‘Feather Alerts:’ Fast-food restaurant conditions among bills considered by California Legislature

August 31 marks the deadline for the California State Legislature to pass a bill and send it to the governor’s desk. Any bill not currently under consideration will have to wait until the start of the next legislative session, which starts in 2023.

Governor Gavin Newsom has already signed a number of bills into law this year, including legislation that allows gun manufacturers to be sued by people harmed by their products and other legislation that helps protect abortion providers and patients from out-of-state legal action.

Here are some of the major bills that have only passed one of the two legislative chambers, the State Assembly and Senate, but have yet to be approved by the second chamber.

1. Feather Alert

Assembly Bill 1314, would create a “Feather Alert”, similar to the Amber Alert system, but for when an indigenous person has been reported missing “under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.”

2. Fast food labor council

Assembly Bill 257 would create a council to oversee working conditions at fast food chain restaurants operating in the state. The bill was authored by Chris Holden of Pasadena, a former Subway franchisee,and passed the Assembly 41-27 back in January.

3. Collective bargaining for state legislative staff

The Assembly also passed AB 1577, which would allow employees of the legislature to unionize. The Ralph C. Dills Act, passed in 1978, legalized collective bargaining for some state employees, but the legislative staff was not included in the law at that time.

4. Employee Pay Data Report

Senate Bill 1162 would require employers with 100 or more employees to submit pay data reports, with certain sections broken down by sex, race, age and ethnicity, to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) annually.

DFEH would also be required to make reports from employers with 250 or more employees publically available by 2027.

The bill would also require employers with 15 or more employees to include the pay scale for a position in any job posting. 

5. Climate Corporate Accountability Act

Senate Bill 260, the Climate Corporate Accountability Act, would require companies with more than $1,000,000,000 in revenue that operate in California to publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis.

6. Abortion Practical Support Fund

The State Assembly has yet to vote on Senate Bill 1142, which the Senate passed 29-9 in May, that would establish the Abortion Practical Support Fund which would be used in part to “increase patient access to abortion” and research access equitability.

7. Remove abortion investigation requirements for coroners

Senate Bill 2223 would remove existing requirements that coroners investigate ” known or suspected self-induced or criminal abortion” and the labeling of fetal deaths where a physician was not present

The bill would also allow individuals to sue “offending state actors” who violate their rights provided to them by the Reproductive Privacy Act.

8. Alcohol sales time extension

Senate Bill 930 would initiate a 5-year pilot program allowing some areas to extend the sale of alcohol at bars to 4 a.m. The bill lists Cathedral City, Coachella, Fresno, Oakland, Palm Springs, West Hollywood, and the City and County of San Francisco as areas where the pilot program would be operated.

9. Segregated confinement limits in jails and prisons

Assembly Bill 2632 would prohibit the use of “segregated confinement” in jails and prisons on individuals with a developmental mental or physical disability or individuals younger than 26 years old or older than 59 years old.

The bill limits the amount of time individuals can be put into segregated confinement to 15 consecutive days and 45 days total in a 180-day period.

The bill also requires facilities to offer at least 4 hours a day of “out-of-cell programming.”

10. CARE court program

Senate Bill 1338 would create a program of court-ordered treatment for adults who have specified psychotic disorders and “are in need of services and supports in order to prevent a relapse or deterioration that would be likely to result in grave disability or serious harm to the person or others.”

The bill allows family, roommates, hospital directors, first responders, and others to initiate the process.