SACRAMENTO – Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement after the California State Senate approved Assembly Bill 403, the Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act, which has been championed by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) over the past four years:
“As a co-author of Assemblywoman Melendez’s bill, I’m encouraged that the Senate has recognized that business as usual is not going to cut it anymore. No one should ever have to sacrifice their livelihoods for courageously reporting sexual harassment and other wrongdoing, and I hope this bill will be signed into law this year.
“Assemblywoman Melendez deserves tremendous credit for resisting repeated attempts to bury her bill over the past four years. She – along with bipartisan allies in the capital community – persisted in pushing this bill through the Senate. The simple truth is that if it wasn’t for their determined efforts, today’s vote would never have happened.”
AB 403 would prohibit a legislator or legislative employee from using his or her official authority to intimidate or threaten any person to prevent them from reporting improper or illegal governmental activity. While judicial and executive branch employees are protected under current law, employees of the Legislature are not.
AB 1788 (Melendez, 2016), AB 289 (Melendez, 2015) and AB 2065 (Melendez, 2014) would have enacted the Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act. These bills were held in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
TV STATIONS: Video reaction from Senator Bates on AB 403 is available for download here. Password is AB403.
RADIO STATIONS: Six soundbites from Senator Bates on AB 403 are available for download in MP3 format below.