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From Tampon Taxes to Overtime Pay, Legislature Weighs Bills Geared Toward Women

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California Capitol Building (Getty Images)

Summer recess is over for the California Legislature. Lawmakers will be back in the Capitol today to begin a final month of work before adjourning for the rest of the year. Among the bills still left to consider are several related to helping women.

For example, there’s a bill to make tampons exempt from sales taxes and one to expand the definition of rape. Another measure would make permanent a law requiring that domestic workers be paid overtime. That bill is a priority for the Women’s Foundation of California. The group’s Marj Plumb says it’s a good time to be backing policies that support women.

“Because of the rise of women in politics, women in the Senate, the Assembly, federally -- running for the White House -- women’s issues are going to be much more present and much more highlighted," she says.

Plumb points to the California Legislative Women's Caucus as an example of women's influence within the Capitol. Several of the legislative priorities of the caucus were met during the two-year session, including increased funding for child care and the repeal of a rule that limited aid for families receiving welfare.

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A package of bills dealing with human trafficking is also making its way through the Legislature. So is a measure that would prohibit employers from using only employees’ salary history to justify paying men and women differently.

Both the Senate and Assembly face an Aug. 31 deadline to pass most legislation.

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