Sunday was the deadline for Governor Brown to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature this year. I am thrilled that this year Governor Brown signed 15 of my bills into law (after signing 11 bills into law in 2017). We worked hard this year to pass legislation with real and positive impacts on people’s lives. These bills enact the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation, expand use of solar energy storage, reform how we set housing goals so that we plan for our actual future housing needs, and help individuals with severe mental health and substance use disorders get the help they need.
While not all of my bills were signed this year (the Governor signed all but 4), I am proud of every single one we passed and look forward to continuing to fight for progressive change in the coming year.
Here are the 15 bills I authored in 2018 that Governor Brown signed:
SB 822: Enacts the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation, putting California at the forefront of ensuring all of our residents have access to a free and open internet. The bill ruffled feathers in Washington, as 30 minutes after Governor Brown signed the bill, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued California to overturn it.
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. I want to thank Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman for their help with the bill — the two of them even came up to Sacramento to testify for it.
SB 923: Sets statewide eyewitness identification standards to help prevent misidentifications that lead to innocent people being convicted and actual perpetrators remaining free. We worked closely with the Innocence Project and ACLU to pass this bill.
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: The Homeless Youth Act, which increases the state’s focus on the 15,000 homeless youth living on our street. 2/3 of California counties don’t have youth-specific homeless programs. We also obtained nearly $30 million in the state budget to help homeless youth.
SB 892 (with Senator Richard Pan): Designates Lunar New Year as a day of special significance in California and requires the Governor to honor Lunar New Year annually. Also under SB 892, all public schools and educational institutions will be encouraged to conduct exercises recognizing the traditions and cultural significance of Lunar New Year.
SCR 110 (Governor’s signature not needed): 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 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 immigrants testifying in court from irrelevant and harassing questions about their immigration status. Instead, attorneys wishing to ask witnesses about their immigration status will first need to make a showing of relevance to the judge. Given that ICE is stalking our courthouses, we need to ensure immigrant witnesses feel safe coming to court. If immigrants believe that testifying in court will get them deported, they simply won’t testify, and public safety will be harmed.
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 900 (adopted via the budget): Expands the Cal Fresh food assistance program to encourage incentives to use food benefits to purchase fresh produce. This so-called “double up” program provides that for every dollar of Cal Fresh a recipient spends on fresh produce grown in California, the recipient will receive two dollars worth of produce. SB 900 will help low income Californians afford healthier foods.
SB 1021: Caps drug co-pays so that people aren’t priced out of life-saving drugs, 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 1442: Requires that pharmacies always have sufficient staff available to assist pharmacists in order for pharmacists to provide the guidance and support to patients that is required by law.
Thank you for allowing me, and trusting me, to do this work as your Senator. It is a deep honor.