AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HEALTHCARE FOR ALL AMONG ATKINS BILLS ADVANCING IN LEGISLATURE

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Source:  Toni Atkins' office

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed nine bills authored by Sen. Toni Atkins, including SB 2the Building Homes and Jobs Act – which would create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.

Also advancing out of the Appropriations Committee were SB 179the Gender Recognition Act – which would make it easier for transgender, nonbinary and intersex Californians to obtain state-issued identity documents that reflect who they truly are, and SB 562the Healthy California Act – which would create a statewide single-payer healthcare system that covers all residents.

The following additional bills cleared the Appropriations Committee and now move on to the Senate floor:

  • SB 223 requires all health plans in California to meet the highest current federal standards in nondiscrimination measures, consumer protections and language-assistance services – no matter what changes might occur to the Affordable Care Act
  • SB 310 – the Name and Dignity Act – establishes the right of people incarcerated in state prisons and county jails to access the courts to obtain a name or gender change
  • SB 379 allows schools to facilitate dental screenings by requiring parents to opt-out if they do not want their children to receive an assessment. It also adds data on tooth decay to the list of data that must be reported to the county and encourages schools to send oral-health data to the state
  • SB 587 allows probation officers to join the ranks of law-enforcement officers who are permitted to display blue warning lights on their emergency vehicles
  • SB 625 reestablishes an “honorable discharge” program for juvenile offenders who meet certain criteria, paving an easier path for them to access higher education or vocational training or get a job after their release from incarceration
  • SB 667 enables the Riverine Stewardship Assistance Program (RSAP), which provides technical and financial support for stream restoration, reduced flood risk and improved habitat corridors, empowering communities to reconnect with and take pride in their neighborhood waterways

Meanwhile, the following bills have recently been passed on the Senate floor and have been forwarded to the Assembly for consideration.

  • SB 285 makes it clear under the law that public employers are prohibited from deterring or discouraging public employees from becoming or remaining members of union. It passed on May 15.
  • SB 437 improves upon a joint working group made up of senior-level representatives of the state departments of Managed Healthcare and Insurance. It requires the working group to review consumer-complaint processes pertaining to timely access to care and network adequacy, and it adds a new topic for the working group to review: state implementation of federal healthcare reforms. It passed on May 22.
  • SB 462 clarifies that probation departments may access juvenile-justice data in order to fulfill reporting requirements or conduct research to improve their programs. It also permits courts to authorize probation departments to provide third-party researchers to with limited access to juvenile case files to conduct research on juvenile-justice populations and the programs that serve them. It passed on May 15.

These three bills join three Atkins bills that previously cleared the Senate: SB 214 (San Diego River Conservancy), SB 230 (evidence in sex-trafficking cases) and SB 548 (firefighter labor rights).

Website of Senator Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins