Thursday, January 4, 2018

Two California state lawmakers Wednesday introduced a bill that would require hotels to provide housekeepers with a "panic button" to prevent violent assaults and sexual harassment.

Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, jointly introduced the so-called hotel maid "panic button" bill with Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward. If it gets passed, it would make California the first in the nation to have a statewide law requiring hotels to provide employees working alone in guest rooms with a panic button.

Also, the California bill would impose a three-year ban for any guest accused of violence or sexual harassment against an employee and keep a list of those accusations for five years.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) is pursuing efforts to combat identity theft with the introduction of a new bill today to make it easier for consumers to freeze their credit. 


“Freezing credit is a great tool to combat identity theft, but there is no reason why consumers should need to contact each agency separately. Further, freezing one’s credit can be complicated and time consuming. If you don’t know all the agencies and their telephone numbers you’re out of luck.” explained Assemblymember Quirk.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Maids and other hotel employees who find themselves alone in rooms with guests in a daily basis often face high incidents of sexual harassment, surveys have found.

And with the issue of sexual harassment casting a large shadow over the state Legislature this year, a bill co-authored by Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk would require hotels to provide workers with panic buttons in the event their safety is at risk.

The bill, co-authored by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), was introduced Wednesday during the Legislature's first session of the new year.

In addition to mandating the use of panic buttons, typically easily concealed, hand-held communication devices, the bill requires hotels to maintain a list of guests banned due their indiscretions, provided the allegation includes a statement made under penalty of perjury, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

California lawmakers are exploring a bill that could help keep female hotel workers safer from sexual harassment. Many hotel workers in other major United States cities are already wearing a panic button. According to a recent survey of about 500 hotel workers, almost 50 percent reported some kind of sexual harassment of assault by guests, including men answering the door naked or assaulting the female workers in the room. Assembly member Bill Quirk of Hayward co-sponsored the bill, which is set to be introduced Thursday. If it becomes law, California hotels and motels would be required to provide hotel workers with the panic buttons. Sharon Katsuda reports (Published Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Alarmed by a survey indicating sexual harassment of hotel housekeepers is widespread, a California state lawmaker on Tuesday proposed requiring employers to provide “panic button” devices to their employees so they can summon help if abused by a guest.

The bill to be introduced Wednesday by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) would also require individual hotels to impose a three-year ban on guests who engage in harassment on the property.

“We want to protect our most vulnerable women  workers, hotel maids who are going into rooms alone, from sexual harassment,” said Muratsuchi, who co-authored the bill with Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward).

The legislation signals that concerns over sexual harassment that dominated the state Legislature last year will continue to be an issue for lawmakers as they begin the new legislative year Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Farmworker advocates say they hope four separate pesticide drift incidents this year that appeared to sicken more than 150 workers will prompt state lawmakers to strengthen rules governing use of the agricultural chemicals.

“These drift incidents happen all the time,” said Valerie Gorospe, a community organizer with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, an environmental justice group based in Oakland and Delano, who has helped farmworkers in the aftermath of several chemical drift events.

“Our current laws and our regulations that we have for the state of California are completely inadequate,” Gorospe said.

Activists like Gorospe want the chairman of the state Assembly committee that oversees toxic chemicals to push forward legislation that would increase fines for violating California’s pesticide laws and expand the power of the state’s pesticide regulator.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Each journey to become a California state assembly member is unique. This was the case for Castro Valley, Hayward, Union City and North Fremont State Assembly representative William “Bill” Quirk on Oct. 16.

From his college years working on mayoral campaigns to eventually running in his own, Quirk, a nuclear physicist by trade, had his hand in politics for decades. It begged the question: How does a nuclear physicist jump from science to politics?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wielding his pen, Gov. Jerry Brown has reinforced the Affordable Care Act, stood up to pharmaceutical companies and boosted testing for childhood lead poisoning.

Brown had until Sunday, Oct. 15,  to approve or reject measures passed by the legislature this year, Brown weighed in on some key health care bills, including measures to protect Californians who buy insurance for themselves.

One law will ensure that consumers have three months to shop for health plans in future years, rebuffing a move by the Trump administration that cuts that time in half. Another law will help people keep their health care providers if insurers cancel their policy.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 840 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), that changes how unsigned vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots are returned and clarifies current ballot counting, has been signed into law.


Under current law, if a voter forgets to sign his VBM, the voter has until eight days after the election to submit a signed ballot statement in person or via fax. AB 840 will allow a voter to submit electronically.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 1145, by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) to create parity in how utility and communication companies are reimbursed for the forced undergrounding of above ground and subsurface infrastructure, has been signed into law.