This Month, the Governor finished signing and vetoing bills passed by the Legislature this year, officially ending our 2019 legislative session. I am thrilled to report that, in 2019, 10 of my bills were signed into law! That brings my total since taking office three years ago to 36 bills signed into law. We did some incredible work this year to address mass incarceration, increase access to life saving medication, ensure individuals suffering from severe mental health and substance abuse issues can receive adequate support, support women in the workplace, ensure access to medical cannabis, and streamline the approval process for navigation centers.
Below is the complete list of the bills I authored that were signed by the Governor this year:
Ends discrimination against straight people by expanding domestic partnerships beyond same-sex couples to all couples. Previously only same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples age 62 and older could register as domestic partners.
Exempts cannabis compassionate care programs from paying state commercial cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions. Due to an oversight in how Prop 64 was drafted, these not-for-profit donation programs, which have been serving low income medical cannabis patients for decades, are now being forced to pay taxes meant for businesses, which are forcing these charity programs to shut down since they have no revenue. SB 34 fixes this problem.
Strengthens Senator Wiener’s legislation creating a new conservatorship for severely mentally ill and addicted people on our streets who are dying and need help. SB 40 will help save lives by getting people the care they need.
Repeals a common one-year sentence enhancement added to each prior prison or felony jail term that an individual has served. SB 136 will help reduce mass incarceration in California.
Ensures working mothers have access to lactation facilities in the workplace, and helps create more family friendly work environments. New mothers should not have to choose between returning to work and breastfeeding their kids.
Authorizes pharmacists to furnish pre- and post- exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) without a physician prescription and also prohibits insurance companies from requiring prior authorizations in order to obtain PrEP coverage. PrEP and PEP are critical parts of our efforts to end new HIV infections.
Prohibits the arrest of people involved in sex work when they come forward as a witness or victim of a specified violent and serious crime. SB 233 also provides that the possession of condoms may not be used as evidence to arrest someone for engaging in sex work. SB 233 ensures that sex workers feel safe reporting crimes and that they aren’t deterred from carrying condoms due to fear of arrest.
Increases access to unemployment insurance, state disability insurance, and paid family leave benefits for motion picture and TV production workers who are traveling to other states for work but are still California residents.
(Passed through the Budget) Streamline Navigation Center Permitting [Story]
Streamlines the production of high-quality homeless shelters to address the number of homeless individuals and families who do not have reliable access to shelter. This legislation will make it easier and faster to implement navigation centers, by eliminating endless appeals and lawsuits.
(Passed through the Budget) Increasing Access to Income Assistance
Ensures more individuals are able to access income assistance through the CalWORKs program in order to move more children out of poverty and help families meet basic needs. The bill does so by repealing the so-called “asset test,” which forces low income people to choose between income assistance and saving money in order to climb out of poverty.