Capitol Alert

Sweet treats can’t save holiday pay bill

Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, sought double-time pay for non-emergency workers on Thanksgiving.
Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, sought double-time pay for non-emergency workers on Thanksgiving. Associated Press file

Sometimes winning votes requires a hard line.

Sometimes politicians take a sweeter approach.

Fresh pumpkin pies greeted 55 of 80 Assembly members on Thursday morning, part of a colleague’s appeal to their consciences and their sweet teeth. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, was whipping up support for a bill requiring double pay for certain employees who work on Thanksgiving (indispensable jobs, like emergency responders, would be excluded).

“Last Thanksgiving when we were sitting down for turkey and pumpkin pie, a million Californians were required to report to work at their retail or restaurant job,” a note accompanying the treats read. “It’s time that they enjoy a small piece of the pie as well.”

The pies came courtesy of Sacramento's Two Moms Catering. The business didn't have enough dough to make 80 pies on short notice, so not every lawmaker got one.

It wasn’t enough to get Assembly Bill 67 off the Assembly floor. The California Chamber of Commerce did not include the measure in its list of “job killer” bills, but the business organization was opposed. The bill managed only 29 votes, well short of the needed 41. Some of the debate invoked the same holiday spirit conjured by Gonzalez’s pie delivery.

“This bill seeks to gobble up the bottom line of so many businesses,” said Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach. “I would encourage my colleagues to vote against this turkey of a bill.”

Jeremy B. White: (916) 326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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