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CAPITOL UPDATE #36 September 2, 2021

 September 2, 2021

California Federation of Republican Women
Sue Blair, President

        Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
  Gretchen Cox, Elaine Freeman, Lou Ann Flaherty,
Val Emick, and Theresa Speake

The Legislative Session ends September 10.
All bills will either be cleared to go to the Governor for signature, turned into two-year bills, or dropped. The trailer bills and gut and amend bills are put through during this time, limiting the ability to track. A “Gut and Amend” bill is one that is presented and moves thru the legislature collecting support and votes as one issue but at the last minute the existing language is taken out (gutted) and replaced (amended) with completely different language, often on a totally unrelated subject, which the public and even lawmakers have no opportunity to respond to or comment on. SB 455 is one example.

AB 455 (dead for the current legislative session, as of 08/30/21)- This was a “gut and amend” bill that was written as transportation issues. However, it was to be gutted and amended at the last minute to be a mandate, among other things, for proof of Covid vaccine documentation to be shown to gain entry to certain indoor facilities, like restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues.

In addition, it would have mandated that some employers require proof of vaccination and, “to the extent allowable under state and federal law and any employment agreement entered into on or after the effective date of this act, an employee who refuses to comply with this section may be subject to weekly Covid testing or termination”. A law like this could potentially be in place for decades to come, effectively impacting the freedoms of our GRANDCHILDREN to work or just go into an entertainment venue or restaurant! We are thrilled this bill has been killed, for the time being.

SB 503- Ballots and signature verification. Existing law requires an election official, upon receiving a vote by mail ballot, to verify the signature on the identification envelope by comparing it with the signature on specified records within the voter’s registration record and outlines various methods of verification.

This bill would (1) apply a presumption, for purposes of the comparison of signatures in the voter’s registration record, that the signature on an identification envelope, signature verification statement, unsigned ballot statement, or provisional ballot envelope, is the voter’s signature; (2) specify that an exact signature is not required for an election official to determine that the signature is valid and the fact that signatures share similar characteristics is sufficient to determine the signature is valid; (3) permit an elections official to reject a ballot only if the official determines beyond a reasonable doubt that a voter’s signature does not compare to a signature in the voter’s registration record.

This bill would delete verifying addresses on the vote by mail ballot return envelopes from the procedures that the observers may observe and challenge. In essence, this bill reduces the requirements to verify signatures on ballots.

Status: Passed the Senate, passed the Assembly committee, read 2nd time, and ordered to 3rd reading.

AB 110 (similar to SB 39)- Claims for unemployment compensation benefits: inmates. This bill would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide the names and social security numbers of current inmates’ name, known aliases, birth date, social security number, and booking date and expected release date, if known, of a current inmate to the Employment Development Department for the purposes of preventing payments on fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation benefits.

Status: Passed the Assembly and passed the Senate committee, read 2nd time, and ordered to 3rd reading.

AB 1064- Pharmacy practice: vaccines; independent initiation and administration. This bill would authorize a pharmacist to independently initiate and administer any vaccine that has been approved or authorized by the FDA and received an ACIP individual vaccine recommendation published by the CDC for persons 3 years or age and older.

From a pharmacist’s perspective, this bill would eliminate the current Prescriber protocol and allows the Pharmacist to independently initiate and administer all vaccines 3 years and older. This includes the Covid-19 vaccine. This will make ALL vaccines more accessible and reduce waiting times at medical offices by reducing their workload. Pharmacists are well trained and perfect for the job.

Status: Pending Senate Appropriations Committee; Hearing: Aug 23rd at 9:00 am

For further information on any of the bills mentioned here, click the Bill # in the email. Or you can CLICK HERE and simply enter the bill # or keywords where designated.

Find/contact your local Legislators, click HERE to inquire about or let them know your opinion about bills or issues.

To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Listen to hearings on bills that interest you –

Calif. Legislative Portal links- Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RWF or CFRW)- click here, or the bill’s author- click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”

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