It wasn’t unexpected and it didn’t take long for state legislative Democrats today to squash a handful of lawsuit-blocking bills sought by their Republican counterparts and the governor during the current emergency budget session.
The first to die was SB X8 66, a proposed change — long sought by the business lobby — to allow for four-days-a-week, 10-hour workdays without overtime pay.
Next was SB X8 70, which would have eased California’s strict rules mandating meal periods for workers. Meal and rest period violations have been major sources of costly litigation in recent years.
Finally, a Senate committee iced SB X8 42, the governor’s plan to exempt 125 construction projects — selected by him and the next governor over the next five years — from lawsuits brought under the California Environmental Quality Act.
In a prepared statement, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the Democrats’ votes “remind Californians that their leaders too often put partisanship before problem solving.”
Democrats accused the governor and Republicans of using the state’s financial troubles as an excuse to gut consumer and environmental protection laws.