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Assembly Committee Kills Monrovia Assemblyman's Whistleblower Bill

For the second time this year, a California Assembly Committee has killed Assemblymember Anthony Portantino's bill to provide legislative employees with protection from retaliation in whistleblower cases, according to a press release from Portantino's office. Portantino represents part of Monrovia. The press release continues:
"I am deeply disappointed that once again an Assembly Committee chose to kill Whistleblower Protection for capitol employees," said Assemblymember Portantino. "For more than 35 years, the Whistleblower Protection Act has covered employees of every other state agency or department except the Legislature.  It makes no sense that legislators would kill this bill; what do they have to hide? If we truly want to root out fraud and waste in state government, we have to provide protection for those who come forward with claims so they can be candid without fear of reprisal."
AB 2256 would have established the California Legislature Whistleblower Protection Act and would have given legislative employees legal protections from reprisals for reporting government wrongdoing such as waste, fraud and abuse. The measure would have required the Rules Committees of both the Assembly and Senate to receive written complaints and forward them on to the California Fair Practices Committee (FPPC) to investigate.  Penalties for retaliation would have included a $10,000 fine.
By maintaining a self-serving exemption we are communicating a self-serving message instead of focusing on common core values.  We should be fostering and encouraging folks to report waste, fraud and abuse, not stifling those reports," said Portantino.  "I am extremely disappointed that a committee which unanimously passed a similar bill in January would kill one today.  It begs the question, what is the Assembly hiding?"
- Brad Haugaard

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