In the News

August 14, 2017

Thanks to these efforts, legislators in California are now poised to modernize that state’s HIV criminalization law. In February, State Senator Scott Wiener introduced legislation that would repeal the felony provisions and make deliberate intent to expose — which very rarely happens, according to most public health and policy experts — a simple misdemeanor. 

August 6, 2017

This year’s Senate Bill 35, by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would streamline the approvals process for new construction by limiting local officials’ authority — but only when they are failing to meet established housing goals.

July 30, 2017

Many California communities could open centers inviting addicts to shoot up hard drugs under a bill that has cleared the state Assembly and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor.

The goal is to reduce deaths. Here’s how the concept — modeled after a supervised drug injection center in Vancouver, British Columbia — works:

A user walks into a government-run clinic with heroin in his pocket. He’s greeted by a nurse who directs him to wash his hands before offering an array of clean needles. He sits down at a sterile booth, rolls up a sleeve and shoots up.

July 26, 2017

That didn’t sit well with state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County, who called Trump’s decision a “bigoted move.”

“First, Trump attacks transgender children trying to use the restroom. Now he’s attacking trans soldiers who are putting their lives on the line for our country. This man has no shame,” Wiener said in a statement.

July 17, 2017

Now here in Sacramento, lawmakers are considering extraordinary legislation to, in effect, crack down on communities that have, in their view, systematically delayed or derailed housing construction proposals, often at the behest of local neighborhood groups. The bill was passed by the Senate last month and could be acted on as soon as this week.

“The explosive costs of housing have spread like wildfire around the state,” said Scott Wiener, a Democratic senator from San Francisco who sponsored the bill. “This is no longer a coastal, elite housing problem. This is a problem in big swaths of the state. It is damaging the economy. It is damaging the environment, as people get pushed into longer commutes.”

July 14, 2017

California’s housing emergency can be measured in many ways — its 78,000 unsheltered homeless, nearly half the nation’s total; the 180,000 additional units a year the state needs but has no apparent prospect of producing; the tensions over urban gentrification that some are blaming for a spate of East Bay apartment building arsons.

But perhaps the most remarkable sign of the crisis is that the Legislature is at long last on the brink of doing something about it.

July 13, 2017

A bill currently making its way through the California legislature would do much to combat the lack of understanding or hostility confronting so many LGBTQ seniors in residential care. Senate bill 219, by Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, would create a “bill of rights” for LGBTQ seniors in residential care facilities, prohibiting refusal or eviction on the basis of sexual orientation, HIV status or gender identity.

July 7, 2017

The bill moving through the Legislature, Senate Bill 700 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would slash the price of energy storage through a tiered rebate program to help this technology go mainstream, just as solar power itself has. If approved, the law would promote energy storage with a focus on disadvantaged neighborhoods and affordable-housing communities.

July 5, 2017

At least 20 states across the nation provide local jurisdictions the flexibility to decide alcohol service hours or permit alcohol sales after 2 a.m., a misdemeanor in California. This includes major cities across the country, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Louisville, New York City and Washington, D.C., which have alcohol service hours past 2 a.m. This puts cities in California attractive to tourists at a particular disadvantage.

We think it’s time to grant the same kind of discretion to local governments in California, and Senate Bill 384, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would do just that.

June 30, 2017

Wiener introduced Senate Bill 35, which would trigger a speedier over-the-counter permit process for multifamily affordable housing projects when cities lag in meeting housing goals assigned by the state. The faster process would apply to housing types with unmet needs such as low-income housing.

In some cities, these housing goal numbers “sit on a shelf and collect dust,” Wiener said.