Senator Wiener’s Bills to Streamline Housing Production, Expand Rights of LGBT Community, and Strengthen Food Access and Employment Programs Go Into Effect

December 30, 2017

San Francisco –  Today Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) released the following statements about the bills from his first year in the Senate that are going into effect on January 1, 2018. They include bills to streamline housing production in cities that aren’t meeting their state-mandated housing goals, create an LGBT senior bill of rights for people living in long-term care facilities, modernize HIV criminalization laws, and expand and improve access to CalFresh. 

On Senate Bill 35, which streamlines the production of housing in California in cities that aren’t meeting their goals under the state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment:

“California is suffering from a housing shortage that undermines our economy, our environment, and the residents of our state. We are now are beginning the work to turn our housing shortage around, and last year that included passing SB 35 to hold cities accountable to create their share of housing. SB 35 was essential to a broad housing package that reformed housing production and dramatically expanded funding for affordable housing in California. By passing SB 35 and these other important housing bills, California has made the pivot from a housing-last policy to a housing-first policy. We will continue our housing work this coming session, and for years to come, in order to dig ourselves out of the hole we have put ourselves in after decades of misguided anti-housing policy.”

On Senate Bill 219, which establishes an LGBT senior bill of rights for people living in long-term care facilities, and Senate Bill 239, which modernizes HIV criminalization laws:

“This year we made significant strides for the LGBT community in California. We modernized our outdated and discriminatory HIV criminalization laws so that HIV is now treated like every other serious infectious disease, which will reduce stigma and encourage people to get tested and into treatment. We guaranteed protections for our LGBT seniors so they can age with the dignity they deserve and not be forced back into the closet when they enter long-term care. These victories were especially important given the attacks against the LGBT community coming from other statehouses across the country and from Washington D.C., particularly those targeting our transgender brothers and sisters. California must continue to lead on protecting and expanding the rights of all people, including for the LGBT community.”

On Senate Bills 278 and 282, which expands access to CalFresh benefits and employment programs, increases the cost-effectiveness of CalFresh, and protects recipients from being penalized when they aren’t at fault:

“Strengthening food access and employment programs is a critical part of helping people to live healthy, successful lives. While these programs are under attack after the Trump tax giveaway recently passed by Republicans in Congress., I will continue to work to protect our most vulnerable residents, not sacrifice them to strengthen corporate balance sheets.”​