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Moreno: More to Come

  • State: California

Last week, California voters unanimously voted not to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. It wasn’t much of a surprise, given the polling numbers as election day approached.

Cynthia Moreno

Cynthia Moreno

Most major news outlets had reported the outcome no later than 15 minutes after the polls officially closed.

Newsom’s victory primarily means two things: He will finish his term as governor with more than 400 more days to execute his agenda, and he will decide the fate of hundreds of bills sent to his desk this legislative session — without any political interference.

He has until Oct. 10 to sign or veto those bills.

One of them is Senate Bill 788, a bill CAAA pushed this legislative session. Authored by Sen. Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, the bill will outlaw racial and gender discrimination in the workers’ compensation system.

Historically, California has been the leader in enacting anti-discriminatory legislation except in workers’ compensation. Every day, insurers profit from discrimination all the while injured workers' benefits are reduced because they are either women or people of color, or both.

The bill passed the Senate on a 37-0 favorable vote on the heels of a 77-0 vote in the Assembly.

What does Gov. Newsom’s recall victory mean for workers’ compensation in the future? 

We will know after he acts on SB 788.

What we knew before the recall stole his time and attention was what the governor did one year ago.

By signing SB 1159 and Assembly Bill 685, the governor made it easier for first responders and health care workers to get necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits if they were infected with COVID-19. And, every worker and local health official would be notified of COVID-19 cases where they work.

Will the governor do more?

If the past is a prelude to the future, the answer is yes.

Cynthia Moreno is communications director for the California Applicants' Attorneys Association. This opinion is republished, with permission, from the CAAA website.

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