Bills introduced during 2018 session:
Re-instates the net neutrality protections put in place by the Federal Communications Commission under President Obama in 2015. These protections were repealed by the FCC under President Trump in December.
Creates density and height zoning minimums in transit-rich areas that can accommodate more housing. These include no density maximums, no parking minimums, and a minimum height limit of between 45 and 85 feet, depending on various factors, such as whether the parcel is on a larger commercial corridor and whether it is immediate adjacent to the station.
Creates a clearer, fairer, more data-driven, and more equitable process for how the state and regional bodies assign Regional Housing Needs Assessment numbers to local communities. It does this by requiring a more data-focused, objective process and by creating stronger guardrails, thus reducing the wiggle room jurisdictions use to lower their RHNA allocations.
Exempts compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions.
Designates Lunar New Year as a day of special significance in California and requires the Governor to honor Lunar New Year annually. Also under SB 892, all public schools and educational institutions will be encouraged to conduct exercises recognizing the traditions and cultural significance of the Lunar New Year, the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Californians to the state, and any local festivities and celebrations of the occasion. (With Joint Author Richard Pan)
Helps low-income Californians purchase healthier food by allowing CalFresh recipients to earn extra CalFresh funds by purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables grown in California.
Allows – but does not require – cities to extend sales of alcohol at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants (but not liquor stores) to as late as 4 a.m. The 5-year pilot program preserves complete local control in terms of decision-making and applies only to the six cities whose Mayors have expressed interest in pursuing later hours: San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood, and Long Beach.
Allows prosecutors to prove that a defendant committed an auto burglary by showing that he or she broke a car window to get into the car. Currently, proving that the defendant broke a window is often deemed insufficient. Allowing proof that the defendant shattered a car window to substitute for proving that the car door was locked will make it easier to enforce the law.
Creates an Office of Homeless Youth to set goals and map progress toward ending youth homelessness. The bill further directs $60 million in funding to address the alarming rise of youth homelessness in California.
Sets statewide eyewitness identification standards to help prevent misidentifications that lead to innocent people being convicted and actual perpetrators remaining free.
Requires businesses to provide lactation facilities for their workers, requires that lactation facilities be built in new construction, and ensures employees receive information about their rights to a safe and comfortable lactation space at work. The bill also requires the state to come up with model policies that businesses can implement to meet the requirements of SB 937.
Allows local communities to create on-site water recycling programs by requiring that the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) issue comprehensive regulations, including health and safety standards, to help local jurisdictions implement these programs. “On-site” means that the water recycling occurs in individual buildings, as opposed to utility-scale water recycling.
Requires state prison and county jails to allow people in custody to register their preferred gender identity and first name, and also that facility staff address people by these identified preferences. Also requires that if an individual is housed outside the general population for their own protection, which transgender people often are due to their vulnerability to sexual victimization and assault, that the individual receive equal access to programming and work opportunities.
Expands effective early intervention for children, teenagers, college students, and young adults experiencing early signs of mental illness by requiring a much more structured and focused approach on prevention and early intervention mental health programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which administers the millionaires tax (Prop 63).
Keeps out-of-pocket drug costs low for consumers by preserving and strengthening existing drug pricing protections. SB 1021 does this by permanently extending drug co-pay limits and prescription drug pricing standards put in place in 2015 under a bill (AB 339).
Allows local governments more flexibility in expanding the reach of the conservatorship system, modernizing its administration, and assisting individuals who suffer from chronic homelessness, accompanied by debilitating mental illness, severe drug addiction, repeated psychiatric commitments, or excessively frequent use of emergency medical services
Connects businesses, public agencies, schools and nonprofits directly with owners of potential solar sites like warehouses, parking lots, brownfields, landfills, and office buildings, which will spur the build-out of solar on underutilized parcels to provide clean energy and bill savings to local businesses and community organizations in need.
Increases the access for Denti-Cal patients with special needs to the dental care they desperately need by giving dentists the funding resources to overcome the unique challenges they face when providing oral services to this population.
Calls on the medical community to stop performing nonconsensual and often irreparably harmful sex assignment and genital “normalization” surgeries on intersex infants at birth. Instead, medically unnecessary surgery should be delayed until the intersex individual can decide for themselves whether to pursue surgery at all, at an age when informed consent is possible.
Two Year Bills that will be taken up in 2018
Creates the Energy Storage Initiative to provide rebates to electricity customers for the installation of home and business energy storage systems, which allow solar energy to be stored and used throughout the day and night.
Modernizes outdated laws and codifies existing practices relating to procedures for collecting California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) overpayments.
Creates a legal framework for local governments in 8 counties to pilot and evaluate Safe Consumption Services, if they so choose. This public health approach to address California's rising injection crisis would mean less drug use in public spaces, fewer needles on our streets and sidewalks, and better opportunities to get people into treatment.
Bills signed into law during 2017/18 session:
Creates a streamlined approval process for housing when cities are not meeting the housing creation goals required by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), which will expedite the construction of affordable housing.
Makes it safer and simpler for cannabis business owners to pay state fees and taxes, which will encourage compliance with state laws and provide support for business owners. The lack of banking access for cannabis businesses results in a growing industry that is cash-based, lacks transparency, and is susceptible to public safety challenges, including violent crime. Passed as part of Budget Trailer Bill.
Creates a non-binary option for citizens while eliminating obstacles for trans and non-binary individuals who are trying to obtain state identification. Joint authoring with Senator Toni Atkins.
Strengthens protections for LGBT seniors living in long-term care facilities against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. The bill would protect all seniors living in skilled nursing facilities, immediate care facilities, and residential care facilities.
Updates California criminal law to approach transmission of HIV in the same way as transmission of other serious communicable diseases. It also brings California statutes up to date with the current understanding of HIV prevention, treatment and transmission to reduce stigma around HIV and improve public health outcomes.
Provides enhanced protections for CalFresh recipients when, through no fault of their own, they receive more benefit then they are supposed to receive through overissuances, and improves the cost-effectiveness of the CalFresh program.
Increases access to prepared food for low income homeless, elderly or disabled Californians and also creates employment opportunities for childless homeless adults.
Creates a tiered system that will make the sex offender registry a more effective tool for law enforcement to investigate sex crimes. Supported by law enforcement officials, criminal justice organizations, and sexual assaults victims right groups.
Directs CalRecycle to create five mobile recycling pilot programs throughout the state, which will allow cities like San Francisco to pursue a mobile recycling redemption program. Under SB 458, these mobile recycling programs will qualify as full recycling centers under California law, thus relieving surrounding small grocery stores of the onerous obligation of having to accept recycling for redemption.
Prevents unreasonable and arbitrary restrictions during voir dire by requiring judges to consider specific factors when setting time limits and types of questions.
Protects immigrants from irrelevant disclosures of their immigration status in open court by requiring that any discussion or questioning about the immigration status of any witness, victim, or defendant first be deemed by a judge to be relevant and admissible.
Provides greater protection of tenants against discrimination based on immigration status; Landlords may no longer use reporting tenants as leverage for eviction. Principal co-author with Assemblymember David Chiu.
Increases affordable housing by allowing for the development of efficiency units, aka micro-units. Principal co-author with Assemblymember Miguel Santiago