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Santas worry new California law will kill Christmas

ABC 10 News San Diego (KGTV) reported on the concerns that mall Santas have about operating under California’s new “gig” economy law known as Assembly Bill 5. This law significantly redefines what constitutes an “independent contractor.” Legislative Democrats passed the bill and Governor Newsom signed it into law in 2019.

From KGTV: “ ‘I don’t know how someone can justify this,’ said Jerry Tamburino, a Santa who has worked for more than a decade at a large commercial store.”

The law exempts professionals such as lawyers and investment advisors. However, those who did not receive an exemption, such as freelance journalists, language translators, and mall Santas, are losing significant income opportunities due to AB 5.

Senator Bates and her Senate Republican colleagues strongly opposed AB 5 last year, warning of devastating economic consequences for Californians who did not receive an exemption. They have introduced the legislative package below this year to help mall Santas and other Californians who want to remain their own bosses:

  • SB 806 (Grove): Repeal & Replace AB 5
  • SB 867 (Bates): Protect Newspaper Carriers and Distributors
  • SB 868 (Bates): Protect Freelance Journalists
  • SB 875 (Grove/Jones): Exempt Interpreters/Translators
  • SB 881 (Jones): Exempt Musicians and Music Industry Professionals
  • SB 963 (Morrell): Protect Independent Umpires and Referees
  • SB 965 (Nielsen): Help Healthcare Facilities
  • SB 966 (Nielsen): Exempt Licensed Pharmacists
  • SB 967 (Borgeas): Help Franchisors and Franchisees
  • SB 975 (Dahle): Assist Timber Industry
  • SB 990 (Moorlach): Protect App-based Drivers

Click here to watch the KGTV report.

Click here to learn more about the efforts to repeal and replace AB 5.

This article was released by the Office of Senator Patricia Bates.