Gig economy law threatens Sacramento Jazz Cooperative

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Jazz cooperative plays on average a couple times a month at the Dante Club, but with Assembly Bill 5 in the law books, they aren’t sure how much longer they’ll be able to play there.

“We need some kind of consideration, otherwise we are going to lose a true American art form. And there was not a lot of what we did around town,” said Carolyne Swayze, the founder of the cooperative.

When Swayze moved to Sacramento years ago, she brought her love of classical jazz with her. Eventually, she founded the Sacramento Jazz Cooperative.

The cooperative is a non-profit that brings in popular jazz acts with the money raised through membership and ticket sales. Their annual budget is $85,000, an amount Swayze says barely gets the organization by.

“We now have to pay into Social Security and Medicare,” said Swayze.

And that’s on top of other taxes. Swayze said the new law has driven up her costs by 20 percent. And while she says she will honor the contracts with acts already booked through April, she doesn’t know what the future will hold beyond that for the jazz co-op.

“It is very impactful to us because we were already struggling and now, this just adds more overhead. And it’s the confusion,” said Swayze.

For now, Swayze said she wants to wait to see what happens in the next couple of months in case there are changes to the law. And those changes may in fact becoming.

Lorena Gonzalez, the lawmaker who helped author the bill, said that she was willing to seek some changes under the new gig law that would also include musicians.

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