From today’s Sacramento Bee:
Striking California workers are one gubernatorial signature away from being able to apply for and receive state-funded aid after a last-minute push by lawmakers. The California Senate voted 27-12 on Thursday to concur with Assembly amendments to Senate Bill 799, authored by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino of Burbank. Only workers who have been on strike for at least 14 days would be eligible for the unemployment benefits.
“Let’s remember – when somebody goes on strike, it’s not a romantic thing. It’s hard on that family,” Portantino said during debate on the floor. “People have raised legitimate concerns about the fund itself. The impact on that fund would be very minor relative to this bill, but the impact to the individual on strike would be significant.”
It’s unclear whether Newsom will sign the bill. The governor dodged the question at a Politico forum earlier this week, but noted his concerns about the nearly $18 billion in debt that the unemployment fund currently carries.
The renewed effort to give strikers financial relief comes as tens of thousands of California workers, mostly in Los Angeles, walked off the job and onto the picket line during what some have called a “hot labor summer.”
The nearly 13,000 screenwriters represented by the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since May 2. Hundreds of thousands of actors represented by SAG-AFTRA joined them in solidarity in mid-July. Also in southern California, thousands of hotel workers walked out in early July, and Los Angeles municipal employees struck for a day in early August.
Read the complete story here.