And They're Off: California's End of Session Sprint
On Monday, August 4, the California Legislature reconvened after a month-long summer recess. Today marks the end of the first week of their 28-day sprint toward the August 31 finish line, the constitutional deadline to conclude legislative business of the 2013-14 session. The Governor will then have until September 30 to sign or veto most bills passed by the Legislature before September 1.
Because August 31 is a non-negotiable deadline for all regular session measures, this is the time of year during which we keep an especially watchful eye for “gut and amends,” a process whereby the contents of a legislative item are stripped completely and replaced with different provisions. It is the job of your California lobbyist to know about these amendments before anyone else and how they will effect the way you do business in the state. At Warner & Pank, our charge is to keep you as informed of the Sacramento landscape as possible while protecting your interests.
As always, some of the most controversial and weighty items remain unresolved and have been left for last-minute haggling and deal brokering.
In that spirit, please note this article wherein John Myers of KQED News highlights seven items likely to top the legislature’s agenda over the next few weeks:
· A proposal that would require most employers to offer at least three days of paid sick leave;
· Gun control bills generated in the wake of, or highlighted by, the Isla Vista shooting (debate over gun laws has taken center stage throughout this two-year session);
· A push to delay the cap on carbon emissions arising from fuel production until 2017;
· Fights over increasing legal gaming in California, including the prospect of legalizing online poker and expanding tribal gaming;
· Bond measures including the replacement of an $11 billion water bond now thought to be too costly to be approved by voters in November and the creation of a new school construction bond;
· A series of bills aimed at repairing the damage done to the reputation of California’s legislature after criminal charges were brought against three Senators and several lobbyists and consultants were punished for breaching state regulations in their interactions with elected officials; and,
· Intense debate and partisan politics over efforts to rescind voter-approved laws from years past, including initiatives dealing with immigration and the use of the English language in the classroom.
Cory M. Salzillo
Legislative Representative/Business Consultant
Warner & Pank, LLC.