Assembly Bill 1259 (Rees – 1959)
Chapter 955, Statutes of 1959, AB 1259
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Assembly Bill 1259 was a single-section bill that proposed only to add section 3864 to the Labor Code in 1959. (See Exhibit #1b) Assembly member Thomas M. Rees, the chair of the Assembly Committee on Finance and Insurance, introduced this measure on February 9, 1959. (See Exhibits #1a and #3) According to Assembly member Rees, the bill was “unanimously sponsored by California industry.” (See Exhibit #4, document PE-3)
While before the Legislature, the measure was referred to the Assembly Committee on Finance and Insurance and the Senate Committee on Labor. (See Exhibit #2) The bill was not amended during the legislative process. (See Exhibits #1b and #2) Subsequent to legislative approval, Assembly Bill 1259 was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, and enacted as Chapter 955 of the Statutes of 1959. (See Exhibits #1b and #2)
When neither of the committees hearing this bill nor its author have left documentation surviving upon its consideration, we find that the post-enrollment legislative bill file for the Governor may provide the most useful documents. (See generally, Exhibit #4) It is through the materials located in the Governor’s file that you may be able to gain some insight into the intent of the legislation; furthermore, the information in these materials was presumably presented to the legislature by the writers who were participants in the legislative process.
The Office of Legislative Counsel in its Report to the Governor provided the following description of Assembly Bill 1259:
. . . Adds Sec. 3864, Lab. C., re workmen’s compensation.
Provides that where a judgment has been rendered against a third party for an injury to an employee or a settlement has been reached, the employer shall have no liability to reimburse or hold such third person harmless on such a judgment or settlement in the absence of a written agreement so to do executed prior to the injury.
(See Exhibit #4, document PE-4)