Assemblywoman Shannon Grove paid a visit to Tehachapi on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to update residents on the legislative happenings in Sacramento and what they can expect from the state legislature in its forthcoming session.
Despite having to face off against a Democratic supermajority in the Senate, Assemblywoman Grove told guests at the latest Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce luncheon that she is working hard towards implementing a number of bills that she says will stimulate job growth and reduce tax burdens on employers.
Grove said she hopes to curtail or repeal the Private Attorney General Act, a law that allows an employee to seek out a class action lawsuit -- on behalf of himself or herself and other fellow employees -- against an employer for violating the California Labor Code. The PAGA, hence its name, gives private citizens the authority to sue regarding issues that are believed to be of the public's interest. Grove believes the penalties placed on employers as a result of this bill, a large portion of which are payed to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, are excessive and harmful to businesses.
Grove, who is halfway through her second term, also hopes to expand an already-implemented manufacturer's sales credit tax statewide.
"I would really like to do my best to make California a job-friendly state," she said.
Also brought up at the Chamber meeting were efforts to repeal the controversial AB1266, which allows transgendered students to participate in sex-segregated sports and activities of their choice, as well as use bathrooms of the sex of which they identify. Governor Jerry Brown signed off on the bill in September.
According to Grove, opponents of the bill have gathered enough signatures to place a referendum on the 2014 ballot.
Grove also addressed the realignment bill, which has shifted responsibility of prisoners from state to county levels. She noted that there is a high rate of recidivism among criminals whose prison terms are being cut short as a result of AB 109.
Grove also spoke up on issues that are frequently raised by constituents locally.
"A lot of our constituents here in Tehachapi are interested in RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) because wind and solar are such a prevalent market here for jobs," she said. "A lot of people in Tehachapi like the idea that a percentage of the energy being produced is mandated that it has to be a certain type of energy."
Right now, one-third of all energy being produced in California has to come from renewable sources, she said.