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AB-2959 Legislature: independent ombudsperson: sexual harassment.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2018 09:00 PM
AB2959:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2959


Introduced by Assembly Members Nazarian and Baker

February 16, 2018


An act relating to the Legislature.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2959, as introduced, Nazarian. Legislature: independent ombudsperson: sexual harassment.
Existing law creates the California State Auditor’s Office, which is independent of the executive branch and legislative control, to examine and report annually upon the financial statements prepared by the executive branch.
The California Whistleblower Protection Act additionally authorizes the State Auditor to conduct an investigative audit upon receiving specific information that an employee or state agency has engaged in an improper governmental activity, as defined. The act does not apply to the Legislature or employees of the Legislature. The act requires the auditor to establish a means of submitting allegations of improper governmental activity, and generally requires the State Auditor to keep confidential every investigation, including all investigative files and work product.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation establishing an independent ombudsperson, under the jurisdiction of the State Auditor, to investigate allegations of sexual harassment in the Legislature, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

  It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish an independent ombudsperson, under the jurisdiction of the State Auditor, to investigate allegations of sexual harassment made by legislative staff and lobbyists against Members of the Legislature or other legislative staff. The purpose of the independent ombudsperson is to provide confidentiality for claimants and witnesses, to prevent barriers to reporting harassment, and to facilitate transparency in reporting findings.