February 21, 2020

IT’S COME TO THIS: California Bill Would Require Occupational Licenses for Porn Actors, Strippers, Cam Girls.

On Tuesday, Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez (D–San Diego) and Christina Garcia (D–Bell Gardens) introduced Assembly Bill (A.B.) 2389. The bill would require adult entertainers and video performers, including webcam performers, to obtain a business license and complete a state-mandated training course before being allowed to ply their trade.

Requirements for that training would be developed by the state’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), which would, in turn, be advised by a new 10-member, governor-appointed board composed of two adult film actors, three dancers, two medical doctors, a therapist, and a money manager….Gonzalez is also the author of the controversial A.B. 5 legislation that requires many gig economy workers to be classified as employees and not independent contractors.

Related: A California-style Brexit? Freelancers are rising up in opposition to the state’s new law regulating “gig workers.”

Gonzalez deserves much of the blame for the AB5 train wreck, but she had plenty of support from her party: nearly every assembly member who approved AB5 is a Democrat, including Governor Gavin Newsom. Those opposed: Republicans and Independents. Senator Patricia Bates, a Republican state senator representing parts of Orange and San Diego counties, has been hearing from constituents who had no idea that they were swept up in the AB5 net. “They’re asking, ‘Who did this to me?’” says Bates. “I don’t like to make it partisan, but I have to tell them the majority party that runs the show did it. There’s a new awareness about the anti-business environment and how it affects their right to work, to be free.”

Independent contractors are entering new territory. Suddenly, a more conservative approach seems more attractive. “My entire political mindset has changed drastically following the enactment of AB5,” says Cathy Hertz, a freelance copyeditor of STM (science-technology-medicine) books, from Loma Linda. Hertz campaigned for Barack Obama cross-country at her own expense in 2008; she campaigned for him locally, in Los Angeles, in 2012. “Now I feel that the rights of entrepreneurs are being stifled, trampled upon, violated,” she says. “Free enterprise is one of the main pillars of modern democracy.”

I doubt they know it by name, but a couple of million California independent contractors have just stumbled into Robert Conquest’s First Law of Politics: “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.”

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.