Legislative Wrap Up 2017

Wins for Workers!

Click here to download the 2017 Legislative Wrap Up

The 2017 legislative session has come to an end and real progress has been made for working families. We fought off the federal assaults on health care, environmental protection, and immigrant communities, while fighting to maintain workers’ rights and create good jobs in California.  Long-awaited investment in transportation and affordable housing would not have happened without strong Labor support. The renewal of cap and trade ensured funding to high-speed rail and transit jobs while helping us meet our state’s climate goals. California continues to lead when it comes to worker’s rights and good job creation. Below is a summary of key wins for workers!

Healthcare Access and Cost Containment

SB 17 (Hernandez): Requires pharmaceutical companies to provide 60 days advance notice and a justification before raising a drug price more than 16% over two years.

Right to Organize and Improve Working Conditions

AB 119 (Budget): Allows union to participate in public sector new employee orientations so workers learn about their contract and benefits.

SB 306 (Hertzberg): Protects workers who are fired for being whistleblowers by allowing them to seek immediate reinstatement based on the chilling effect the firing would have on the entire workforce.

AB 134 (Budget): Requires that any electric vehicle manufacturer receiving public subsidies under the cap and trade program be certified by the state as a fair and responsible employer and prohibits the use of public funds for fully automated port equipment that eliminates jobs.

AB 83 (Santiago): Gives Judicial Council employees the right to organize.

AB 670 (Thurmond): Makes part-time playground workers part of classified workforce.

SB 201 (Skinner): Gives 14,000 Research Assistants (RAs) at the UC the right to organize.

Wage Theft & Workers Rights

SB 96 (Budget): Adds 82 new positions and $11.4 million over the next two years to the Labor Commissioner’s enforcement budget to crack down on underground economy abuses. Provides new tools for improving labor law enforcement and allowed Labor Commissioner to levy penalties on public agencies that knowingly hire unregistered contractors and subcontractors.

AB 1701 (Thurmond): Ensures workers get paid by holding general contractors liable when a subcontractor fails to pay wages.

SB 550 (Pan): Creates incentives for school employers to settle legitimate wage claims by school employees rather than create needless delays.

AB 603 (Quirk Silva): Gives family childcare providers tools to ensure they are paid fairly such as access to direct deposit and notification of changes to subsidies.

Protect Immigrant Workers

AB 450 (Chiu): Requires that immigration enforcement agents have a judicial warrant before entering a business to detain workers and a subpoena before accessing worker records.

AB 699 (O’Donnell): Protects students, parents, and school employees by creating standards and safety protocols to prevent immigration enforcement actions at school facilities.

AB 21 (Kalra): Protects undocumented college students by restricting immigration enforcement on campus, providing healthcare access, and maintaining DACA financial aid.

SB 54 (de Leon): Protects community safety by limiting local law enforcement from cooperating in immigration enforcement.

Put Labor Standards on Public Funds

AB 199 (Chu): Ensures that projects receiving public funding from redevelopment successor agencies are subject to prevailing wage so workers are paid fairly.

AB 1066 (Aguiar-Curry): Adds tree removal work to the definition of public works to ensure those workers get paid prevailing wage.

Infrastructure/Cap & Trade

SB 1 (Beall): Raises $52 billion for street and highway repairs and maintenance over ten years by increasing the gas and diesel tax.

AB 398 (E. Garcia)/AB 617 (C. Garcia): Extends cap and trade program to ensure California meets its SB 32 emission reduction targets and improve air quality for communities most affected by pollution.

AB 109 (Budget): Invests significant new resources into state and local firefighting services to prevent and prepare for increased fire risk created by climate change.


SB 2 (Atkins): Creates a permanent funding source for affordable housing with a $75 fee on financial transactions on property such as refinances.

SB 3 (Beall): Authorizes a housing bond for $4 billion to fund existing affordable housing programs.

SB 35 (Weiner)/AB 73 (Chiu)/SB 540 (Roth): Allows streamlining for certain housing developments with prevailing wage and skilled workforce requirements.

Expand Worker Health and Safety

AB 55 (Thurmond): Requires refineries to disclose contracts they claim are exempt from skilled and trained workforce requirements to state agencies.

SB 432 (Pan): Requires county health officers to immediately notify emergency medical personnel if they have been exposed to a communicable disease while transporting a patient.