California Gov. Gavin Newsome on Wednesday signed Assembly Bill 5 into law, which includes a travel agent exemption from stricter regulations for independent contractors.

With the exemption, travel agencies will be able to use the same worker classification test they've used for decades.

ASTA and the California Coalition of Travel Organizations, who rallied members in a grassroots campaign to secure an exemption for travel agents, both said they were pleased the governor signed the bill, but they remain watchful.

"CCTO is thrilled with this outcome, but we remain vigilant," the organization said in a statement. "We expect that there will be multiple bills in January which will seek to amend the law. We will be working hard to make sure that none of those bills negatively impact what we've managed to achieve by way of the travel industry exemption in AB 5."

ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby thanked all parties involved in securing the exemption, including ASTA members, the CCTO, the Professional Association of Travel Hosts, and consortia and host agency partners. 

Because of them, Kerby said "massive disruption to our industry in California" was avoided.

"While we celebrate this win, ASTA is prepared to fight on behalf of our members in other states should similar bills arise," Kerby said.

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