Morning Canary – California Governor Signs “a trove” of Legislation into Law

Canary. Photo by 4028mdk09.

Out-going, term-limited Governor Jerry Brown signed several bills on Sunday, one of which TNB brought readers on Monday, here, about California passing into law their own version of “net neutrality.”

The Associated Press reports, “California has become the first state to require publicly traded companies to include women on their boards of directors, one of several laws boosting or protecting women that Gov. Jerry Brown signed Sunday.”

California based, publicly traded companies will be required to have at least one female on it’s board by the end of 2019 and “up to three female directors by the end of 2021, depending on the number of board seats.”

The Democratic governor referenced the objections and legal concerns that the law has raised. The California Chamber of Commerce has said the policy will be difficult for companies to implement and violates constitutional prohibitions against discrimination.

“I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation,” Brown wrote in a signing statement. “Nevertheless, recent events in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.”

Associated Press

Companies who report they have their “executive offices” based in California are the targets of this law and “can be fined $100,000 for a first violation and $300,000 for subsequent violations.” The companies can be fined $100,000 for failure to “report their board composition” to California’s secretary of state.

“Some European countries, including Norway and France, already mandate that corporate boards include women.”

Critics of the requirement, such as California’s Chamber of Commerce, argue this is something that should be determined internally within a company, “not mandated by government” and that “the new law will prioritize gender over other aspects of diversity, such as race and ethnicity.”

The AP further describes another bill signed into law as “legislation requiring smaller employers to provide sexual harassment training and banning secret settlements related to sexual assault and harassment.”

According to CNN’s Money report, these, along with “a trove” of other bills passed the California state legislature last month Brown signed into law on Sunday that look to “protect and support women, children and working families,” according to the governor’s press release.

Brown, however, did veto a bill introduced by state senator Connie Leyva (D) that would require all “34 University of California and California State University campuses” to offer “abortion medication at their health centers” by 2022.

The public schools now refer students to outside providers. Abortion rights advocates said that made it difficult for women without a car and also expensive because many private providers do not accept student insurance.

A group of private donors, some of them anonymous, had vowed to pay for up to $20 million in startup costs, including ultrasound equipment and training for both medical and billing staff.

Associated Press

Leyva said she plans to reintroduce her bill under then next incoming governor after Brown leaves office, saying, “I am hopeful that our incoming Legislature and governor will agree that the right to choose isn’t just a slogan, but rather a commitment to improving true access to abortion for students across California.”

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