published on November 29, 2017 - 1:31 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

State Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) sent a letter Wednesday to Senate President pro-Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) to schedule a hearing on the “Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act,” which would protect workers in the capitol against retaliation for reporting ethical violations, including harassment claims, according to a press release from Vidak’s office.

In the letter, Vidak accuses de Leon and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) of keeping Assembly Bill 403 from being voted on in the senate floor.

Though having made it through several committees, AB 403, along with AB 1788 in 2016, AB 289 in 2015 and AB 2065 in 2014, had stopped each time at the Senate Appropriations Committee, preventing it from a vote on the floor, according to the press release.

AB 403 is authored by Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore).

The bill comes amidst growing numbers of accusations of sexual harassment and misbehavior against legislators in California and across the nation.

Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Arleta), resigned Monday after allegations arose of sexual misconduct, according to the Sacramento Bee.

On Tuesday, the Assembly Rules Committee reviewed its policies and current protections for those reporting sexual harassment and Vidak said in the letter that many of the cases heard in that meeting may have been prevented had the bill been passed.

The legislative session for the state assembly and senate begins Jan. 3, 2018.

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