The California legislature has completed a major portion of its session. Both the Assembly and Senate today finished voting on hundreds of bills that had to be out of their house of origin by the end of the week.
The Senate approved several measures including one to overhaul California’s initiative process and one that would require warning labels on sugary drinks. A measure to increase the state’s minimum wage yet again passed with the bare minimum of votes. Democratic Senator Mark Leno authored the bill and implored his colleagues to vote for it.
“No one should be working full time and living in poverty,” he says. “Even with our increase passed last year, Californians will still be paid poverty wages and qualifying for public assistance. We can do better. I ask for your aye vote.”
Senators rejected an attempt to label genetically modified foods and again rejected a moratorium on fracking.
The Assembly approved a measure that would allow counties to conduct special elections entirely by mail-in-ballot. Members also passed a measure that would give all employees in the state at least three sick days a year. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez authored the bill. She refuted claims it would lead to employers cutting jobs.
“It seems that in places that have this policy already, places like New York City, Connecticut, Washington DC, people are rebounding even quicker than the parts of California that don’t have this policy,” she says. “So it’s hard for me to equate unemployment with some paid sick days.”
The Assembly rejected a bill that would regulate medical marijuana in the state.
The bills that passed will now move to the other house for consideration.