Recovery for All
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has exacerbated and laid bare existing structural inequalities and misplaced legislative priorities that have left millions of Californians and their families unable to withstand any level of economic downturn. Furthermore, unacceptable structural racism in our health care system and in the determinants of health – reinforced by economic and environmental injustice – has resulted in COVID-19’s staggering death toll for people of color.
California has an opportunity now to re-shape a crooked economic system and to make a sizable investment in safety net programs needed to ensure a Recovery for All that is equitable and green.
AB 503 (Stone) Would end endless probation for youth by limiting time on probation to six months and limiting probation conditions by requiring they be individually tailored, developmentally appropriate, and not excessive.
This bill would also advance racial justice and equity by ensuring Black, Brown, and poor youth are protected from long-term contact with the criminal-legal system.
SB 300 (Cortese) Would reform California’s cruel and racist “felony murder special circumstance” law to ensure that the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole cannot be imposed on those that did not kill, nor intend that a person die during a crime.
CIVIL & DISABILITY RIGHTS
SB 1038 (Bradford) Bans police body cameras from being transformed into surveillance tools with a high risk of potentially tragic errors by prohibiting the use of facial recognition and other biometrics.
SB 2632 (Holden) This bill will help to establish limits on the amount of time people can spend in solitary confinement in jails, prisons and immigration detention centers, especially for vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, younger people, older people and those who are pregnant.
EDUCATION (EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION THROUGH HIGHER ED)
AB 92 (Reyes) Would alleviate financial burdens for families who are low income by creating an equitable sliding scale for child care family fees. California can fund child care for everyone, but instead our state relies on fees paid by families of color (mostly mothers) who earn low wages & can least afford it.
SB 1273 (Bradford) Eliminates mandatory requirements for schools to notify law enforcement of a broad range of behaviors and incidents that occur on school campuses.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND JUSTICE
SB 222 (Dodd) Establishes a long-needed framework for a statewide water affordability assistance program. Strengthens & extends inadequate existing water shutoff and bill repayment protocols to better protect all low-income California households that may face or have already experienced water service disconnections due to the water customer’s inability to pay their water bill.
AB 2419 (Bryan) California Justice40 Act would invest at least 40 percent of federal climate and infrastructure funding to communities that have been historically neglected by discriminatory policies — low-income, Indigenous, and rural communities and communities of color.
AB 2182 (Wicks) Would prohibit discrimination against employees based on their family responsibilities and ensures working families have access to reasonable accommodations to deal with school and care closures.
SB 1162 (Limon) Would help to close the gender and race wage gaps by increasing pay transparency. Specifically, this bill would require employers to report and make public pay data broken down by race, ethnicity, and sex for both direct employees and employees hired through a labor contractor. It would also requires employers to provide pay scales on all job postings, and to make promotional opportunities available to current employees, before making a promotion decision.
AB 2223 (Wicks) AB 2223 will ensure that no one in the State of California will be investigated, prosecuted, or incarcerated for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss. Specifically, AB 2223 protects reproductive freedom by clarifying that the Reproductive Privacy Act prohibits pregnancy criminalization, and creates a private right of action for people whose rights have been violated to seek accountability using civil courts. It would also remove outdated provisions requiring coroners to investigate certain pregnancy losses, and ensure that information collected about pregnancy loss is not used to target people through criminal or civil legal systems. This bill would codify recommendations of the Future of Abortion Council.
HEALTHCARE AND LONG-TERM CARE ACCESS FOR ALL
AB 1130 (Wood) Would create the Office of Health Care Affordability to collect and analyze information and identify trends in health care prices in order to address costs across the entire health care system. The Office will set enforceable cost targets for health care affordability while also aiming to improve quality and equity.
SB 1014 (Hertzberg) Would direct $400 million & additional federal funds to address healthcare workforce challenges at FQHC clinics to build the care infrastructure. The funding can be used to increase wages to retain workers, train new healthcare workers with oversight and accountability.
SB 923 (Wiener) This bill would improve access to gender affirming care for transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) people by mandating health plans to require TGI cultural competency training for contracted providers, their staff, and the staff of health plans. It would also require plan provider directories to identify providers who offer gender affirming services.
HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS AND TENANT RIGHTS
AB 2597 (Bloom, E. Garcia) This bill will address a long-standing issue that is rapidly being exacerbated by human-induced climate change: the safety of renters in their homes when outdoor temperatures rise. AB 2597 will update the state’s habitability standards to ensure that all rental units have a means of maintaining a safe indoor air temperature regardless of the temperature outside.
AB 2710 (Kalra) This bill will give tenants and mission-driven nonprofits the first opportunity to buy rental housing when the owner decides to sell the property. This important bill will keep tenants in their homes and preserve the units as permanently affordable, thereby preserving needed housing that might otherwise be lost to the speculative market.
IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE JUSTICE AND INTEGRATION
AB 937 (Carillo), the VISION Act, would protect refugee and immigrant community members who have already been deemed eligible for release from being funneled by local jails and our state prison system to immigration detention. Prohibiting transfers to ICE would protect Californians from being subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions in immigration detention, close the main pipeline filling immigration detention beds, and reunite refugee and immigrant families and communities.
AB 2847 (E. Garcia) This bill would create a pilot program for immigrant workers excluded from Unemployment Benefits. It will provide unemployed workers who are ineligible for regular unemployment insurance due to their immigration status with $300 per week for up to 20 weeks.
INCOME AND FOOD SECURITY
SB 972 (Gonzalez) Known as the Enhancing Safety of Sidewalk Vending Act, it would amend the California Retail Food Code to include street vendors and enhance critical health and safety food regulations. Currently street vendors in CA are able to obtain permits from local cities, however vendors are unable to obtain county health permits to sell certain foods.
SB 731 (Durazo) Would create a comprehensive process to automatically seal conviction and arrest records in the state of California once a person has fully completed their sentence and successfully gone two years without further contact with the justice system.
LGBTQ EQUALITY AND RIGHTS
AB 1041 (Wicks) Would create a comprehensive process to automatically seal conviction and arrest records in the state of California once a person has fully completed their sentence and successfully gone two years without further contact with the justice system.
AB 2029 (Wicks) Reduce discrimination and increase equity in coverage for infertility treatment.
SB 17 (Pan) Would establish the Office of Racial Equity (ORE) and the Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council, which would oversee the new office. The Office of Racial Equity will coordinate and lead the state’s strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies and departments.
AB 256 (Kalra) Would make the California Racial Justice Act of 2020 retroactive, ensuring that people now in prison and jail can challenge racial bias in their convictions and trials.
FINANCIAL SECURITY (Retirement, Taxation)
SB 1477 (Wieckowski) This bill builds on previous legislation authored by Wieckowski (SB 501) in 2015 by increasing the amount protected in a worker’s wages to 80 hours of work at a minimum wage salary. It also restricts the use of civil arrest warrants in consumer debt matters.
SB 1008 (Becker) This bill would require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), county jail facilities, and youth residential placements or detention centers to provide free phone calls in addition to minimums of phone usage and phone ratios. Currently family members are charged a fee to speak with their loved ones over the phone.
VOTING RIGHTS & RESTORING OUR DEMOCRACY
AB 1819 (Lee) The Stop Foreign Influence in California Elections Act would bar foreign-influenced, US-based corporations from contributing to candidates, parties, or committees, and from engaging in their own direct election spending. The bill would close a loophole that allows foreign-influenced corporations to spend money in political campaigns and protect the integrity of California’s democratic self-government.
AB 2530 (Wood) Exercising one’s right to strike should not mean a worker loses health coverage for themselves or their families. This bill would provide health benefits through Covered California to workers and their families who lose health benefits due to a labor dispute.
AB 257 (Holden, Carillo, Rivas, Lee) Would enact the FAST Recovery Act to improve standards for workers in the Fast Food Industry. This act would bring together workers, industry and government to help solve systematic problems like low wages, sexual harassment, and violence on the job.
AB 1651 (Kalra) Would better protect workers from intrusive monitoring, tracking and surveillance while both on and off the job, given the role these technologies now play in robbing workers of their basic rights. The bill will also improve disclosure–and limit the use–of secretive algorithms that can lower wages, create abusive work schedules, discriminate against protected classes and even make adverse employment decisions.
What our members are saying:
“The disproportionate loss of life in California’s communities of color is devastating and unacceptable — and it was preventable. Systemic racism has persisted in health care access and delivery because we have failed to prioritize eliminating it. We will not allow inequities to be forgotten when the immediate threat of COVID-19 is behind us, and we will not relent from our fight for health care equity until every Californian has the opportunity to be healthy.”Nourbese Flint, Executive Director of the Black Women for Wellness Action Project
“This pandemic is a clarion call for transformation across our economic and social systems. Within the first few weeks of California’s effort to slow the virus’ spread, millions of Californians were unable to pay for rent or food – illustrating just how many Californians were living on razor thin margins even in a ‘growing’ economy. While we give attention to their most immediate needs, California must commit to support their recovery over the long haul and implement the sweeping reforms needed to deliver justice in economic opportunity, education, health care, and the environment.”Regina Banks, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California
Looking Forward, Looking Back.
Learn about our 2019 justice victories.