CA Senate panel kills whistleblower protection bill for the third time
For the third straight year, the Senate Appropriations Committee killed a bill on Thursday that would have extended whistleblower protections to legislative staff — a response to the unrelated legal troubles of three senators in 2014.
There are already whistleblower protections in law that shield the state’s executive and judicial employees who report unethical activity, yet legislative staff does not have the same protections from retaliation.
In 2014, Democratic state Sens. Roderick Wright of Inglewood, Leland Yee of San Francisco and Ron Calderon of Montebello, were all suspended without pay after Wright was convicted of felony perjury and election fraud and the other two were brought up on federal corruption charges.
The bill has passed the Assembly three times, only to die in the Senate Appropriations Committee, which, like the rest of the Legislature, is strongly controlled by Democrats.
“It is clear the Democrats do not want to stand up to corruption,” Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement. “It’s also clear they want to continue to protect one another as their former caucus members prepare to serve prison sentences,” Melendez said.
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