AB 332 Opponents, Supporters Debate Costs

Lila Gray

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Opponents and proponents of Assembly Bill AB 332 have released very different estimates of what the Safer Sex measure will cost the state of California, both in its legislative process and potential enforcement.

Karen Tynan, a labor attorney representing the adult industry opposition to AB 332, told XBIZ that Cal/OSHA estimated the bill would cost the state $150,000, but that this represents only a fragment of its ultimate price tag.

“Don’t forget that shifting from the present draft regulations to the new AB 332 language essentially flushes the previous work done by Cal/OSHA, CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the stakeholder meetings held regarding adult industry regulations,” Tynan said. “That work represents hundreds if not thousands of hours of work.”

Tynan added that “the state would essentially be buying litigation and buying a court fight” when companies sue the state over AB 332, should it pass.

Terry Schanz, the press secretary for Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D –Compton), who introduced the bill in February, told XBIZ that the $150,000 indicated in the Appropriations Committee analysis of AB 332 referred to a Cal/OSHA staff position not paid for by the state’s General Fund.

The position, dedicated to developing industry-specific regulations for the adult business, would present no new cost because it is not a new position, he said, adding that there would be “minor and absorbable costs” to the state for enforcing AB 332, but nothing to prevent it from proceeding to the Assembly floor for further consideration.

According to Schanz, Cal/OSHA has held six public meetings since 2010, at which the Free Speech Coalition, performers, public health advocates and the public at large helped create industry-specific workplace health and safety regulations.

“AB 332 does not interfere with this regulatory process, nor does it propose a new regulatory process,” Schanz said. “It simply tells Cal/OSHA to complete their work by January 1, 2015, which alone will save tax dollars.”

Tynan and Schanz again diverged in their analysis regarding the outcome of Wednesday’s Appropriations Committee meeting, where AB 332 was not heard. Instead, the Safer Sex legislative measure’s vote was deferred to May 24.

Schanz said that the Assembly’s action “was procedural in nature only” and that no vote had been scheduled for that day. He mentioned that the Ventura County Board of Supervisors’ decision to require condoms in adult films on Wednesday reflected mainstream approval of the regulation.  

“As far as ‘procedural' ... yes, it was a procedural problem for the bill,” Tynan responded to Schanz's comment.” The bill couldn’t get out of the committee. Isadore Hall and AHF didn’t have the votes. In the past when the bill was passed in committee with yes votes, AHF and Isadore Hall didn’t refer to their alleged success as purely procedural success, so I find their spin interesting and self-serving.”

The FSC and other opponents to AB 332 will continue to lobby against the bill in the coming months, Tynan said.

AB 332 was introduced by Hall in February and mirrors Measure B, which makes condoms mandatory for porn shoots in Los Angeles County.