Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Litany of COVID Vaccination, Abortion and Gun Legislation Proposed in California

Over the next few weeks, California's legislature will be voting on a myriad of newly proposed laws impacting healthcare, individual rights, and employer responsibility.  Here is a brief summary of some of them:  

From CalMatters:  

Taken together, the adoption of these bills would make California an outlier among states — and give it the country’s strictest COVID-19 regulations. Other states are considering various mandates and legislation related to COVID-19, but none appear to have the coordination of this effort, steered by some of the most powerful legislators in Sacramento.

“These bills all attempt to bring cohesion, consistency and clarity to our overall approach and response to the pandemic,” said Democratic Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, a member of the group.

The bills:
    • SB 871 would require all children 0 to 17 to get the COVID-19 vaccine to attend child care or school;
    • SB 866 would allow kids 12 to 17 to get the COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent;
    • SB 1479 would require schools to continue testing and to create testing plans;
    • SB 1018 would require online platforms to be more transparent about how information is pushed out to consumers;
    • SB 1464 would force law enforcement officials to enforce public health orders;
    • AB 1993 would require all employees, including independent contractors, to show proof of COVID-19 vaccine to work in California - defeated on March 29th;
    • AB 1797 would make changes to the California Immunization Record Database;
    • AB 2098 would reclassify the sharing of COVID-19 “misinformation” by doctors and surgeons as unprofessional conduct that would result in disciplinary action.  
Critics said the bills infringe on the health privacy of children, interfere with how doctors work, impose a burden on businesses and workers, and rely on vaccines that do not in many cases prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Other legislation on tap in the Golden State:  

  • AB 1594 encourages California residents to sue gun makers, distributors of ghost guns, and "assault weapons" if they fail to "enforce reasonable controls, ... and take reasonable precautions to ensure that the [gun manufacturer] does not sell, distribute, or provide a firearm-related product to a downstream distributor or retailer of firearm-related products who fails to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls.  The bill would also prohibit a firearm industry member from manufacturing, marketing, importing, offering for wholesale, or offering for retail sale a firearm-related product that is likely to create a substantial and unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety." 
  • Another bill proposed by Assembly Member Scott Wiener of San Francisco, "would render unenforceable in California any out-of-state court judgments seeking to remove children from their parents’ custody because they have received gender-affirming surgeries, hormone therapy, and other transgender medical care." 
  • Under SB 1142, taxpayer funds could be spent to help low-income California residents obtain abortions.  More significantly, the fund would be available to help out-of-state residents get abortions as well.  The legislation proposes, " the commission shall not require the submission of any identifying personal information about individuals receiving practical support services as part of an application for a grant [for an aborition] or reporting of expenditures and activities using grant [abortion] funds under this article." 

  • In order to "make capitalism more sustainable and humane," U.S. House Representative Mark Takano (CA) has proposed legislation that would reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours.