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Blog: Legislature's Final Day Of Session

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Lawmakers worked through the night and into early Saturday to address several key bills. The Senate adjourned at 3:05 a.m. and the Assembly at 2:35 a.m.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Update at 1:45am: Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign the paid sick leave bill into law.

“Tonight, the Legislature took historic action to help hardworking Californians,” the governor said in a statement after the bill passed. This bill guarantees that millions of workers from Eureka to San Diego won’t lose their jobs or pay just because they get sick.”

Update at 1:30am: 6.5 million employees in California would for the first time be entitled to earn paid sick leave under a bill that passed the Legislature early Saturday morning.

AB 1522 by Asm. Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) passed the Assembly 50-20 at 1:28am Saturday, as lawmakers alternately rushed and dawdled to wrap up their two-year legislative session two days before Sunday's midnight deadline.

The bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. Gonzalez agreed to exempt 400,000 In-Home Supportive Services workers from earning sick leave in order to gain the governor's support.

Update at 1:00am: Don't ask.

Update at 12:30am: See our 12:15am update.

Update at 12:15am Saturday: Yup, we're still here...

Update at 11:50pm: The Senate has passed AB 1522 by Asm. Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), 22-8, which would allow California workers to earn paid sick leave.

Many Democrats expressed angst at the "Sophie's Choice" they faced because the bill, as amended, now exempts In-Home Supportive Services workers. Gonzalez agreed to the IHSS worker exemption to win the support of Gov. Jerry Brown.

"This is BS," said Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles).

But Democrats said they would support the legislation because it would make 6.5 million Californians eligible to earn paid sick leave - even though 400,000 IHSS workers would be ineligible.

The bill must still pass the Assembly, which is expected to take it up shortly.

Update at 11:40pm: It's now up to Gov. Jerry Brown to decide whether single-use plastic bags should be banned in California.

The Senate approved SB 270 by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), 22-15, late Friday night, one day after the bill passed the Assembly on its second try.

It would ban single-use plastic bags statewide at grocery stores, pharmacies and large retailers like Target and WalMart in July 2015.

The measure would also require the stores to charge a minimum 10-cent fee for paper bags.

Update at 7:45pm: The Senate has approved the two remaining groundwater regulation bills, SB 1168 and SB 1319 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). All three groundwater bills now move to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

Update at 7:20pm: Asm. Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has amended her paid sick leave bill to remove In-Home Supportive Services workers in order to win support from Gov. Jerry Brown.

The union representing IHSS workers and other labor groups oppose the amendments.

The bill is expected to come up this evening on the Senate floor. If it passes, it would still need Assembly approval to reach Brown's desk.

Update at 7:00pm: The California Legislature has sent a bill that would allow judges to issue temporary gun restraining orders against people who show signs of being mentally unstable. The bill passed the Senate two days ago; it passed the Assembly this evening by a 47-25 vote.

Update at 5:00pm: Just hours remain before the California Legislature plans to adjourn for the year, and the fates of some key bills are still up in the air.

The statewide plastic bag ban passed the Assembly yesterday but still needs to pass the Senate today. The three-bill package that would allow the state to regulate groundwater in California for the first time passed the Assembly but two of the measures still need to pass the Senate. And the bill that would require all employees in California to be eligible for paid sick leave still needs to pass both chambers.

Lawmakers are expected to work past midnight tonight so they can act on bills ineligible to come up for votes until tomorrow. Then, they’ll adjourn their two-year session two days early.

Groundwater Legislation Passes Assembly
by Max Pringle 

The California Assembly has approved a package of bills today that would regulate the state’s groundwater supply. All three measures must become law for any to go into effect. California is the only western state that doesn’t regulate groundwater use.

Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson says his bill would give local jurisdictions up to five years to devise their own groundwater sustainability plans.

“This is not the state coming into a local area and telling it what to do, this is an opportunity for local communities to decide how they want to approach this issue and then devising their own plan,” said Dickinson.

The bills would require those plans to have achieved groundwater sustainability within 20 years.

Opponents of the legislation say it’s being rushed through without proper debate. They want to wait until next year to have that debate.

Two of the bills are now headed back to the Senate for a final vote. The third is on its way to the governor.