A California bill aiming to ban confidentiality agreements when negotiating legislation fails

Apr 26, 2024, 12:50 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bill that sought to ban the use of confidentiality agreements when negotiating potential laws in California has failed to pass a state legislative committee.

The proposal by Republican Assemblymember Vince Fong failed to get enough votes to pass out of the Assembly Elections Committee on Thursday. Two Republicans voted for the bill while Democratic Assemblymember Gail Pellerin, the committee chair, voted against it.

Five other Democrats on the committee did not vote.

The legislation was inspired by last year’s negotiations over a bill that mandated a $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers. The bill, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law, includes an exception for restaurants that produce their own bread and sell it as a standalone menu item.

It’s not clear why that exception was included. The exception was also included in similar legislation that passed the year before.

Bloomberg News reported the exception was meant to benefit one of Newsom’s wealthy campaign donors who owns Panera Bread restaurants. Newsom and the donor, Greg Flynn, denied the story. The Newsom administration said the exemption does not apply to Panera Bread restaurants. Flynn also pledged to pay his workers $20 an hour beginning April 1.

Labor unions and industry groups representing California restaurants met privately last summer to discuss the bill before coming to an agreement. The parties signed a nondisclosure agreement, which KCRA first reported.

Fong criticized that agreement. He introduced a bill that would void any nondisclosure agreement relating to the drafting, negotiation, discussion or creation of legislation. The bill would have also banned public officials from signing these agreements or asking third parties to sign them.

“Nondisclosure agreements certainly have their place to protect businesses’ proprietary and financial information. But they should not be used in the crafting and negotiating laws that affect the daily lives of our constituents,” Fong said. “The public already has a poor perception of the legislative process. Allowing the use of NDAs will further erode and corrode their trust in government.”

Pellerin, the Democratic chair of the committee, noted there has been no evidence that public officials have signed confidentiality agreements related to legislative negotiations.

“The crux of what this bill seeks to address are conversations between private parties, not legislative negotiations involving public officials,” she said. “That’s a complicated issue.”

Pellerin said the issue was so complex that lawmakers did not have enough time to fully consider it. Fong introduced the bill last week. The committee held a special hearing Thursday to consider it before a legislative deadline on Friday.

Fong, who has been a frequent critic of how quickly Democrats often approve legislation, noted the Legislature often moves fast for priority bills. He noted that just before Thursday’s hearing, Democrats in the state Assembly — including Pellerin — voted to amend a bill to allow Arizona doctors to come to California and provide abortions for their patients.

“I just would respectfully ask that this bill, with the importance of preserving the lawmaking process of this institution, would be allowed to move forward to preserve, you know, what the people expect us to do when we work on their behalf,” Fong said.

United States News


KSL Podcasts/Ben Kuebrich

Under scrutiny: Carl Everett and the intricate FBI investigation

Episode 2 of "Ransom: Position of Trust" examines early suspects in the Carl Everett case. Listen now on your favorite podcast app.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Hamas rocket attack from Gaza sets off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv for the first time in months

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza that set off air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months on Sunday in a show of resilience more than seven months into Israel’s massive air, sea and ground offensive. There were no immediate […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

3 falcon chicks hatch atop the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in New York City

NEW YORK (AP) — Three peregrine falcon chicks have hatched in a nest built at the top of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in New York City, officials said. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels said Friday that the chicks hatched in a nesting box set up by the agency atop a 693-foot-tall (211-meter-tall) tower on […]

17 hours ago

Associated Press

Baltimore police fatally shoot a man who pulls gun during questioning; detective injured

BALTIMORE (AP) — Police officers in Baltimore fatally shot a man who pulled a gun while they questioned him in a different shooting, authorities said. A detective was shot in the chest, and his protective vest likely saved his life, Police Commissioner Richard Worley told reporters. Police were on the city’s south side investigating a […]

19 hours ago

Associated Press

California teenager arrested after crowd pounded and kicked a deputy’s car

HIGHLAND, Calif. (AP) — A teenager was taken into custody after a crowd of young people swarmed a deputy’s patrol car earlier this month, kicking and punching the vehicle before the deputy could drive away, a California sheriff’s office said this week. The 15-year-old male allegedly opened the driver’s door of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s […]

19 hours ago

Travelers walk through Salt Lake City International Airport Friday, May 24, 2024, in Salt Lake City...

Associated Press

Record broken for most travelers screened at US airports on Friday, according to TSA

A record was broken ahead of the Memorial Day weekend for the number of airline travelers screened at U.S. airports.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

A California bill aiming to ban confidentiality agreements when negotiating legislation fails