The Crush - December 2018 - 1

Volume 45 Issue 12 December 2018

[ FEATURE STORY ]

2018 Year in Review

2018 WAS A TUMULTUOUS YEAR OF ELECTORAL-DRIVEN POLITICS. WITH THE
NOVEMBER 2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS CONCLUDED, THE STAGE IS SET FOR HIGH
STAKES POLICY BATTLES IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND SACRAMENTO IN 2019.
By John Aguirre and Michael Miiller
In the year ahead, President Donald Trump and congressional
Republicans will try to push a deregulatory agenda, while
Democrats in the California Legislature are eager to advance a
broad agenda of labor and environmental regulatory bills. The
questions that loom are: What role will Governor-elect Gavin
Newsom play? Will Newsom push for Democrats to pass new
regulatory policies or will he follow the example of Gov. Jerry
Brown and be a moderating influence?
This past year, immigration proved to be one of the most active
and contentious issues in Washington, D.C. On two occasions,
Republicans in the House of Representatives failed in their efforts
to pass comprehensive immigration reform. A deeply divided
Republican caucus simply could not agree on how to address
the status of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, fund
a border wall, increase border security, and overhaul the visa
lottery system and asylum laws. Further complicating efforts,
Trump sent conflicting signals on what he wanted during the
immigration debate in the House of Representatives.
Ultimately, immigration reform efforts in Congress crashed, but
on the campaign trail Trump pushed immigration to the fore
as a defining issue for Republicans. CAWG and the California
Strawberry Commission worked hard to pass an agricultural
guestworker bill this year. However, few Republicans in
Congress appear eager to take up a bill in the coming year
and Democrats have little interest in giving in to the Trump
agenda on immigration. Consequently, prospects for a
comprehensive immigration bill passing in 2019 appear
dim.
In the state Capitol, workforce issues
continued to command top level billing.

CAWG and a coalition of agricultural and business groups rallied
to defeat several bills that would tie the hands of employers,
increase costs and expose employers to new legal liabilities.
Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) sought,
with AB 2613, to levy penalties on employers for wage and
hour violations, regardless of whether the violation was
without harm and was unintentional. Assemblymember Lorena
Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) pushed AB 2841 to increase
mandatory paid sick leave from three to five days annually.
Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-San Jose) sought, with AB 2069,
to require employers to provide "reasonable accommodation" for
workers using medicinal cannabis.
Bad bills rarely disappear forever in Sacramento and it's highly
likely some version of the above bills will return in 2019 or future
years. Democrats have already introduced a slew of regulatory
labor bills that will be considered next year.



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