Hannah-Beth Jackson’s Last Hurrah

Santa Barbara’s State Senator Wins Last-Minute Nail-Biter over Family Leave

Outgoing State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson said she definitely won’t miss the early-morning plane trips to Sacramento via Burbank, but there is a lot she will: “I’m definitely going to miss having a seat at the table in the room where it all happens.” | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

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For State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, it was a cliffhanger of a nail-biter. Just three minutes before midnight on the very last day of this year’s legislative session — not to mention the last three minutes left of Jackson’s 14-year career in the state capitol — Jackson managed to wrangle the final vote needed to pass her bitterly fought bill to extend job security protections so California workers can take time off to care for themselves, a newborn, or a sick family member without fear of losing their jobs.

Although Jackson had already secured the votes needed from her own chamber, the State Senate, its fate in the Assembly was anything but certain. Not only was the Chamber of Commerce vehemently opposed, but so too were many moderate Democrats who worried the bill imposed new and potentially onerous requirements on smaller businesses as they struggled to stay afloat in the time of COVID. Jackson, never one to back down, insisted that COVID proved just how vital the protections her bill offered are. 

Jackson was quick to praise the work of Santa Barbara’s State Assemblymember Monique Limón — visibly pregnant — rousting up the necessary votes among her Assembly colleagues. Likewise, Jackson gave credit to Oakland Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, who cast her ballot in favor of the bill, Senate Bill 1383, with a newborn slung over her shoulder at 11:10 pm. 


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