California Legislature Passes Corporate Board Racial/Ethnic/Gender Quota Bill

Allen Matkins
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Allen Matkins

The California legislature convened over the weekend as the current biennium comes to a close today.  On Sunday afternoon, the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee heard the Senate amendments to AB 979, a bill that would impose quotas on the boards of directors of publicly held corporations with their principle executive offices in California.

I was the only person to testify against AB 979 at the Committee's hearing, pointing out that the bill violates the Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. and California Constitutions and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  I also noted that the bill will arbitrarily privilege females from underrepresented communities over males from those same communities.  It will also arbitrarily privilege transgender females over other females.  I testified as an individual on not on behalf of any other person or group.

Nonetheless, the bill passed out of the Committee and the Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on a 56 to 8 vote with 15 not voting.  The bill will now be engrossed and filed with the Governor (enrolled).  Assuming the Governor has possession of the bill on or after tomorrow, he will have until September 30 to sign or veto the bill.  Cal. Const. Art. IV, Sec. 10(b)(2).  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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