Friday, January 15, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin
Employee Relations and Administrative Services
For more information, please contact Faith Conley at 916.650.8117, or Betsy Hammer at 916.650.8108.

CSAC-Sponsored Bills Pertaining to Vital Records Pass Health Committee Unanimously

As reported in last week’s Bulletin, CSAC’s Employee Relations Policy Unit is co-sponsoring two bills related to vital records. Both bills were heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, January 12. CSAC Legislative Representative Faith Conley testified in support of both bills (see video here), and both bills received unanimous approval from the committee. Next, the bills will head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1238 (Linder) would authorize records officials to accept electronic verifications that requestors of vital records, such as birth or death certificates or marriage licenses, are authorized persons. Existing law requires a notarized affidavit in hard copy. AB 1238 would allow local jurisdictions to provide consumers with the option to complete a knowledge-based authentication method to definitively establish their identity as an authorized person, reducing the amount of time it takes to request vital records and also reducing the costs of the process. The process would also be friendlier to military personnel, people experiencing homelessness, and former California residents who now live elsewhere. The bill simply provides an option for counties, and does not require counties to offer the electronic request process.

AB 1546 (Olsen) requires the State Registrar, in consultation with the County Recorders’ Association of California and other stakeholders, to study the security features used in paper for vital records. Current law requires vital records to be printed on special paper with nine different security features, including intaglio printing. The State Registrar would then report findings and recommendations to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. This bill helps ensure counties won’t have to rely on one paper provider, which puts recorders and health departments at risk of supply issues similar to the one experienced in 2015.

U.S. Supreme Court Takes on Union Mandatory Fees

A California case about union dues is being heard by the United States Supreme Court. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA) concerns a lawsuit filed by ten California teachers who are suing to overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), which allowed states to require all employees represented exclusively by a public-employee union to pay “fair-share” or “agency” fees. In California, employees who do not wish to pay for the political portion of their union’s activities must still pay these mandatory “fair share” dues or “shop fees”, which are meant to cover the costs of theoretical benefits that all employees receive because the union cannot exclude them from activities like collective bargaining. Employees can opt out of paying for the union’s political activities, like campaign contributions. The Friedrichs case challenges the construct that employees should be required to pay any dues to a union if they prefer not to do so.

CSAC is closely monitoring the case, which could have major implications on public sector unions and employers in California. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday, January 11; a decision is expected in summer 2016.