2016 Legislative Summary

Creating an Affordable California

AB 2031 - Creating New Affordable Housing Opportunities
Skyrocketing rents and lack of sufficient housing have created a housing crisis for hundreds of thousands of Californians. AB 2031 empowers local governments to rapidly address the affordable housing crisis by allowing a city to issue bonds serviced by “boomerang funds”---funds returned to the city through the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.

Advancing Voting Opportunities, Engagement

AB 2455 – Inspiring Civic Engagement of California Youth 
Joint Author with Assemblymember David Chiu
Over the last couple of years, voter turnout has been abysmally low, especially among young voters. AB 2455 is a necessary step to engage young voters in the election process, and ensure their voices are heard.

Increasing Public Safety and Expanding Victims’ Rights

AB 2792 - TRUTH Act – Protecting Immigrants and Increasing Transparency
Immigrants are an integral part of California’s social fabric, but when Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) coerces local law enforcement into carrying out deportations, families are separated and community trust is destroyed. The Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds (TRUTH) Act establishes a transparent process, including community engagement, prior to local law enforcement participation in ICE deportation programs.

AB 2498 – Protecting Victim Privacy and Prioritizing Prosecution of Human Traffickers
In order to confront the human trafficking epidemic and help victims heal, we must protect victims and swiftly bring exploiters and “johns” to justice. AB 2498 will help to support the security and safety of trafficking victims by ensuring their identity is kept confidential at the outset. The bill also provides guidance to county courts to hear time-sensitive cases quickly, thus sending a clear message to traffickers that justice for these victims is a top priority. With AB 2498, victims’ privacy will be preserved and prosecutions will be fast-tracked through the courts, allowing victims to find justice and move on with their lives.

AB 1695- Reducing the Flow of Illegal Gun Sales
Oakland was home to 89 murders last year—among the highest rates in the state. AB 1695, the Stop Illegal Gun Sales Act, reduces the false reporting of guns as lost or stolen, a common tactic of straw purchasers, by prohibiting false reporters from purchasing a gun for ten years.  AB 1695 will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and off of our streets.

AB 2165 – Clarifying Laws on Firearm Ownership
AB 2165 clarifies an ambiguity in law in order to allow peace officers and law enforcement personnel to continue carrying their existing firearms as a necessary part of their duty provided they have completed the firearms training requirements prescribed by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

AB 1432 - Advancing Navigation Technology for Public Safety
The San Francisco Bar Pilots Association (SFBP) is responsible for guiding ships at 750 gross tons or greater in the Bays of San Francisco and Monterey and tributaries to ports in Stockton and Sacramento. They maneuver ships across a large and dangerous sand bar just outside the Golden Gate at the mouth of San Francisco Bay. AB 1432 establishes a navigation technology surcharge to cover the cost of advanced electronic navigation systems to assist pilots in carrying out their duties with the utmost safety.

Expanding Worker Protections

AB 2757 – Establishing Equal Protections for Farm Workers
Joint Author with Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez
Farm workers are the only workers in California’s food production industry who don’t get paid overtime after 8 hours.  California became a national leader on workers’ rights when we enacted overtime protections for farm workers in 1978, requiring overtime for work longer than 10 hours a day. But today California is falling short.  AB 2757 will, once and for all, remove overtime, meal break, and wage exemptions that have left farmworkers unprotected for decades.

AB 1807 -  Increasing Fairness in Real Estate Licensing
Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue a career of their choice and that opportunity shouldn’t be thwarted by unnecessary bureaucracy. The Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) is required to maintain an online database of individuals who have been subject to disciplinary action related to the escrow industry; however, there are no minimum timeframes established for how long a disciplinary action will be displayed online. AB 1807 would give individuals an opportunity to have the action removed from the website when, through passage of time and evidence of rehabilitation, they are no longer a credible risk to members of the public utilizing licensed activity of the licensee.

Increasing Access and Affordability to High-Quality Health Care

AB 1644 – Helping Students Recover from Adverse Childhood Experiences
AB 1644 will help combat one of the greatest public health crises of our time: adverse childhood experiences and trauma. Childhood exposure to abuse, neglect, and other traumatic experiences has lifelong health impacts.  AB 1644 will help heal our children suffering from trauma and help them succeed in school and to thrive into adulthood.

AB 533 – Protecting Consumers from “Surprise” Medical Bills  
Many patients who go to an in-network facility for services unwittingly receive care from an out-of-network provider who subsequently sends them a surprise bill. These surprise bills can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars, forcing many consumers into bankruptcy.  AB 533 protects consumers from this situation by holding them harmless when they unintentionally receive care from an out-of–network provider.  A patient who plays by the rules and does everything right should not be subject to extraordinary hidden costs after the fact.

AB 1568 – Improving Health Care for Vulnerable Californians
AB 1568 enacts the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver which is a five year, $6.2 billion demonstration that provides California the opportunity to leverage federal funds to advance key initiatives. AB 1568 embodies the shared commitment of California and the federal government to invest in a performance-based health care delivery system and continue to improve the quality and value of care provided to the most vulnerable Californians.

AB 2216 -  Expanding Health Care to Underserved Communities
California’s ratio of primary care physicians participating in Medi-Cal is approximately half of the federal recommendation---a problem that is hitting vulnerable and disadvantaged communities the hardest. AB 2216 will increase access to care in those communities by expanding and supporting community-based primary care training programs to expand access to care in underserved areas of the state.

AB 2737 - Promoting the Provision of Healthcare in San Leandro
The basic mission of a healthcare district is to provide healthcare services. Eden Township Healthcare District does not operate a hospital but does give grants to community nonprofits that provide health care services. In that role, the District awarded $186,819 in health care grants to nonprofit agencies in 2014 and $134,195 in 2013. However, the District spent almost twice as much on salaries and benefits for its three employees:  $364,595 and $367,255, respectively---a total of $731,850. AB 2737 will stop the District from spending disproportionate amounts on salaries and other administrative costs and instead require that the District fulfill its mission to serve the health care needs of our community.

Expanding Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Government

AB 2270  - Providing Opportunities for Underrepresented Business
Many small businesses are at a severe disadvantage when they try to compete for public works contracts. AB 2270 establishes a statewide bonding program to assist small businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans to secure public works contracts and provide them with the technical assistance and support they need to stay competitive. The new program will provide diverse small business owners with an opportunity to work on projects such as High Speed Rail, water and highway infrastructure, and other critical public works contracts that are on the horizon in California.

AB 1575  - Strengthening Landmark Medical Cannabis Law
Last year, California took an important step towards regulating the medical cannabis industry with the passage of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). AB 1575 builds on that historic success by revising MMRSA to improve implementation of the regulatory framework and ease the transition for existing operators, local governments, patients, law enforcement, and the general public.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity and Addressing Ethnic Disparities

AB 1726  -  Collecting Accurate Data to Drive Evidence-Based Solutions
California’s and the East Bay’s diversity are a point of pride and a reason for celebration—the diversity makes us stronger as we continue to move forward, together. However, many ethnic subgroups within the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community are falling behind and our policy makers don’t have accurate data to evaluate these disparities. AB 1726 requires various entities, including institutions of higher learning and health agencies, to disaggregate data for specified ethnic subgroups. The data to be collected by AB 1726 will give the state a better understanding of the needs of each of these API subgroups, inform effective and targeted solutions, and improve service delivery within the API community.

ACR 170 - Commemorating Philippine Independence Day
ACR170 uplifts Filipino American culture, history, tradition, and heritage in California by commemorating the 118th anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12, 2016.

AJR 37 - Honoring Filipino Veterans of World War II
AJR 37 calls upon Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino veterans of World War II in recognition of their loyal and selfless duty to the United States of America and to the Philippines.