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October 18, 2001
Calif.'s Davis Signs HR-related Bills
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er reviewing more than 1,000 bills produced by the last session of the state legislature, California Gov. Gray Davis has approved some that have ramifications for HR, including one that will boost pay for laid-off workers, another that will expand domestic-partner benefits, and a third that will broaden prevailing-wage requirements.

The vetoed bills include a workers' compensation measure authored by Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco. It would have gradually boosted benefits for injured workers to a maximum of $651 per week from the current $490. The estimated cost to employers was more than $5 billion a year.

The Los Angeles Times provides this list of the bills that won the signature of Davis, who is seeking re-election:

Unemployment Insurance. SB 40 by Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Sylmar, gradually raises by $100 per week the unemployment insurance benefits for people who are laid off. It is the first such raise in a decade.

Prevailing Wage. SB 975, also by Alarcon, requires higher union wages to be paid on more construction projects that receive government assistance, including the building of low-cost housing.

Domestic Partners. AB 25 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, adds a dozen legal benefits for gay and lesbian couples who register with the state, including the right to make medical decisions for a hospitalized partner.

Undocumented Immigrants. AB 540 by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, D-Los Angeles, allows some students who lack legal immigration status to pay the same tuition at community colleges and Cal State universities as in-state students. Previously, such students paid out-of-state tuition, which costs several thousand more dollars per year.

View the Los Angeles Times article.

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