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Photo: View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images.

An unprecedented bill that mandates publicly traded companies headquartered in California to have women on its boards will face another test this week, the SF Chronicle reports, as it heads to the floor of the California Assembly.

Why it matters: California could be the first state to enact a law of this type, in a push to give those who identify as women a seat at the corporate table. According to Board Governance Research, women made up 15.5% of California-based public companies in 2017, while men made up more than 80% of seats.

This law is the first of its kind in the United States, but not the first in the world. In 2003, Norway introduced a gender quota law. Since then, the percentage of women board members in the country has doubled, according to the Economist.

What's next: The bill still needs to get through the California State Assembly, and then return to the Senate for a final vote.

The other side: In a letter opposing the proposal, the California Chamber of Commerce and dozens of other businesses said, "We are concerned that the mandate under SB826 that focuses only on gender potentially elevates it as a priority over other aspects of diversity."

  • In a statement to Axios, state Senator Jeff Stone (who voted against the bill) said, "The State of California has no business concerning itself with the composition of the board of directors of privately owned firms that are otherwise following all the applicable laws of the state and nation… Intrusive bills like this provide incentives for firms thinking of leaving California to do so."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the messaging around the COVID-19 pandemic and changing guidance should have been clearer.

State of play: Walensky is being coached by media experts and is planning to have more press briefings by herself in order to ensure that CDC is seen as an independent, scientific entity, rather than as a political one, the Journal reports.

3 hours ago - World

UAE asks U.S. to reinstate Houthi terrorist designation after attack

Secretary of State Tony Blinken (left) listens to United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan during a joint news conference at the State Department iin October. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed asked Secretary of State Tony Blinken in a phone call Monday to re-designate the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a terrorist organization, a senior Emirati official told Axios.

Why it matters: Less than a month after he assumed office, President Biden rolled back the Trump administration’s decision to make the designation. He said it hampered humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people. Since then, the Houthis have escalated their attacks against Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region — including an attack Monday in Abu Dhabi.