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ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SIDELINES PORTANTINO’S WHISTLEBLOWER BILL (AB 1378)

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s bill to provide legislative staffers with the same protections from retaliation as other state employees, has been sidelined in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“I am disappointed that the Assembly Appropriations Committee chose to kill Whistleblower Protection in the State Capitol,” said Assemblymember Portantino.  “Every other state agency has protections in place for folks who bring forward allegations of waste fraud and abuse.  Today’s action continues a self-serving exemption that undermines the public’s confidence and trust.   Late opposition to AB 1378 was unfortunate since the measure had previously been supported unanimously in policy committee. I will continue to bring forward proposals to seek openness and transparency in California government.”

AB 1378 called for legislative employees to be given legal protection from reprisals for reporting government wrongdoing such as waste or abuse. Specifically, AB 1378 would have required the Rules Committees of both the Assembly and Senate to designate an officer to receive written complaints and the State Auditor would then investigate those complaints. Those found guilty of retaliation faced fines up to $10,000 and a year in county jail.

January 19, 2012

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