The California Legislature ended their 2017 session last month with the passage of a number of bills that will help level the playing field for children. Many of these bills are now waiting for Governor Brown to sign the legislature into law in the next two weeks. Three bills co-sponsored by Children’s Defense Fund-California have passed the Legislature and we are urging the Governor to sign them. Senate Bill 394 would end juvenile life without the possibility of parole sentences. Senate Bill 395 would require that youth ages 15 and under facing custodial interrogation consult with an attorney before waiving their constitutional rights. Senate Bill 250 would prevent school lunch shaming by preventing schools from denying a meal or publicly shaming students because their parents had unpaid school meal debt.
A number of additional bills that will improve the health and well-being of children and families also passed through the Legislature, including:
- A major housing package to address California’s growing affordable housing crisis by investing funding to construct new housing for low-income families and easing local regulations on home building
- Assembly Bill 340 to require pediatric Medi-Cal providers to include trauma screening as part of EPSDT
- Assembly Bill 1520 to create a task force to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce child poverty in California (which has been signed by the Governor!)
- Senate Bill 138 to expand access to school meals.
- Assembly Bill 699 to uphold the fundamental right of a public education for all California students regardless of immigration status.
- Assembly Bill 17 to create a pilot program for free transit passes for students.
If you’d like to urge the Governor to support any of these bills, you can email the Governor’s office by filling out the comment form at https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
- simply enter your contact information, select the bill from the drop-down menu, click continue, section the “pro” radio button to indicate your support and include a brief comment.