2021 BUDGET VICTORIES
- $54 million for School Meals for All K-12 students: These secured funds will go towards the state meal reimbursements through the 2022 fiscal year, with an additional $650 million provided in ongoing funding beginning in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. This budget allocation covers the costs of offering breakfast and lunch for all students. California is the first state in the nation to provide universal school meals for its K-12 students.
- $100 million to create the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program (EHCRP): These funds will create the EHCRP and establish guidelines for a competitive grant process to help local entities mitigate extreme heat in their communities. Local governments and other entities can apply to use these funds to implement measures that reduce extreme heat, such as community resilience centers in rural and urban areas, urban forestry, cool roofs and streets, along with planning, education and communications programs.
- $2 billion to combat the state’s homelessness crisis: These ongoing funds were secured for local governments and organizations to combat the state’s homelessness crisis.
- $2.6 million for Discovery Cube Los Angeles: These funds will aid in the reopening of the center in a safe manner.
- $2.873 million for Free-Standing Pediatric Subacute Facilities: These funds will go to facilities across the state, including the Sun Valley facility. This funding will unfreeze rates for free-standing pediatric subacute facilities that care for children who are dependent on medical technology for their survival.
- $4.4 million to Southeast San Fernando Valley Roller and Skateboard Rink in Sun Valley: Funds will be used for the construction of the outdoor roller rink and the indoor building and facility.
- $25 million for the CSUN Global Hispanic Serving Institution Equity Innovation Hub: This hub will serve the Latinx community and other communities of color in the region. The hub will encourage traditionally underserved students of color to encourage them to explore an education or career in science, engineering, and technology studies.
2021 BILL SUMMARIES
Total Sent Carried
Total Sent to Governor
- AB 27 – Homeless Students: This bill institutes a comprehensive policy solution to assist local communities struggling to identify and provide services to homeless families with students. AB 27 establishes a standardized process for identifying homeless children across all of our school systems. Additionally, this measure creates three temporary geographically located County Offices of Education to develop regional Technical Assistance Centers. These centers assist schools to implement best practices for identifying and connecting homeless students to services. The bill idea came as a result of roundtable discussions hosted by our office.
Issue Areas: Homelessness, Homeless Families and Children
Sponsors: Superintendent of Public Instruction
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 394, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 46 – California’s Youth Empowerment Commission (Commission): This bill establishes the California Youth Empowerment Commission, which is comprised of 13 commissioners between the ages of 14 through 25. At least half of the commissioners must have experienced youth homelessness, foster care, juvenile incarceration, or have special needs. The Commission’s duties will include examining and discussing policy, holding meetings and roundtable discussions with youth advocates and the public, providing policy recommendations to the administration and legislature, and providing grants to programs that seek to address youth concerns.
Issue Areas: Education, Youth, Accountability and Administrative Review
Sponsors: Alliance of Boys and Men of Color, California Association of Student Councils, California Coalition for Youth, California Youth Connection, Mi Familia Vota, San Francisco Youth Commission
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 660, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 71 – Bring California Home: AB 71 sought to reform the state’s response to homelessness by restructuring the state’s role in preventing and solving homelessness. By conforming to federal law in taxing corporations that shift profits overseas, AB 71 would have generated ongoing revenue for long-term solutions to homelessness. These funds would have gone to local governments so they can invest in housing solutions that take into account a community’s unique needs, whether urban or rural. Moreover, AB 71 offered a comprehensive approach to creating a state strategy to address homelessness, promoting best practices among local jurisdictions, and holding local governments accountable for how the money is spent.
Issue Areas: Homelessness
Sponsors: Bring California Housing Coalition
Status: Held on the Assembly Floor because we secured over $2 billion in ongoing funding in the budget.
- AB 326 – Consumer Protection Program at Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC): AB 326 removes the sunset on the Consumer Participation Program (program) at the DMHC. The program, established in 2003, ensures consumers have a voice by awarding reasonable advocacy and witness fees to any person or organization that represents the interests of consumers. Since the program has proven to be a successful and valuable resource to the DMHC and consumers, AB 326 removes the sunset date that the program has been previously subject to. The program is funded through special fees that health plans are already required to provide.
Issue Areas: Health
Sponsors: Health Access California
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 741, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 508 – Free School Lunch for Low-Income Students: AB 508 sought to require the state to cover the 40-cent copayment for school lunch on behalf of families that qualify for reduced-price meals.
Issue Areas: Education, Health, Children
Sponsors: American Diabetes Association
Status: Held in Assembly Education Committee, however, we are intending to amend the bill to expand the Free School Lunch Program enacted through the 2021-2022 budget to ensure that free meals are provided for students with dietary restrictions due to religious needs.
- AB 585 – Extreme Heat Program: AB 585 sought to coordinate state efforts to help urban and rural communities combat extreme heat. AB 585 would have created the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program under the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. This program would have established the guidelines for a competitive grant process that local entities can utilize to implement measures to mitigate extreme heat. Qualifying projects would have included community resilience centers in rural and urban areas, urban forestry, cool roofs and streets, as well as planning, education and communications.
Issue Areas: Environmental, Health
Sponsors: Climate Resolve
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee, however, we were able to secure $100 million in the budget to allocate funds to local governments to implement an extreme heat program.
- AB 811 – LA Metro: This bill streamlines project delivery by removing the 2/3 vote when LA Metro uses the build-design process. AB 811 helps LA County prepare for the upcoming 2028 Olympic Games, and deliver critical infrastructure projects funded through Measure M.
Sponsors: LA Metro
Issue Areas: Local Government
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 414, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 815 – Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Nurse Credential: AB 815 authorizes the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to approve Clear School Nurse Services Credential programs, and allows Local Education Agencies (LEA) to administer them. This bill permits LEAs that serve 40,000 or more students during the 2019-20 fiscal year to offer programs that may come at a significantly reduced cost to nurses seeking a credential. Allowing LEAs to offer these credentials would reduce a significant barrier to the recruitment and retention of qualified school nurses. This policy came as a result of contract agreements between LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles.
Issue Areas: Education, Post-Secondary Education, Health
Sponsors: Los Angeles Unified School District
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 668, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 974 – Equestrian Rider Safety: As a result of constituent participation in the development of this policy, this bill increases the safety and visibility of our young riders and horses. AB 974 requires minors to wear a helmet and reflective gear at all times when riding on a paved highway. In addition, all adult riders or their equines must be visible by wearing reflective gear, or light fixtures, by sundown.
Issue Areas: Transportation, Judiciary, Public Safety
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 175, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 975 – FPPC/Form 700: AB 975 sought to increase transparency and efficiency by amending the Political Reform Act of 1974 to require public officials and candidates to electronically file their Statements of Economic Interests – Form 700. Additionally, this bill would have reconciled the timeline for a public official to reimburse the cost of admission to an invitation-only event with the deadline for a lobbyist employer to notify a public official of the value of attending the event.
Issue Areas: Ethics
Status: Held on Assembly Floor due to bill load limitations.
- AB 976 – outREACH/emPOWER: AB 976 sought to replicate LA County’s emPOWER program and adopt it as a statewide pilot program to ensure equitable, streamlined, and efficient access to existing public services and programs. This bill would create the outREACH program under the Strategic Growth Council, which is a new grant program for eligible community-based organizations to provide coordinated services and resources to households in disadvantaged communities. The outREACH program would have ultimately provided eligible families with much needed economic savings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, improve resiliency to climate change impacts, and facilitate disaster and medical preparedness in their communities.
Issue Areas: Environmental
Sponsors: Liberty Hill Foundation, Environment California, and Valley Clean Air Now
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee..
- AB 984 – Alternate Vehicle Registration: This bill would have taken recommendations from an alternative registration product’s pilot program and made it permanent. Specifically, this bill would have authorized the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish a program authorizing an entity to issue alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards that have been approved by the California Highway Patrol.
Issue Areas: Transportation, Judiciary, Public Safety, Privacy, Labor
Status: Held on Senate Floor and we will not be authoring the policy next year.
- AB 1043 (Amended to make Assemblymember Isaac Bryan the lead author) – Adding “Persons at Risk of Homelessness” to State Housing Law: This bill adds the definition of “acutely low-income households” to state law to increase access to affordable housing and critical social programs for our state’s neediest families. This bill establishes an additional category for the lowest income households in California and sets a formula to calculate affordable housing costs for individuals with incomes less than 15% Area Median Income.
Issue Areas: Homelessness
Sponsors: Los Angeles County
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 354, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 1096 – Removing the Term Alien in Statute: AB 1096 restores dignity to immigrants by replacing the derogatory and outdated term, “alien,” in California law and replacing it with terms that are more reflective of today’s legal terminology.
Issue Areas: Judiciary, Immigration,
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 296, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 1136 – Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ancillary Relief: This bill sought to allow the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to request a PACE solicitor or PACE solicitor agent to pay ancillary relief to a person adversely impacted by the solicitor agents’ harmful conduct or business practices. Ancillary relief could include refunds, restitution, and payment of damages. Currently, DBO can request ancillary relief from PACE administrators, but not solicitors or solicitor agents. The solicitors and solicitor agents are the ones that market or go door-to-door selling PACE products. These solicitors sometimes engage in predatory lending practices targeted towards low-income, non-native English speakers communities like ours.
Issue Areas: Banking and Finance
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee as a 2-year bill.
- AB 1207 (Amended to make Assemblymember Akilah Weber the lead author) – Pathways Through Pandemics Task Force: AB 1207 sought to establish the Pathways Through Pandemics Taskforce, which analyzes lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and develops strategies to navigate future public health crises.
Issue Areas: Health
Status: Vetoed by the Governor
- AB 1220 – California Interagency Council on Homelessness: This bill establishes the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Council). Membership will be comprised of various agency department directors, secretaries, and relevant stakeholders who oversee all homelessness programs that are managed by existing entities. The Council will be co-chaired by the Health and Human Services Agency Secretary along with the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary. With this change, the state can ensure proper authority exists to hold the state accountable and effectively coordinate its response to addressing homelessness.
Issue Areas: Homelessness
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 398, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 1270 – Methane Leaks: AB 1270 sought to provide air quality and emission reduction targets that would have required regulators to provide a notification when methane leaks occur. This bill would have required natural gas plants to work with their local air quality district to develop, install, operate, and maintain a fence-line monitoring system. Natural gas operators would have been required to collect, maintain, and provide data to the public if natural gas operators detect methane levels that exceed background levels, and also would have required operators to report the leak to their local air district. The air district would have then been required to notify members of the Legislature representing the district where the natural gas plant is located if a methane leak had occurred.
Issue Areas: Natural Resources, Environmental, Toxic and Substance
Status: Held in Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
- AB 1363 – Dual Language Learners: This bill established a process for California state preschools to identify dual language learners in order to support and strengthen their language development and competencies. This measure helps inform program curriculum, strategies used in educational settings, professional development, and provides other additional support for dual language learners. This bill creates the criteria to define dual language learners, establishes a process to identify children that would benefit from a dual language program at our state preschool programs, and collects relevant aggregated non-identifiable data to develop future curriculum.
Issue Areas: Early Childhood Education
Sponsors: Advancement Project California, California Association of Bilingual Educators, Californians Together, Early Edge California, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 498, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 1495 – Vacancy Elections: AB 1495 codified the Seventeenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in California state law. This allows the Governor to make temporary appointments to vacant seats until the voters fill the vacancies by election. Additionally, this bill consolidates special elections with general elections to ensure greater voter participation, reduce unnecessary costs, and eliminate ballot confusion.
Issue Areas: Elections
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 316, Statutes of 2021.
- AB 1550 – Higher Education Labor Relations: This bill protects faculty bargaining rights by allowing faculty who are currently in a bargaining unit to remain eligible for union representation, even if the University of California moves those positions into the Academic Senate.
Issue Areas: Labor, Higher Education, University of California
Sponsors: CA Labor Federation and CA Federation of Teachers.
Status: Signed into Law and Chaptered by the Secretary of State - Chapter 754, Statutes of 2021.