Friday, August 11, 2006
Bill to Require State Contractors to Pay for Jury Duty Clears Assembly Appropriations Committee
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
A bill that would require all state contractors with more than 100 employees to pay their employees for the first week of jury duty up to once a year has cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 1281, by Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, the Senate majority leader, is identical to a bill that was vetoed last year by the governor. It passed in yesterday’s committee test by a vote of 13-5.
Voting in favor were Democrats Judy Chu of Monterey Park, Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Patty Berg of Santa Rosa, Ron Calderon of Montebello, Hector De La Torre of South Gate, Betty Karnette of Long Beach, Johan Klehs of Hayward, Joe Nation of San Rafael, Jenny Oropeza of Carson, Mark Ridley-Thomas of Los Angeles, Lori Saldana of San Diego, and Leland Yee of San Francisco.
Chu is the committee chair.
Voting against were Republicans Sharon Runner of Lancaster, Bill Emmerson of Rancho Cucamonga, Ray Haynes of Temecula, Alan Nakanishi of Lodi, and Marian Walters of Laguna Niguel. Runner is the committee vice chair.
The bill, which passed the Senate May 30 by a vote of 22-14, now goes to the full Assembly. It has the backing of the California Judges Association and the California Judicial Council, which describe it as a reasonable, limited response to the need for enough jurors to operate the one-day, one-trial jury selection system mandated by state law.
In vetoing last year’s bill, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the bill would discourage companies from doing business with the state, reduce competition for state contracts, and increase state costs.
A spokesperson for Romero said the senator was optimistic the governor could be persuaded to support the bill, but that his office had given no indication of its views. As a general rule, the governor does not indicate prior to passage what action he will take on bills that are not part of his own legislative program, the spokesperson pointed out.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company