California Healthline: Flurry of Bills Approved as Session Ends

by David Gorn

California’s Legislature last week approved a laundry list of legislation at the end of its session — including a number of health-related laws.

Paid Sick Leave Bill

One bill would ensure three days of paid sick leave a year for Californians — but that measure excluded the roughly 400,000 home health workers in the state. AB 1522 by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) is the second state mandate in the nation to require employers to cover sick leave. Connecticut’s mandate in 2011 was the first.

The bill still needs the governor’s signature, but that looks pretty likely. “The Legislature took historic action to help hardworking Californians,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said in a written statement right after passage of AB 1522. “This bill guarantees that millions of workers, from Eureka to San Diego, won’t lose their jobs or pay just because they get sick.”

The bill, however, excludes home health care workers in California from sick pay. That last-minute amendment was the price of the bill’s passage, and Gonzalez said she still was happy with the “imperfect” legislation, and that she will introduce another bill next session to include home health workers.

Medi-Cal Grant Funding Bill’

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