Bills We Endorsed in the California Legislature

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At our February meeting, the Club voted to endorse the following bills and the legislative committee will submit letters in support as they make their way through the legislative process to various committees.

AB 1810 (Isaac Bryan, Tina McKinnor, and Mia Bonta)—Menstrual Products in Prisons. Currently menstrual products are provided to inmates who need them “by request.” This bill would require prisons to provide menstrual products to inmates without having to request them. Mother Jones article from 2017. Current California law and data about compliance here (page 14, item 6). Isaac Bryan speaks about the law which passed the Public Safety Committee with bipartisan support in February.

ACA 16 (Isaac Bryan)—The Green Amend-ment. The Green Amendment will amend the state constitution to affirm the right to clean air, water, and a healthy environment for every Californian. If this passes, a proposition will appear on the ballot in 2024 so that Californians can decide to follow Pennsylvania, Montana, and New York in enshrining and codifying environmental protections into its constitution. To guarantee the highest level of protection, the amendment, once approved by the voters, would become part of the rights section of our state’s constitution. Read more about green amendments in articles from American Bar Association, The Guardian, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators website, a Green Amendment advocacy website, and in Bloomberg Law here and here.

AB 2200 (Kalra)—This bill is the current year’s version of CalCare, with some improvements. In 2022 and 2023, our Club supported Calcare by endorsing AB 1690 and AB 1400 and by passing a resolution in favor of single payer healthcare. California’s current fragmented system of privately financed, for-profit health insurance, administered primarily by employers—where there is strong incentive to minimize or outright deny necessary care and public health emergency preparation in order to maximize industry profits—is unsustainable and expensive. It can’t be reformed, and must be replaced with a “unified publicly-funded single-payer healthcare system” (which is part of the California Democratic Party platform). A single-payer system would enshrine health care as a human right in the state of California by guaranteeing comprehensive, high quality care to all Californians, including the freedom to choose who provides that care. The care would be free for patients, and would cost less overall than our current system. 

The Club has also voted to continue to support the following two-year bills that were introduced in 2023 and endorsed by the Club. 

ACA 5 (Low)—The California Right to Marry. This proposition—endorsed by the Club in 2023—will appear on the ballot in November of 2024. Voters will decide whether to overturn the 2008 amendment to the California state constitution that defined marriage as being “between a man and a woman.” A “yes” vote would repeal the amendment and a “no” vote would keep the amendment. Our club has endorsed a “yes” vote. Proposition 8 was invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which protected same-sex marriage under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, if Obergefell is overturned by a reactionary Supreme Court, same-sex marriage would no longer be allowed in California unless we have this amendment in place.

ACA 8 (Wilson)—Ending slavery in California. Again, the Club supported this proposition in 2023, but the legislature failed to pass it. This bill is now part of the Reparations Packet of bills introduced by the California Legislative Black Caucus. Currently, the California Constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment of a crime. This measure would abolish slavery in any form, including forced labor compelled by the use or threat of physical or legal coercion.  If it passes this year, it could appear on the ballot as a proposition on the 2024 ballot.

SB 252 (Gonzalez, Stern, Wiener)—This bill will require the agencies that invest the pension funds of state employees and teachers to divest billions of dollars from fossil fuel companies.

SB 238 (Wiener)—Health care coverage: independent medical review. The bill would require a health care service plan or a disability insurer that denies a health care service for an individual up to 26 years of age to automatically submit within 24 hours a decision regarding a disputed health care service to the Independent Medical Review System, as well as the information that informed its decision, without requiring an enrollee or insured to submit a grievance. 

The legislative committee is in the process of reviewing new bills on housing, civil rights, energy policy and the environment, education, and transportation introduced in 2024. These will be presented to our Eboard and our membership to consider at our March meeting.

Be sure to look for a list of bills that will come before the Club for an endorsement vote in the message that the Club sends out ahead of our March meeting.