With the deadline to introduce new bills in the California Legislature expiring last week, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is now vetting more than 2,700 bills – likely to be a record for lawmakers – that were introduced. More than 700 bills were introduced on the last day alone!
These new legislative proposals could have major impacts on education, immigration, restorative justice and social issues in the state.
The CCC will continue to fight SB 24 by Senator Connie Leyva (D – Chino), the duplicate of last session’s SB 320, the mandate that would require public universities in the state to provide abortion pills. SB 320 was vetoed by Governor Brown last session.
AB 1059 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D – Inglewood), the bill aimed at reducing childhood poverty, continues to be of high importance. The Daughters of Charity, are major sponsors of the bill, which was introduced in early December. The CCC will continue to advocate on behalf of this bill.
The CCC is also supporting AB 809 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles), which would require that Title IX protections for students who wish to continue with their pregnancies be posted on the internet and provided in student health centers.
As for education, there are several bills the CCC is monitoring.
AB 15 by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D – Van Nuys) would establish a universal, at-birth, opt-out Children’s Savings Account (CSA) for every child born in California to jumpstart college savings. These CSAs would be fund with an initial contribution by the State with opportunities for families and community groups to contribute more.
SB 673 by Senator Mike Morell (R – Rancho Cucamonga) would require that sexual health education in Kindergarten through 6th Grade is age-appropriate. This bill also strengthens parental rights and responsibilities to “supervise” such instruction of their children by providing the active consent of parents for their children to participate.
Two bills are aimed at expanding access and investment in early childhood education. The CCC believes that any legislation expanding early childhood education should, first and foremost, support the right of parents to determine their own child’s school readiness and to be able to choose the type of program best for their children among a viable mixed delivery system of public and private providers (including those that are faith-based).
AB 123 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento) would offer Targeted Universal Pre-K for 4-year-olds that reside in school attendance areas where 70% of children enroll in free and reduced-priced lunch programs. SB 217 by Senator Portantino (D – D-La Canada Flintridge) Would provide school districts a supplemental $4,000 grant for each 3- and 4-year-old child with special needs who is served in an inclusive early educational setting, including public or private preschool. The bill also will allow four-year-olds to enroll in transitional kindergarten if they have special needs.
Senator Anthony Portantino (D – La Canada Flintridge) has proposed a budget measure that would address California’s shortage of qualified teachers, allowing those educators with preliminary credentials to claim a $2,500 above-the-line tax deduction to complete their professional training. This proposal is co-sponsored by the CCC and the California Federation of Teachers. By supporting these beginning teachers who are now actively educating California’s students – as well as those who may not be teaching right now, but will join or return to the classroom in the future – such tax relief would meaningfully increase California’s supply of qualified and fully prepared educators.
AB 2 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles) would extend the California College Promise to provide a second year of free tuition for all first time, full-time students attending a California Community College (CCC).
AB 1307 by Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D – Baldwin Park) would establish a Cal Grant award formula for new students seeking to attend private, non-profit California Colleges and universities that will provide greater access and equity for their post-secondary learning.