August Legislative Update

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September 14, 2023 is the last day for both houses to pass bills, and several bills we endorsed are still in process. The Club has submitted letters of support for all of these bills. You can also help by calling Assembly Member Isaac Bryan at (310) 641-5410 and State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas at (213) 745-6656. Even though they may be on record supporting a bill, or even sponsoring it, your voice can balance some of the pressure they are under from opponents. 

AB 421 (Isaac Bryan) Proposition Reform. 

     “When he introduced the bill, Bryan said its aim was to curb abuse of the ballot measure process — increasingly being used by wealthy corporations to overturn laws. 
The 2024 ballot already includes two such abusive measures: one by the oil and gas industry to overturn a ban on new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, hospitals and other ‘sensitive’ facilities; another by the fast food industry to overturn the law creating a state council to set wages and other workplace standards.But, the current version of the bill is vastly different than what was first introduced.
Originally, the bill sought to curb disinformation by requiring signature gatherers to disclose whether they are paid or volunteers; mandating training and registration with the Secretary of State’s office; and instituting a three-year ban if someone violates the law.
In its latest form, the bill focuses on one primary fix: clarifying ballot language for referendums to either say ‘keep the law’ or ‘overturn the law.’ It’s also now an urgency bill, so if it becomes law, it can take effect for new measures added to the 2024 ballot.” CalMatters

Active in Senate Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/21/23
Bryan—Introduced the bill
Smallwood-Cuevas—co-authored

AB 309 (Alex Lee) Social Housing.

AB 309 would add “social housing” to the State’s toolkit to address the shortage of affordable homes for all income levels in California. ”The bill proposes social housing, a technique brought to fame by countries such as Austria and Singapore, which would enable California to build housing on state property and lease it to residents in the area…Under AB 309, the government would own and manage the properties while residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds would be allowed to apply for housing.” San Jose Spotlight. Read more about the bill here and here

Active in Senate Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/21/23
Bryan—voted “Yes”

SB 567 (Durazo) Builds on the Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482). 

SB 567 originally would have lowered California’s maximum annual rent cap increase from 10% or 5% plus inflation to 5% or the simple inflation increase. 

However, the bill was amended during the legislative process in response to pressure from landlord lobby groups and the rent cap was removed.

Currently, the provisions of the bill that remain will upgrade the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019 by strengthening just-cause eviction protections.

Active in Senate Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/16/23
Smallwood-Cuevas—co-authored

SB 4 (Scott Wiener) Planning and Zoning: Housing Development: Higher Education Institutions and Religious Institutions. 

This bill makes it easier for churches and nonprofit universities to build housing if they so choose. Thanks to previous council’s support for affordable housing, Culver City approved a project like this, Jubilo Village, that will bring nearly 100 homes affordable to people making between 30% and 80% of the area median income.

Active in Assembly
Smallwood-Cuevas—voted “Yes”

SB 238 (Scott Wiener) Health Care Coverage: Independent Medical Review. 

This bill mandates an automatic referral to the state’s existing independent medical review process every time a private insurance company denies a child mental health treatment.
Active in Assembly Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/16/23
Smallwood-Cuevas—voted “Yes”

AB 610 (Holden) Free Youth Transit Pass Program. 

This bill re-introduces last year’s AB 1919, which would create a five-year Youth Transit Pass Pilot Program to provide grants to transit agencies to create or expand free fare transit programs for college and K-12 students.
Active in Senate Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/21/23
Bryan—voted “Yes”

SB 253 Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This bill requires all large corporations that do business in California to more fully disclose the greenhouse gasses emitted by their corporate supply chain. Read more in the LA TimesCalMatters or watch the video by bill sponsors California Environmental Voters.

Active in Assembly Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/16/23
Bryan—co-author
Smallwood-Cuevas—voted “Yes”

SB 261 Disclosure of Climate Risks

This bill helps protect consumers from the massive potential financial losses associated with the climate crisis by requiring companies to disclose these risks. 

Active in Assembly Appropriations Committee – Scheduled for Hearing 8/16/23
Smallwood-Cuevas—voted “Yes”

SB 403 – Adds Language to California Civil Rights Law to Prohibit Discrimination Based on a Person’s Perceived Position in a Caste.

In the State Assembly Committee on Appropriations. No hearing date set.


PROPOSITIONS that are going through the Legislature to qualify for the ballot

ACA 4 would allow voters the opportunity to extend the right to vote to incarcerated people. 

Expanding the franchise will more closely connect people in prison with society, potentially reducing recidivism. It will also ameliorate an injustice where districts with prisons, which are often more conservative, are allowed to count incarcerated people in their area for redistricting, even though incarcerated people cannot vote in that district. Our Assembly Member Isaac Bryan is the author.  Capital and Main has covered ACA 4 in some depth. ACA 4 will have its third reading on the Senate Floor 8/14/23

ACA8 (Wilson) California Abolition Act.

We all learned in school that the Constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude (so far, so good) “except to punish crime.” Yeah. About that. Jim Crow used that exception to re-enslave, and you may have seen Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th. Inmate labor is often compensated for as little as 8 cents an hour. Inmate firefighters risk their lives for little pay, and a skilled plumber might receive eighty cents an hour. “How is that not a workers’ rights issue?” asks State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, who is co-authoring ACA8. The California Abolition Act seeks to amend Article 1, Section 6 of the California Constitution to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude without exception. In the State Assembly. Scheduled for a third reading.

ACA5 (Low) Marriage Equality.

Has qualified to be on the ballot in 2024. If the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell as they did Roe, 2008’s Proposition 8 will go back into effect and same-sex marriage will be illegal in California. This ballot measure will repeal Prop. 8 and protect marriage equality from the Trump/Thomas Court. 

The Club also endorsed a package of bills that are being supported by Streets For All:

AB819 (Bryan) Decriminalizes fare evasion, removing the threat of a misdemeanor and jail time for not paying a few dollars for bus or transit.
FACT SHEET – In the Senate. No scheduled hearing date.

AB825 (Bryan) Legalizes biking on the sidewalk in areas without safe bicycle infrastructure, so you don’t have to choose between riding your bike on dangerous streets or breaking the law.
FACT SHEETLA Times ArticleBubba on Instagram. Sen Appropriations Committee Hearing Date is 08/21/23.

AB364 (Bryan) Collects data on street furniture across the state, such as bus shelters, trash cans, and benches.
FACT SHEET. In the Senate (Committee on Transportation). No hearing date so far.

AB413 (Lee) Increases the visibility of people crossing the street by preventing cars from parking immediately before the crosswalk.
FACT SHEET. Senate Appropriations Committee. Hearing date is 8/21/23.

SB695 (Gonzalez) Requires CalTrans to report annual data on state highway widening projects, including miles built, dollars spent, vehicle miles traveled, and greenhouse gasses emitted.
FACT SHEET. In the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. No hearing date set.

SB411 (Portantino) Requires a virtual option for public meetings of Los Angeles agencies.
FACT SHEET. In the Senate. Will go to the floor for a second reading 8/14/23.

SB538 (Portantino) Establishes a Bicycle Czar. 

FACT SHEET. In the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. Hearing on 8/16/23.

SB712 (Portantino) Prevents Landlords from prohibiting e-bikes. In the Assembly. No hearing date.

AB645 (Friedman) Creates a speed safety camera pilot program to slow down drivers on high-injury streets and in areas with a history of street racing.
FACT SHEETEQUITY FACT SHEET FROM LAST YEAR. In the Senate Appropriations Committee. Hearing scheduled for 8/21/23.

AB1317 (Carillo) Separates parking costs from rent, making sure people who don’t need a parking spot aren’t paying for one.
FACT SHEET. In the Senate. No hearing date.