In the mad rush to wrap up the 2021 California legislative session, Democratic legislators are once again removing and replacing the text of already-approved bills. They first used the secretive “gut-and-amend” process during this session on AB-455, which sought to force a vaccine mandate on most of California’s businesses and employees. For reasons unknown, on Monday the Democrats were made to table AB-455. But don’t fear, the left never gives up.
The next bill to be targeted for “gut-and-amend” by the Democrats is AB-1102. Before it was gutted, the bill concerned amending one small section “of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.”
o Amends current state discrimination statute (Section 12940 of the Government Code) by specifying that the law does not prevent an employer from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. And specifies that employers may require booster shots that are recommended by the CDC.
o Also clarifies that employers may require employees or “applicated” who are not vaccinated to submit regular testing to confirm a negative COVID-19 status.
o Applies the provisions to apprenticeship training programs, unpaid internships, or any other program to provide unpaid experience for a person in the workplace.
o Sunsets on January 1, 2024.
In other words, just like they did with AB-455, California Democratic legislators are pushing to empower businesses to require a COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent booster shots for all job applicants, and both paid and unpaid employees.
Seriously, where does this end? Notice the amended bill states it will expire on January 1, 2024-that’s two years and four months from today-but as we Californians are sorely aware, as long as Newsom’s statewide emergency declaration from March 4, 2020, is still in place, we are at their mercy because they can use the emergency powers to invoke the “urgent application” of any bill.
The California Globe also points out the “new and improved” AB-1102 addresses other vaccine issues such as people who have previously been infected, children under twelve, and “all eligible Californians”:
Amendment 2, Section (e): “There is a need for people who have been previously infected with COVID-19 to get vaccinated, as researchers have found that getting “vaccinated after infection boosted by 50-fold the activity of neutralizing antibodies needed to repel the virus and prevented infection with variants.”
Amendment 2, section (f) Children under 12 years of age are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, which puts them at risk of contracting the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.
(h) In order to avoid further shutdowns and prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed, it is critical that all eligible Californians get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Truly, it’s like deja vu all over again as we slide back into the old refrains of “not overwhelming the hospitals” and “lowering the curve,” even though nearly every California hospital is nowhere near being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. And even when California hospitals are at or near capacity, data shows it’s not due to COVID admissions.
Republican reaction to these “gut-and-amend” bills has been swift. In a statement to The Signal, California state Senate minority leader Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) said, “I am opposed to these proposals. If passed, we would be essentially excluding anyone not vaccinated – no matter what the reason – from participating in public life.” He added that while he is vaccinated, and encourages people to get vaccinated, “it is a personal choice and not a one-size-fits-all solution.”
In the California Assembly, long-time Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) agreed, telling The Signal he found the “gut-and-amend” process to be the “most objectionable piece” of the issue. “The process was designed for emergencies because what it does is it disallows public input,” Lackey said, and “it’s a last-minute jam down your throat instead of a thoughtful engagement with [our constituents] who sent us to make these decisions.”
While it remains to be seen if AB-1102 will suffer the same fate as the recently tabled AB-455, one thing is certain: The left will not stop trying to ram through a vaccine mandate no matter what questionable or secretive process they have to use to do it; after all, “tabled” doesn’t mean “killed.”