Remember when we told you earlier this summer about an upcoming bill that would authorize unemployment benefits for striking workers? Well, it’s here. And with only 17 days until the end of this legislative session, we need BizFed members to swiftly raise their voices so legislators understand the consequences of radically expanding unemployment benefits – all while California remains in more than $18 billion of unemployment debt due to the state’s pandemic response.
Choosing to walk out on a job in protest over pay or benefits is fundamentally different from being involuntarily unemployed.
SB 799 (Portantino) gives workers greater incentive to strike or extend walkouts. This end-of-session bill could unfairly punish employers who are not in disagreement with workers by raising payroll taxes for employers across the state. Only two states currently allow striking workers to collect unemployment: New York and New Jersey.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
IN PERSON: The Assembly Insurance Committee will hear SB 799 this week. (The committee is chaired by Assemblymember Lisa Calderon, whose staffers met with BizFed leaders last week during our advocacy daytrip to Sacramento.) There will be no phone testimony. We urge our members in and around Sacramento to attend the hearing and voice their opposition in person. See our coalition letter for business community messaging.
Assembly Insurance Committee
Thursday, August 31 @ 2pm
California State Capitol – Room 437
VIA PHONE & EMAIL: We’ve identified the following committee members who have yet to declare their position on SB 799. Contact their offices directly to explain your concerns. Click below to quickly and easily send an advocacy message with a single click.
- Assemblymember Lisa Calderon – (916) 319-2056
- Assemblymember Marc Berman – (916) 319-2023
- Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes – (916) 319-2058
- Assemblymember Tim Grayson – (916) 319-2015
- Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer – (916) 319-2057
- Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez – (916) 319-2053
- Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria – (916) 319-2027
- Assemblymember Avelino Valencia – (916) 319-2068
ON SOCIAL: Follow up by posting advocacy messages on X, formerly known as Twitter, and tagging the committee members who haven’t publicly supported or opposed SB 799. We invite you to borrow or edit the three template posts below.
- Assemblymember Lisa Calderon – @AsmLisaCalderon
- Assemblymember Marc Berman – @AsmMarcBerman
- Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes – @AsmCervantes
- Assemblymember Tim Grayson – @AsmGrayson
- Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer – @JonesSawyerAD57
- Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez – @AsmRodriguez53
- Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria – @AsmSoria
- Assemblymember Avelino Valencia – @AsmValencia
California is already in $18 BILLION of unemployment debt. We should be paying back our debt rather than subsidizing strikes. Join @BizFed in opposing @Portantino’s #SB799.
Choosing to strike is not the same as being laid off. #SB799 by @Portantino undercuts the fundamental purpose of our unemployment insurance fund. Join @BizFed and other sensible Californians in opposition.
Why exacerbate California’s unemployment insurance crisis? We’re already $18B in the hole. Join @BizFed in opposing #SB799 by @Portantino and maintaining the integrity of our unemployment insurance fund.