The Latest: Lawmakers delay Election Day holiday bill
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on action by the California Legislature (all times local):
California lawmakers have delayed a proposal to make Election Day a statewide holiday.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to delay action for one year on Assembly Bill 177 that would have closed schools and given all state employees a day off on Election Day every other November.
Backers argued the bill could have boosted voter turnout.
But legislative staffers estimated providing a day off or overtime to state employees would have cost California’s government tens of millions of dollars.
California law already requires employers give workers who do not have time to vote before or after their shifts up to two hours off with pay to cast a ballot.
Colorado lawmakers this year also considered a turn Election Day into a holiday. But that measure did not pass.
California lawmakers won’t move forward this year on a plan to build denser housing in some single-family-home neighborhoods and closer to transit stations and jobs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to make the proposal a two-year bill, meaning action will be delayed until next year.
The legislation was one of the more contentious proposals related to California’s housing storage. Backers including tech companies and trade unions have argued allowing more homes around transit stations and loosening other rules could curb California’s housing crunch.
But critics say the measure threatened to change the character of some neighborhoods, worsen traffic and override local decision makers.
State Senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, says he’s disappointed by the move.
A California legislative committee has stripped the $1 billion in funding from a bill to protect homes against wildfire through home improvements.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday removed the spending from a bill by Democratic Assemblyman Jim Wood.
It comes after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom declined to commit to the spending last week. He’s said he would work with the Legislature to find money and “we’ll try to do our best.”
A spokeswoman for Wood says he’ll continue fighting for spending.
Wood’s proposal would have given $1 billion in financial assistance and rebates to people in high fire risk areas to harden their homes, such as by making their roofs fire resistant.
Californians can already get up to $3,000 to retrofit their homes if they live in earthquake zones.