NASWCA 2019 Legislative Update

By Alejandro Contreras, MSW Candidate, NASWCA Social Work Intern

This year has seen a large amount of legislation. The total number of bill introductions for 2019 is 2,576: 1,799 Assembly Bills and 777 Senate Bills (not including constitutional amendments and resolutions). With Gavin Newsom taking the reins as Governor and California continuing to respond to actions taken by the Trump administration, there has been a lot of focus in the areas of immigration, healthcare and infrastructure. Gov. Newsom has a different plan than his predecessor and the legislature knows this. This shift in policy focus is evident by the sheer number of bills as well as the bold and progressive bills being introduced. Legislators seem hopeful that the Governor will be open to spending more money as well as leaning toward his legacy of progressive policies.

The legislature has now moved into its summer recess with a planned return on August 12th. There was a lot of movement in the last two weeks to get things done and meet deadlines before the break as bills moved through both Senate and Assembly committees and fiscal committee (Appropriations) to finally land on the Governor’s desk for signature.

The NASW-CA takes its legislative direction from our legislative committee, a volunteer group that works in collaboration with the Director of Government Relations to decide whether to support, oppose or remain neutral on more than 200 pieces of legislation that were selected this year. The bills that are selected maintain an alignment with the core values of social work and help to address the needs of both the profession and the clients we serve. Presented is a short list of bills that we have taken a position on and are still working their way to the Governor’s desk.

Lobby Days Bills

AB 163 (Garcia) — Would require the State Department of Social Services to create a facilities liaison position within its immigration services unit to assist state-licensed group homes, short-term residential therapeutic programs (STRTPs), foster family agencies, and resource families that serve undocumented immigrant youth in connecting with appropriate supports and services, including, but not limited to, legal services, mental health assessments and services, and public benefits, as specified. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 568 (Portantino) — College Focused Rapid Rehousing Program. Establishes a rapid rehousing programs for college students. This bill was made into a budget item and was passed by the Governor. Status: Included in the Governor’s budget.

Support Bills

AB 4 (Arambula) — Extends full-scope Medi-Cal to all undocumented adults, contingent on a budget appropriation. Status: 2-year bill.

AB 15 (Nazarian) — Automatically establishes a Scholarshare 529 college savings account for every child born in California after January 1, 2020, subject to available funding. Status: 2-year bill.

AB 32 (Bonta) — Would prohibit the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from entering into or renewing a contract with a private, for-profit detention facility to incarcerate state prison inmates. The bill would also prohibit a state prison inmate or other person under the jurisdiction of the department from being incarcerated in a private, for-profit detention facility. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 218 (Gonzalez) — Increases the time limit for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault to 22 years from the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority or within 5 years of the date the plaintiff discovers the injury after the age of majority, whichever is later. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 258 (Jones-Sawyer) — Uses Proposition 64 funding to fund student support services which includes hiring school social workers. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 392 (Weber) — Redefines when it is appropriate for a police officer to use deadly force. Status: On Governor’s Desk.

AB 1322 (Berman) — Establishes an office of school-based health within the Department of Education, which includes mental health programs in the schools. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1482 (Chiu) — Prohibits landlords from terminating the lease of a tenant that has occupied the property for at least 12 months without just cause. Requires that the owner give a notice of violation and an opportunity to cure the violation prior to issuing the notice of termination. Requires, for no-fault just cause terminations, that the owner assist certain tenants to relocate, regardless of the tenant’s income, by providing a direct payment of one month’s rent to the tenant. Also sets a limit on rental amount increases to once a year and no more than 7%. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 29 (Durazo) — Extends full-scope Medi-Cal to undocumented young adults 19-25 and to adults 65 and over. Will also increase coverage to 26-year-olds on January 1, 2021 and incrementally by one year each year thereafter, contingent upon a budget appropriation. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 360 (Hill) — Narrows the penitential communication exemption for clergy in reporting known or suspected child abuse by requiring clergy to report when communication is between a clergy member and another person that is employed at the same site or facility, and penitential communications between clergy members. Status: 2-Year Bill.

SB 24 (Leyva) — Requires student health centers located on a UC or CSU campus that provides primary health care services to students, after January 1, 2023, to offer abortion by medication techniques onsite. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 150 (Beall) — Eases requirements to help students retain their eligibility for Chaffee grants, which help foster students pay for college. Also helps refer students to academic supports. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 363 (Pan) — Requires facilities operated by the Department of State Hospitals, the Department of Developmental Services, and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to report, on a monthly basis, information on violent incidents to the relevant bargaining unit and to the relevant department. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Use this link to see our full list of supported bills by subject: NASW-CA Chapter Supported Bills.

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