May 23, 2022
Weideman Group Weekly
The Suspense is Killing Me
The Assembly and Senate Appropriations committees held Suspense File hearings yesterday where they advanced only a fraction of the bills that were under their jurisdiction, leaving the remaining bills dead for this legislative session. Bills with a high cost to the state or that are highly controversial usually find themselves placed on Suspense and can be killed without a hearing on the merits. High profile bills that were held, and are therefore dead, include SB 953 (Min) banning off-shore oil drilling in California, AB 2095 (Kalra) requiring employers to report worker metrics and AB 1910 (C. Garcia) allowing publicly owned golf courses to be converted into affordable housing. Many other bills that successfully advanced off the Suspense File were dramatically narrowed. In order to stay alive, bills that are now on the floor of each house must be passed by May 27th.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has announced its intention to establish an environmentally and economically sustainable renewable hydrogen hub for California. This builds off the plan for direct investment in green renewable hydrogen that was part of the Governor’s May revision to the budget. In an effort to tie the hub to the state’s broader emissions goals, California Air Resources Board Chair Liane Randolph said “renewable hydrogen has an important role to play in reaching our economy-wide climate and air quality targets.”
Women on Corporate Boards
The Los Angeles Superior Court struck down a California law intended to diversify corporate boards by requiring companies to place at least one woman on their boards by 2019 or risk a penalty. While reports show that there was an immediate uptick in board diversification following passage of the bill, some argue that it is unclear whether the bill directly caused these changes.
The U.S. Senate voted to finalize $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. The support includes new military and humanitarian assistance for the embattled country as it defends itself from the Russian invasion. U.S. and European experts are now expecting that the war between the two countries will last a lot longer than initially anticipated. In response to the Russian aggression, Sweden and Finland have expressed their desire to join NATO, a move President Biden has called “a victory for democracy in action.”