Policy committees have been very active the past few weeks and important bills are receiving their initial examination by California lawmakers. Thank you to all who have generously responded to our action alerts and sent letters to legislators.

There are victories and much work to be done. Lawmakers will take their spring break next week and will resume work after Easter.  Please be on the lookout for additional upcoming alerts then as these bills continue their voyage through the Legislature.

As reported last week, SB 360 Mandated reporters: clergy (Hill, D-San Mateo), which would remove the right to privacy between a penitent and confessor during the Sacrament of Reconciliation and other spiritual counseling, cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee and is scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations on April 22. Click here to ask for a NO vote to stop this bill from going to the Senate Floor for a vote.

AB 809 child development programs (Santiago, D – Los Angeles) would require all California public colleges and universities to prominently display Title IX protections on their website and health centers in order to increase the awareness of these protections and allow students to overcome the challenges of being both a parent and student. AB 809 passed the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This is a huge victory for this bill. Please send a letter to your legislators now to keep the momentum going and get this bill signed into law.

SB 24 Abortion by medication techniques (Leyva, D-Chino) requires on-campus health centers of public universities in California offer abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486. SB 24 has passed the Senate Health Committee and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on April 24. Click here to let legislators know that California should under no circumstances be encouraging or funding abortions.

AB 1593 Earned income credit (Gómez Reyes, D – Grand Terrace) extends eligibility for the existing California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) to some of the most vulnerable working Californians. The bill has been amended by the author and will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. The CCC is supporting and closely monitoring AB 1593’s status and will report back as it progresses.

SB 298 Poverty reduction (Caballero, D-Salinas) would establish specific targets to end deep child poverty in four years and reduce child poverty by 50 percent in California by 2039. This bill unanimously passed the Senate Human Services Committee and will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The CCC is supporting this bill will need your help in sending letters to the Committee once a hearing has been set to help continue its momentum.

AB 624 Pupil and student health: identification cards (Gabriel – D-Encino) would require all require public and private schools to add telephone numbers on student I.D.s for The National Sexual Assault Hotline; The National Domestic Violence Hotline; and a sexual or reproductive health hotline. The CCC is strongly opposed to this bill because the inclusion of any more numbers of other hotlines, regardless of how worthy, would diminish the efficacy of the only number (National Suicide Prevention Hotline) now required on student identification cards. The hearing for this bill has been postponed by the Assembly Education Committee but an Action Alert is available here.

Full story at California Catholic Conference.