California Dreamin: SB 98 and Freelancer Protections

California Senate Bill 98 heated up as we entered the summer months. The author of the legislation, state Senator Mike McGuire, intended to grant access to the media to protests and other such actions despite pushback from law enforcement.

The bill is meant to provide unfettered access without police authorization because many times it is the actions of police that are called into question in the heat of the moment. The bill passed the state senate where it had been amended successfully by lobbying efforts of law enforcement, granting access to the media ONLY with the authorization of local police, which defeated the bill’s intent.

On June 1, that amendment was removed, affirmed by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety on July 13 without that “poison pill,” and is now headed to the state Assembly’s Committee on Appropriations on August 16.

Locally, the staff of Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield is helping us formulate a law providing freelancer protections, including timely payment and a means to pursue the issue in Small Claims Court. The proposed statute would be similar in language to the one passed a few months ago by the New York City Council. NWU is working with the Freelancer’s Union and using the New York language to provide a template for Council members. Blumenfield’s office is seeking a letter of support from the NWU and some friendly lobbying locally to eventually get the statute passed.