Women's Caucus Announces Legislation and Budget Action To Strengthen Women's Economic Future

Video Courtesy of California Senate Majority Caucus

Women’s Caucus priority legislation and budget action:

Equal Pay and Job Opportunities
· California Fair Pay Act – SB 358 (Senator Jackson)
California women working full time make an average of only 84 cents to every dollar earned
by men, and women of color, especially Latinas, face an even higher wage gap (44 cents to
every dollar). This bill will help to ensure that women are paid equally when they do the
same work as men, and protect workers from retaliation when they inquire or speak out
about wage differences at work.

Access to Childcare
· Child Care Budget Request – Legislative Women’s Caucus
The Legislative Women’s Caucus requests an investment of no less than $600 million to be
dedicated to the child care system. This investment should be evenly distributed between
modernizing rates and increasing slots.

· Raising Child Care Quality and Accessibility Act – SB 548 (Senator de León and
Assemblymember Atkins)
This bill would establish the right of child care workers to collectively bargain, support
additional training for child care providers and create new child care slots to help close the
gap between children who need child care and those who have it.

Family Friendly Workplace
· Fair Scheduling Act – AB 357 (Assemblymembers Chiu and Weber)
Many workers have little advance notice of when they will be required to work, making
things like planning for child care nearly impossible. Forty-seven percent of hourly workers know their
schedules one week or less in advance, and 69 percent of working mothers experienced
fluctuations in their hours in the prior month by an average of 40 percent. This bill will
ensure family and financial stability for a vast segment of California’s workforce – those
employed by food and general retail establishments with more than 500 employees – by
granting these workers the right to work schedule predictability and requiring employers to
accommodate employee requests for unpaid time off to attend to any required
appointments at the county human services agency.

Building Economic Stability by Addressing Poverty
· Repeal CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant – SB 23 (Senator Mitchell)
This bill would repeal existing state law that denies infants and children $128 in basic needs
assistance if the child was conceived and born while a family member was receiving aid
unless the parent discloses and can prove that the child was conceived accidentally as a
result of failed sterilization, failed intrauterine device or a rape. Repealing the MFG rule
doesn’t only make the program more just – it also is estimated to reduce childhood poverty
rates by 7.4 percent.

· Restore cuts to the SSI/SSP Program -- AB 1394 (Assemblymembers Brown and Thurmond) Restores cuts to the SSI/SSP program that were made in 2009, and restores the COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment), establishing the individual grant at 112% of the federal poverty level.

A concept paper in support of this legislation, as well as a full list of bills moving through the California Legislature that support women’s economic opportunities, is available at www.StrongerCalifornia.org