AUSTIN, Texas -- For Eben Peck, ASTA's executive vice
president of advocacy, finding out that travel advisors got an exemption from
California Assembly Bill 5
is one of those moments he'll never forget.
It was about 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, and he was home,
watching "Stranger Things" on Netflix. His phone rang and the area
code was from Sacramento, Calif. He ought to answer that, he recalled thinking.
"The rest was history," Peck told advisors last Thursday
at the Signature Travel Network Owners' Meeting at the Fairmont Hotel Austin
Peck spoke fresh after the news that the bill had passed the
state Assembly and Senate with the travel advisor exemption, and had made its way to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsome. Newsome has indicated
he will sign the bill into law. He has until mid-October to either do that or
Without the exemption for travel sellers, the California
labor bill would have prevented travel agencies in the state from using independent
"This would have been hugely disruptive to our
industry," Peck said.