July Report of the Legislative Committee

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[Our Club’s Legislative Committee has been following our endorsed bills and provides this update.—Editor]

Criminal Justice Reform/Reparations

ACA  (Wilson) Ending slavery in California—would create a ballot measure to abolish slavery in any form. Currently, the California Constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime. ACA 8 ACA 8 passed both houses and will appear on the November 2024 Ballot as a proposition.

AB 810 (Bryan, McKinnor, and Bonta) Menstrual Products in Prisons—would require prisons to provide menstrual products without inmates having to request them. Mother Jones Isaac Bryan speaks about the law. AB 1810 will be heard on the Senate Floor.

AB 986 (Bryan) State prisons: Banned Books—would require that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) make available to the public their list of banned books and the reasons for the bans. It also creates an oversight process to challenge the bans. Isaac Bryan on Instagram FACT SHEET AB 1986 will be heard on the Senate Floor.

Environment/Utilities & Energy

ACA  (Bryan) The Green Amendment—would give voters the opportunity to 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. Fact Sheet Isaac Bryan Video ACA 6 was withdrawn by the author.

SB 497 (Menjivar) Polluters Pay Climate Recovery Act—would establish a program in California’s Environmental Protection Agency to assess fees on the state’s largest fossil fuel polluters to cover the cost of the harm they have caused California and its climate. SB 1497 was ordered to the “inactive file” by its author.

AB 684 (Bryan) Safety Element: Extreme Heat—would require local jurisdictions to address extreme heat in the safety element of their general plans or local hazard mitigation plans. Fact Sheet AB 2684 will be heard on the Senate Floor.

AB 716 (Bryan) Oil and gas: low-production wells: sensitive receptors—would impose penalties of $10,000 a day for each oil or gas well that continues to be operated despite being “low producing” for over a period of two years within a 3200 foot setback zone. Article Fact Sheet Video: Isaac Bryan AB 2716 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

SB 52 (Gonzalez, Stern, Wiener) Public retirement systems: fossil fuels: divestment—would require the pension funds of state employees and teachers to divest from fossil fuel companies. SB 252 has been withdrawn by the author to avoid amendments that undercut the intention of the bill. 

SB 053 and AB 236 (Allen, Bleakespear) Solid waste: reusable grocery bags: standards: plastic film prohibition—would close loopholes to California’s initial ban to ensure consumers are using either reusable bags or paper bags. Press Release | LA Times SB 1053 will be heard by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and AB 2236 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.

SB 374 (Becker) Net Energy Metering—would restore the right of renters, farmers, and schools to make and consume their own solar energy, a right that the state took away last year. Fact Sheet PUC decision for VNBT & NBT-A SB 1374 will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. 

Healthcare

SB 94 (Wiener) Health care coverage: independent medical review—would remove barriers to youth accessing mental health treatments by requiring that any private insurance treatment denials be automatically referred to the state’s existing Independent Medical Review process. SB 294 will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

AB 975 (Bonta) Medi-Cal: medically supportive food and nutrition intervention—would make medically supportive food and nutrition programs a permanent part of Medi-Cal benefits. CalMatters Press Release SFEXaminer Capitol and Main AB 1975 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Appropriations

Human Services

AB 145 (Bryan) Family preservation services: standards—would require that all court-ordered parenting classes in child welfare cases be evidence-based, “culturally competent” and provided by qualified professionals. The bill would require the state to collect data on outcomes. LA Times1 LA Times2 AB 3145 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Human Services.

Housing

AB 657 (Wicks) The Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2024—would authorize a ten-billion-dollar bond to fund the state’s affordable housing programs. Press Release AB 1657 is being held in suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Education

AB 441 (Ash Kalra) School Safety: Mandatory Notifications—would decrease law enforcement involvement in student behavioral issues at school and provides educators the flexibility they need to respond appropriately to student behavior. Press Release AB 2441 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Education

Economic Justice

SB 116 (Portantino, Durazo) Unemployment Insurance: Trade Disputes: Eligibility for Benefits—would provide unemployment insurance benefits for striking workers. Press Release Failed. SB 1116 was voted down by the Assembly Committee on Insurance.

Elections/Democracy

SB 174 (David Min) Elections: Voter Identification—would prevent California cities from enacting voter identification requirements. Press Release SB 1174 will be heard on the Assembly Floor.

SCA  (Newman) Elections: Recall of State Officers—would put recall election reform on the November ballot. Press Release SCA-1 The proposed constitutional amendment made it as far as the Assembly Appropriations but had not passed by the deadline to get on the November ballot.