My Net Neutrality, Nightlife, Environmental, Housing, Mental Health, and Criminal Justice Bills Pass the Legislature and Head to the Governor
Last week was the deadline for bills to be passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for his approval or veto. I am proud of the work we were able to do to pass bills that will have a real impact on lives across California. We had some real successes, including passing bills to enact the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation, expand use of solar energy storage, reform how we set housing goals and ensure we’re planning for our actual future housing needs, allow (but not require) local communities to extend nightlife hours to 4 a.m., and bills to help individuals with severe mental health and substance use disorders get the help they need.
In addition, a number of bills I was proud to co-author passed the legislature, including a bill to allow San Francisco to pilot safe injection sites that help prevent overdoses, and a bill to make Lunar New Year a day of special significance in California. Our Lunar New Year bill was signed by the Governor just last month.
Here are some highlights of bills I authored that were passed by the Legislature and that are on the Governor’s desk:
SB 1045: Creates a new type of conservatorship for severely mentally ill and drug-addicted people on our streets — people who are unable to make decisions for themselves and who are frequently detained on psychiatric holds — in order to get them stable, healthy, and into housing.
SB 905: Allows, but does not require, 9 pilot program cities to extend the nightlife hours to as late as 4 a.m. Currently, California has a rigid 2 a.m. end time statewide, no matter how big or small the city and no matter what the nature of the city’s nightlife. SB 905 allows San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Coachella, and Cathedral City to make this decision locally. Nightlife is hugely important to California’s culture and economy, and SB 905 will improve the vibrancy of our state’s nightlife.
SB 700: Creates a rebate program to expand the installation of renewable energy storage systems in California. More energy storage will address the imbalance between when solar energy is created (daytime when people are at work) and when energy is consumed (when people get home at night).
SB 918: Directs the recently created Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to set specific measurable goals to prevent and end youth homelessness in California.
SB 937: Requires businesses to provide lactation facilities for their workers. New mothers should not have to choose between breastfeeding and returning to work. This bill will help ensure women can return to work and not fall behind.
SB 829: Exempts from state cannabis taxes donations of medical cannabis to low income people suffering from serious illnesses like HIV and cancer. When the voters legalized adult use of cannabis, they inadvertently applied taxes to “compassionate care” medical cannabis donation programs, which are now shutting down since they have no revenue and cannot pay taxes.
SCR 110: Calls on the medical community to stop performing medically unnecessary,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.
SB 221: Bans Gun Shows at the Cow Palace, a longstanding goal of the surrounding communities
SB 726: Protects CalWORKS Recipients from penalties when counties negligently over-issue their benefits
SB 765: Updates and closes loopholes in my 2017 housing streamlining bill (SB 35)
SB 785: Protects immigration status in court (SB 785 was signed by the Governor earlier this year)
SB 828: Ensures that the state’s process for setting housing goals for cities is based on actual housing need. The current process is highly politicized, and wealthier/whiter communities often get lower housing goals, while lower income, less powerful communities get higher goals.
SB 966: Expands on-site water reuse by requiring issuance of health and safety standards so that cities can adopt water reuse programs for their residents
SB 1004: Strengthens California’s mental illness prevention and early intervention programs, with a special emphasis on preventing mental illness among youth
SB 1021: Caps drug co-pays and ensures that people can utilize their insurance to obtain PrEP(pre-exposure prophylaxis, a once-daily pill that nearly eliminates the risk of HIV infection)
SB 900 (adopted via the budget): Expands the Cal Fresh food assistance program to encourage incentives to use food benefits to purchase fresh produce
Thank you for allowing me, and trusting me, to do this work as your Senator. As always, I’m proud to represent San Francisco and Northern San Mateo County in the Senate.