Lorena Gonzalez Celebrates Legislative Victories for California
11 Bills Authored by the San Diego Assemblywoman Signed into Law to Protect Workers, Voters, Assault Survivors and Immigrants
SACRAMENTO -- (Monday, Oct. 14, 2019) -- California state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) ended the 2019 legislative year with eleven pieces of legislation signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom that will improve the lives of California workers, childhood sexual abuse survivors, immigrants and voters.
Assemmblywoman Gonzalez authored some of the most fundamental state labor laws passed this year, including Assembly Bill 5 to stop the misclassification and wage theft of millions of California workers. In the final days of the legislative year, her bill to end forced arbitration as a condition of employment (Assembly Bill 51) also gained the governor’s signature. Starting in January, AB 51 will protect an estimated 67 percent of California workers who are currently required to give up their labor rights in order to be hired.
Assembly Bill 1554 by Assemblywoman Gonzalez will make sure Californians don’t lose out on their hard earned money by requiring employers provide workers two different notices reminding them to withdraw or use funds in their Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) before they expire.
Gonzalez worked with Attorney General Xavier Becerra to author Assembly Bill 1296 to crackdown on human trafficking and the underground economy. The measure will enshrine in state statute California’s unique, multi-agency task force of law enforcement professionals known as the Tax Recovery and Underground Economy (TRUE) Team that currently operates out of Sacramento and Los Angeles.
CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS
Short statutes of limitation have kept survivors of childhood sexual abuse out of the legal system by setting an arbitrary deadline for pressing criminal charges or filing a civil lawsuit. Survivors often need decades to come forward. Assembly Bill 218 empowers survivors by extending the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse crimes, from age 26 to age 40, and the period for delayed reasonable discovery from three to five years. In cases where a child becomes a victim of sexual abuse as the result of an effort to cover up past assaults, AB 218 will allow a court to award recovery of up to treble damages from the defendant who engaged in the cover up.
Gov. Newsom also signed legislation by Assemblywoman Gonzalez that will protect California’s immigrant residents. Assemblywoman Gonzalez’s Assembly Bill 1747 will better prevent the misuse of statewide law enforcement databases, and Assembly Bill 668 will protect the rights of immigrants to safely enter our California courthouses without the threat of civil arrest.
We know the janitorial industry is mostly comprised of immigrant women who work alone and are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault. Gonzalez’s Assembly Bill 547 was signed into law to ensures that sexual violence and harassment prevention training in the janitorial industry is conducted by workers themselves and sensitive to the unique conditions these workers confront while on the job.
The housing affordability crisis has resulted in more than 130,000 Californians who do not live in a traditional residence. Signed into law in July, Assembly Bill 679 by Assemblywoman Gonzlez will protect the vote and make sure Californians are not inadvertently disqualified from the voting process simply because they live in non-traditional housing.
FUR TRAPPING BAN, SANDAG
Earlier this year, the assemblywoman celebrated the signing of her Assembly Bill 273 that banned the practice of fur trapping in California. She also secured a local legislative win with the signing of her Assembly Bill 1730, which enables San Diego County’s local leaders to better prepare for the region’s future growth. The measure allows SANDAG additional time to develop a visionary Regional Plan that provides real transportation choices that will enhance connectivity, increase safety and sustainability, and improve quality of life.
For press questions on Assemblywoman Gonzalez's legislative wins for 2019, or to schedule an interview, contact Sami Gallegos (209) 658-7617.