Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, announced Tuesday her bill, Assembly Bill 2065, jointly authored with Assemblymember’s Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The Legislature has a responsibility to uphold the public’s trust by creating an atmosphere of transparency and accountability,” said Melendez. “I am encouraged that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle believe in offering legislative staff these important protections.”
Under current law, the California Whistleblower Protection Act provides protection to state employees in the executive and judicial branches who choose to exercise their right to make a protected disclosure of improper governmental activity. However, employees of the Legislature are not covered under this act, nor do they have a protected process for reporting questionable governmental behavior.
AB 2065 establishes the Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act to protect legislative staff who report illegal or unethical behavior in the Legislature and spells out a clear process for bringing these allegations forward.
“Legislative staff members are often the closest in proximity to instances of fraud, waste, and other violations, and as such are in the best position to report,”stated Gorell. “Almost all state employees, including executive and judicial branch and public university employees, currently have whistleblower protection. In light of recent events, it is appropriate and necessary to give legislative staff this protection.”
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester.