One legislator likens the end of session to finals week in college. It’s lawmakers’ last chance this year to get their bills passed. So they hold emergency committee hearings and marathon sessions.
"all those vote who desire to vote…..all those vote."
One of the bills headed to the Governor cracks down on loan modification scams….where companies promise to help a struggling homeowner, get money up-front and then disappear. The bill bans pay-up-front schemes. Norma Garcia is with Consumers Union, which supports the measure:
“What we’re hoping to create here is a strong deterrent to these enterprises every getting into this business in the first place. You have to make the stakes so high that it becomes unattractive.”
Under the bill, violators face fines of 20-thousand to 60-thousand dollars and up to a year in jail. Lawmakers also passed a measure that increases penalties for human trafficking….. and another that cracks down on so-called bandit taxicabs – those without a license – by putting in place a hefty fine. And the legislature sent the Governor a bill aimed at increasing breast-feeding. The measure requires insurance companies to provide coverage for breast pumps and give access to lactation consultants. Karen Farley is with the California WIC Association, which sponsored the bill:
“We think it can make a huge difference. 87% of the Moms initiate breast-feeding in the hospital, but at about two months, only about 40% of the moms are exclusively breastfeeding.”
There was opposition from insurance companies, who argued it would lead to increased costs – and noted that some already provide that coverage. Another measure that’ll soon be on Schwarzenegger’s desk would restrict credit checks for potential employees. The bill would allow them only for certain jobs where an employee would have access to a lot of money or financial information. Schwarzenegger will have a lot of bills to wade through over the coming weeks. However, he’s threatened to veto everything until lawmakers send him bills dealing with prisons, water and renewable energy…and lawmakers are quickly running out of time to do that.