Temporarily Suspend AB 5

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley intends to seek a floor vote on AB 1928 tomorrow to suspend AB 5 immediately, the worker classification bill. Good idea and a move to assure the many Californians hurt by the legislation that their representatives hear them. 

At least 33 bills have been introduced since the beginning of the year to amend AB 5, which only took effect January 1. Even the author and chief defender of AB 5, Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, has offered a bill to amend the measure. She wrote on her Twitter account that she is listening to people’s concerns about the bill. 

Bravo. That’s the way lawmaking should work. If there are problems with legislation roll up your sleeves and fix them. Assemblywoman Gonzalez is a passionate defender of her handiwork, but she also says she is listening to the concerns of her constituents and others around the state affected by the new law. All members who heard the same cries of pain from many California workers should agree to take their time with the amending pieces of legislation to avoid further unintended consequences.

 It will take time with so many fixes being offered. 

Given that the initial reaction from workers after the measure was implemented clearly showed the bill cost workers jobs and money and some control of their lives, take the time to consider the consequences of the many changes. But do it against a backdrop of people not being economically hurt; not continuing to miss out on jobs.

That means suspending the current law while the work on the fixes is carried out. Kiley’s Bill is an urgency statute which means it takes a two-thirds vote to pass. Then with the signature of the governor it becomes effective immediately.

Kiley cites the Legislative Analyst’s number that 1 million Californians are affected by the law. Given the ripple effect of these things, what affects these workers will touch others. 

In concluding a letter to his colleagues asking for support for AB 1928, Kiley wrote, “with all of us in agreement that the law needs to be changed, there’s simply no reason to continue enforcing it. Supporting AB 1928 is not in conflict with your prior decision to support AB 5. It’s in accord with your current position that AB 5 needs changes.”

With so many bills filed so soon after the legislation took effect, that argument is legitimate and should not be hard for all members to accept. 

Suspend AB 5 and get to work on the fixes.

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