This past Sunday marked the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to sign or veto a range of bills; capping an action-packed year of legislative advocacy by our staff and partners. From testifying at committee hearings in Sacramento to engaging youth and community members on the ground in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland; we are excited about several monumental victories for California’s children, youth, and families.
Earlier this year, the state budget agreement expanded health coverage to all California children regardless of immigration status, invested in early learning, and implemented California’s first-ever state Earned Income Tax Credit, a first step to reducing child poverty.
A number of our priorities bills were also signed into law:
- AB 953 (Weber) to curb racial profiling in policing and increase transparency and accountability with law enforcement agencies
- SB 261 (Hancock) to increase the age of young adults with lengthy prison sentences eligible for parole to 23 years old
- SB 382 (Lara) to improve the fitness criteria judges use in making decisions on sending youth to the adult criminal justice system
- SB 4 (Lara) to ensure smooth implementation of the expansion of health coverage to undocumented children
- AB 187 (Bonta) to preserve specialty care for medically fragile children for one more year, providing time for families and advocates to weigh in on changes to the California Children’s Services (CCS) program
Unfortunately, bills co-sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) to end solitary confinement for youth and provide low-income students with free transportation were stalled in the legislature despite overwhelming support from youth and community members. We will intensify our work on these critical priorities, as well as continuing our work to ensure that every child has access to a quality education and health care.