If enacted, AB 553 would have denied cities and counties the right to seek injunctions directly with the courts when faced with strikes affecting health and safety. Fortunately, the bill was vetoed. Here is the Governor’s message:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 553 without my signature. This bill would provide the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) with exclusive authority to determine whether public health and safety would be at risk in strike or lockout situations. Doing so would add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and potentially place the public at risk. Cities and counties have common law and statutory authority over matters of public health and safety. When local governments seek injunctive relief from a strike, they are doing so because of a potential threat to the public health and safety of citizens. It is therefore imperative that local governments have access to immediate injunctive relief from superior courts during strike situations. As the courts are sufficiently suited to address matters of public health and safety, there is no reason to force decisions on injunctive relief into the slower PERB process. For these reasons I am returning this bill without my signature.