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.
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.
Makes technical updates to Senator Wiener’s premier housing streamlining bill SB 35 passed in 2017.
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.
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 2017.
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.
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)
SB 900 -- California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Program (Passed as part of the 2018 State Budget)
Makes California-grown fruits and vegetables more affordable for low-income Californians under the CalFresh program while also supporting California farmers.
Directs the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to help set specific measurable goals to prevent and end 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.
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.
Ensures access to effective, quality early intervention mental health care in counties across the state 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 San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties 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
Requires that pharmacies always have sufficient staff available to assist pharmacists in order for pharmacists to provide the guidance and support to patients that is required by law.
SB 1464 -- Expanding Dental Health Access for People with Special Needs (Passed as part of the 2018 State Budget)
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.
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
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.
Declares November as Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month in California.