacy security for the applicant. CSAC sponsored this measure because it will make the process of requesting vital records easier for both the consumers who need access to their records and the counties supplying records. The option will allow vital records processing to catch up to current technological standards while also maintaining vital security standards.
AB 2853 (Gatto). Public Records: Support – Signed. Authorizes public agencies that post public records online to refer members of the public to that online posting when they request to inspect the public record. CSAC supported this measure as a common-sense way to increase efficiency for all involved in the records-requesting process.
SB 1063 (Hall). Wage Differentials by Race or Ethnicity: Oppose – Signed. Prohibits employers from paying employees a wage rate less than that paid to employees of a different race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. CSAC opposed the measure on the grounds that legislation related to equal pay (SB 358, Jackson) just took effect earlier this year, and employees, employers, and the courts need time to interpret and implement the new boundaries of equal pay before seeking to expand it even further.
SB 1160 (Mendoza). Workers’ Compensation: No Position – Signed. Updates the utilization review process in the workers’ compensation system. CSAC was able to withdraw initial opposition to this bill when language was added to address issues of fraud and friction within the workers’ compensation lien system.
AB 779 (Garcia). Local Government Financial Disclosures: Oppose – Vetoed. Would have required local agencies to submit an annual report on total compensation for each elected official. For purposes of the report, “total compensation” included salary, overtime, unused vacation time, stipends, pension contributions, retirement contributions, health premiums, and allowances for automobiles, phones, and technology like computers. CSAC opposed this measure on the grounds that it was duplicative of existing annual reports to the State Controller and would have therefore increased complexity without adding value to the public.
AB 1643 (Gonzalez). Workers’ Compensation Permanent Disability Apportionment: Oppose – Vetoed. Would have prohibited apportionment of workers’ compensation benefits from being based on pregnancy, menopause, osteoporosis, or carpal tunnel syndrome, or for a psychiatric injury occurring from disability or impairment caused by any of these conditions. CSAC opposed this measure because it would have diverged from current American Medical Association guidelines for apportioning out injuries and required employers to pay monetary awards for injuries or disabilities that did not actually result from a workplace injury.
AB 1853 (Cooper). County Employees’ Retirement Districts System Governance: Oppose – Vetoed. Would have allowed a retirement system under the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) to elect to be an independent district without any county input. CSAC opposed this measure because it would have allowed systems to modify their structure without input from any other affected stakeholders; under the current system, retirement systems may change their structure, but must work with other stakeholders to do so collaboratively. Additionally, the bill would have led to increased administrative costs due to language requiring the county to maintain health benefits for former county employees that would shift to being independent retirement district employees.
SB 897 (Roth). Workers’ Compensation: Oppose – Vetoed. Would have provided an additional year of leave with full salary (also known as “4850 benefits”) to certain peace officers who have been temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of a catastrophic injury. While well-intentioned, CSAC opposed the measure because it would have created additional burdens for local agencies without a corresponding benefit. Existing workers’ compensation laws provide balanced, fair treatment and rehabilitation benefits while also maintaining an appropriate fiscal commitment from local agencies. Adjusting benefits in this way would upset that balance. Also, local agencies currently have authority to extend benefits on an individual basis if it makes sense in certain particular cases.