Several employees in the Capitol and 2 Assemblymembers tested positive for COVID last month which stopped our work in its tracks. This week marks the start of a short, final month for the 2019 – 2020 session.
Public safety is a priority, and I am very proud to join Assemblymembers Cooper, Bonta and Gonzalez to co-author AB 664. The March 4 state of emergency declaration requires all peace officers, firefighters and health-care workers to remain on the job -- for our protection. Since this places them at heightened risk, we must do all we can to protect them. AB 664 provides full hospital, surgical, medical, disability indemnity and death benefits to all peace officers, firefighters and healthcare workers who contract COVID-19 while performing their duties. The bill has bipartisan support, and sponsors include the Los Angeles Police Protective League, California Professional Firefighters, and the California Nurses Association.
Another important bill is aimed at helping small businesses. As a small business owner myself, I know how difficult it is to keep up with changing laws and regulations. During this time of forced shutdowns, it’s even more difficult. SB 1457, introduced by Senator Borgeas, requires state agencies to help small businesses comply with ever-changing statutes and regulations, and reduces or waives civil penalties for some violations. The bill also establishes the Office of Small Business Advocate within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBIZ), and requires all state agencies that significantly impact or regulate small business to designate at least one person as a small business liaison.
During this emergency, we must do all we can to protect our first responders, and to assists small businesses trying to stay afloat and keep employees working. Bills like AB 664 and SB 1457 will help.