Extra resources for students of State and Local Government 180, an upper-division GE class in the Government Department at Sacramento State University
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
SF Chronicle: Governor vetoes child care unionizing bill
Jerry Brown vetoes child care unionizing bill
Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
San Francisco ChronicleOctober 5, 2011 04:00 AM
Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed a major labor-backed bill that would have allowed child care workers, including family members, to unionize. The measure was pushed by Democratic leaders in the Legislature and introduced in the final days of the session.
Brown also vetoed another measure to allow San Francisco to impose a surcharge on vehicle license fees to fund city services, while he signed into law a bill that will allow nonprofit organizations to take over the operations of state parks, a measure to ban the chemical bisphenol A in some children's products and another bill that will suspend professional and driver's licenses for major tax delinquents.
Brown explains veto
In vetoing the child care worker bill, AB101, Brown wrote to lawmakers that maintaining quality and affordable child care, along with ensuring fair working conditions are important goals.
"Balancing these objectives, however, as this bill attempts to do, is not easy or free from dispute," the governor wrote in his veto message. "Today, California, like the nation itself is facing huge budget challenges. Given that reality, I am reluctant to embark on a program of this magnitude and potential cost."
Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, who introduced the bill, said in a statement, "I'm disappointed that AB101 was vetoed. This bill would have given child care workers a voice in their workplace, and I will continue to fight to give them a seat at the table."
The Service Employees International Union, a major backer of the measure, responded by releasing a statement from child care provider Tonia McMillian of Bellflower in Los Angeles County, that said, "We are profoundly devastated by today's news" and went on to add, "Child care providers - nearly 80,000 throughout California - desperately needed this legislation so that we could improve our lives and the lives of the families we serve."
Similar bills were passed by the Legislature but vetoed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2004. Critics had panned the measure by invoking images of grandparents and teenage babysitters forming unions.
The bill would have allowed the workers to organize into a union and collectively bargain with the state for licensing regulations, benefits, reimbursement rates and payment processes for subsidy programs and access to nutritional programs, among other things.
Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale (Butte County), was one of the most outspoken critics of the measure as it made its way through the Legislature, where it passed on party-line votes. He commended Brown for the veto as he said a unionized workforce could drive up child care costs.
Praise for governor
"We'll have plenty we disagree on, I'm sure, but it's not like he's rubber-stamping every bad bill coming through or every union bill coming through," LaMalfa said.
In other action, the governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors - after a two-thirds vote - to place on the ballot a surcharge on the vehicle license fee for autos registered in the city to generate millions to pay for city services.
Brown said the measure, SB223 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was premature. "Before we embark on a piecemeal approach for one city, we should try to fashion a broader revenue solution to our state's fiscal crisis," the governor wrote in his veto message.
Leno called it, "A nonsensical veto message and blind to recent history." He said lawmakers have been trying for years to increase the vehicle license fee to its historic level to fund services and that it has never received the required Republican support.
"The VLF is not going to be part of any statewide solution. Everyone knows that," Leno said. If the surcharge was added locally, it could have brought an additional $75 million to San Francisco's general fund.
In all, Brown vetoed seven bills and signed 25 Tuesday.
Nonprofits run parks
Among those he signed was AB42, a measure by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, that will allow the Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into agreements to allow nonprofit organizations to take over the operations of state parks slated for closure.
The measure is a response to the administration's plan to close 70 parks and beaches statewide by July 2012, many of them in Northern California.
Brown acted on a long-standing issue at the Capitol, signing AB1319 by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, D-Los Angeles, that bans the chemical bisphenol A in sippy cups and baby bottles manufactured or sold in California. Scientific studies have linked the chemical to hormonal problems and reproductive health issues, among other problems.
Another measure signed by Brown, AB1424 by Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, requires the state to suspend professional, occupational and driver's licenses for those with the largest delinquent tax bills. It would apply to the top 1,000 people who owe $100,000 or more on lists maintained by the Franchise Tax Board and the State Board of Equalization.