FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 17th, 2022
CONTACT: Jess Huang, Jess@payourinterns.org
Pay Our Interns Announces AB 2437: The California Pay Our Interns Act to Pay State’s Executive Branch and Legislature Interns
Legislative proposal would create stipend system to pay 650 interns on an annual basis
LOS ANGELES — Today, Pay Our Interns (POI) announced AB 2437: the California Pay Our Interns Act, a bill to pay the state’s executive branch and legislature interns, including in capitol and district offices. The initiative will create a stipend system to allow for the allocation to pay 650 interns annually. The bill is being authored by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (AD-76).
The fund would provide stipends to a maximum 650 applicants annually as follows:
- 150 relocation assistance stipends for applicants temporarily relocating to Sacramento to work at the Capitol;
- 500 service stipends for applicants interning at district offices or without relocation expenses;
- Students must intern for a minimum of 15 hours per week and must have completed at least one month of service as an intern to be eligible.
“We’re excited to be working with Assemblymember Boerner Horvath on AB 2437,” said Carlos Mark Vera, Executive Director of Pay Our Interns. “California is the fifth largest economy in the world, and has a track record of advocating for advancement in issues of labor and equity. This bill helps young people have the resources and capacity to take on the internship roles which will pave the way for a career in public service. This is another issue where California can lead, and we believe the rest of the nation will follow.”
Announcement of AB 2437 comes after Pay Our Intern’s successful push for expanded paid internship opportunities on Capitol Hill for FY22, and new funding lines for White House and State Department internship programs.
- California has the third-highest cost of living index in the country, and in Sacramento, the cost of living is 17 percent higher than the national average.
- Housing costs are 37 percent above the national average.
- So, many California State Legislature interns—most of whom are currently unpaid—are likely to face higher costs and incur more debt while interning.
- Since California is the country’s most diverse state and has the wealthiest economy in the nation, changing this standard would set a precedent.
Increasing paid opportunities at the state level, would ensure the intern-to-staffer pipeline is more racially and socioeconomically diverse, and ensure more diversity in state and federal government.
Since 2016, Pay Our Interns has focused on ending unpaid internships for all students across all sectors, particularly students of color. Pay Our interns has prioritized expanding paid internship opportunities on Capitol Hill, guided by a vision of a more equitable workforce where future staffers and policymakers represent the true diversity and makeup of the United States.
Pay Our Interns was founded in 2016 by two former unpaid interns of color. It is the nation’s leading organization fighting to ensure all students have equitable access to professional career paths through the implementation of paid internships countrywide—especially students from historically excluded communities.
Pay Our Interns seeks to ensure individuals from all backgrounds are represented across industries impacting their communities and develop pathways for advancement. In doing so, POI creates a more equitable workforce, more diverse leadership, and a more just world. POI is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
For more information, visit www.payourinterns.org.