It may have gone on a bit longer for some people's comfort, but the battle over #AB 1576, Isadore Hall's proposed condom mandate/testing/documentation for porn bill finally ended last Wednesday, when the California State Senate Appropriations Committee tabled the bill without a vote, or even bringing it up.
Last week, after testimonials both for and against the bill, which would have mandated both condom usage and testing for all shoots performed within 14 days, that committee placed the bill "in suspense" without a vote, essentially preparing the bill for ultimate closure.
The main sticking point was more than likely that the bill would have violated the fiscal threshhold limit of $150,000 for costs of enforcement, which is the standard used for rendering a bill fiscally responsible enough. However, the fact that the industry rallied hard, and was able to actually turn some favorite press with some powerful mainstream institutions (including this powerful editorial from the Los Angeles Times), combined with the universal opposition ofporn production companies including Kink.com, and performers, led admirably by Lorelei Lee, to name just one of many, was as much a factor as any.
Considering the pessimism that existed when AB 1576 was able to pass the California Assembly generally with little discussion or debate, the quick turnaround was indeed surprising, yet most certainly welcomed, in the midst of this bad lawmaking.
Both Assemblyman Hall (who will be term-limited out of his seat after this year, but is comtemplating a run for the Cali Senate), and his backers at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, issued the usual press releases expressing such sorrow that the Senate decided to place "profit" over "worker protection", and AHF announced that they would try again next year with similar legislation.
So...that's one less stumbing block for the LA- and California-based adult entertainment industry to endure. There's still the ongoing court cases over both Measure B (the original referendum which imposed the condom mandate on most of Los Angeles County), as well as the original ordinance passed in the City of Los Angeles. Plus, there is the continuing attempt by CalOSHA, assisted by AHF, to rewrite the workplace codes to impose mandatory "barrier" protection for adult performers, via proposed CCR 5193.1, and expand that nationally through the federal branch of OSHA.
But, at least for now, the threat to porn production in California is significantly less than it was even one week ago. Props to the good guys for winning one, and may this be only the end of the beginning.
More info via TRPWL, XBiz.com, and AVN.