California lawmakers return to work on Monday with one month left to pass bills before adjourning for the year.
The Legislature was busy before the July recess, passing a $214.8 billion operating budget and setting up funds to pay future wildfire victims and clean up drinking water.
But lawmakers still have lots to do before they adjourn on Sept. 13. Here are a few bills they will consider over the next month.
A bill that passed the Assembly would force companies like Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers like employees, which would guarantee them things like a minimum wage and workers compensation. Author Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, says the measure will protect workers. But companies say their workers want to be independent because it gives them flexibility.
Assembly Bill 5 is now before the Senate.
California passed a law last year that forces companies to tell consumers what data they collect about them and lets consumers refuse to let companies sell that data. But lawmakers are considering several amendments before it goes into effect on Jan. 1, including an exemption for employers collecting data about their employees.
Those bills have passed the Assembly and are awaiting action in the Senate.
The country's most populous state does not have enough places for people to live. Yet most of the big ideas California lawmakers had to combat this problem failed to pass this year. But a few are still out there, notably a measure from Assemblyman David Chiu. It would cap rent increases at 7% each year. The cap would expire in 2023 and it would not apply to landlords leasing fewer than 10 single family homes or to properties built in the last decade.
Assembly Bill 1482 has passed the Assembly and is awaiting action in the Senate.
POLICE USE OF FORCE
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to soon sign a bill allowing police to use deadly force only when it is "necessary" to prevent death or serious injury. But a second law enforcement-supported bill would require training for officers in ways to de-escalate confrontations. Advocates say the combination would give California the most sweeping response to public outrage over fatal police shootings of minority men.
SB230 has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the Assembly.
Newsom is also backing an effort to crack down on doctors who sell what health officials say are bogus medical exemptions for families who want to avoid having their children vaccinated. It would give state public health officials oversight of doctors who grant more than five medical exemptions annually and schools with vaccination rates less than 95%. Opponents say the bill goes too far to interfere with parental choice and doctors' decisions.
SB276 has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the Assembly.
A recent flurry of deadly mass shootings is prodding lawmakers who already were considering ways to further tighten California's strict gun laws.
A Democratic assemblyman says he'll try to revive AB18, which would levy a $25 tax on gun sales. Another bill, SB61, would bar people from buying more than one gun a month. Other efforts would let employers and co-workers seek gun violence restraining orders, an extension of California's "red flag" laws.
A measure awaiting action in the Assembly would let college athletes hire an agent and accept paid endorsements. While stopping short of paying players a salary, it would let athletes cash in on their value before they turn pro. The schools oppose the bill because NCAA President Mark Emmert has warned the proposal, if it becomes law, could prevent California schools from competing for national championships.
Senate Bill 206 has cleared the Senate.