When Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced comprehensive legislation to eliminate gender bias in California's Workers' Compensation system in 2015, even Republican legislators voted for it.
That bill targeted discriminatory apportionment based on menopause, pregnancy, osteoporosis and the evil practice of discounting disability from the devastating effects of breast cancer.
The Department of Industrial Relations estimated that the bill would cost them $4.25 million to administer. (Even though they had previously claimed that there wasn't any gender bias to eliminate.)
After Governor Brown vetoed that bill, Assemblywoman Gonzalez modified her legislation to narrow its focus. Somehow narrowing the bill resulted in DIR increasing its cost estimate to $6.4 million. Republicans again joined Democrats and put the bill back on the Governor's desk.
He vetoed it again expressing strong objections to the breast cancer provision and the broad scope of the apportionment provisions.
Here is where the story gets bizarre.
This year, Assemblywoman Gonzalez-Fletcher narrowed her bill to PREGNANCY ONLY as she tries again to win the Governor's signature. Her bill is flying through the Legislature with even stronger bipartisan support.
Maybe the faceless DIR gender-bias-deniers are worried that Governor Brown might sign this pregnancy-only version...
So they've shifted their cost estimate focus away from state costs to a baselessestimate of "tens of millions" in costs to the Workers' Compensation system.
No evidence cited. No source for the estimate. Nothing beyond "almost half of workers' compensation claims are filed by women." Duh. Are they all pregnant?
This kind of reckless use of DIR's power disrespects the Legislature and is a disservice to Governor Brown - he is entitled to something better than fuzzy math and phony numbers. And so is the public.