California labor unions have launched a lobbying, direct mail and online advertising blitz to support legislation penalizing large employers if wages they pay are not high enough to keep workers off Medi-Cal rolls.
"We're seeing that there's a small number of large employers that are trying to game the system," said Steve Smith, spokesman for the California Labor Federation.
The campaign has collected about 12,000 petition signatures in support of Assembly Bill 880, bought online advertising expected to be seen by a million people before week's end, and is bringing dozens of union members to the Capitol every day this week to lobby lawmakers, Smith said. He said the campaign might end up costing six figures.
Smith says the measure would affect Wal-Mart and various restaurant chains and janitorial firms. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman referred calls to a business coalition opposing it, which released a statement from Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Association:
"AB 880 has overwhelming opposition from nearly every industry in this state. This is one of the worst bills introduced and it will have devastating impacts on jobs, our economy and the implementation of Obamacare."
Officials will unveil the final chapters in the governor's Delta water overhaul plan during a 1 p.m. meeting in Milpitas today. California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird and Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin will present financing details and take questions.
Jeremy B. White
"Some people spend their weekends having fun. I spend mine reading bills."
ASSEMBLYMAN MIKE GATTO, D-Los Angeles