Bills to Remove Outdated Cannabis Convictions; Provide Meals for Charter School Students Pass Appropriations Committee

Friday, May 25, 2018

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Appropriations Committee today passed key legislation by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D- Oakland) including AB 1793 and AB 1871.

“I’m extremely pleased to see AB 1793 pass the Appropriations Committee.  AB 1793 creates a simpler pathway for Californians to make a fresh start by having certain outdated criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records. Long after paying their debt to society, the collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction continue to disrupt their lives in profound ways such as preventing them from gaining employment or finding housing. AB 1793 will give people a fresh start and allow them to move on with their lives,” said Bonta.

AB 1871, a bill to provide free or reduced-cost meals to students attending public charter schools also cleared the Appropriations Committee.

“Hunger doesn’t care where you go to school. Access to healthy meals should be available to all students regardless of whether they attend a traditional public school or a public charter school. AB 1871 would require charter schools to provide each needy student with one free or reduced-price meal each day. AB 1871 is an opportunity to advance equity and support academic achievement among all students,” said Bonta.

Additional Legislation Approved by the Appropriations Committee

AB 1927 – Guns & Suicide: Do Not Sell List

“AB 1927 will allow California residents who fear committing suicide to voluntarily and confidentially add their own name to the California Do Not Sell List to prevent themselves from purchasing a gun. Suicide has surpassed homicides as the most prevalent cause of death resulting from the misuse of a firearm in the state. AB 1927 also creates a process for individuals who no longer feel suicidal to remove themselves from the list. Suicide is preventable and people should have this ability to protect themselves,” said Bonta.

AB 2220 – College Athletes Bill of Rights

AB 2220 ensures student-athletes at over 40 colleges across California are able to complete their studies even if they get injured. Under current law, student-athletes who get injured during practice or a game are not protected from losing their athletic scholarship. AB 2220 will require institutions to pay the deductibles for students who suffer sports-related injuries and for the cost of ongoing medical treatment for at least two years after a student has graduated or left the university and/or provide an equivalent scholarship, if the student’s athletic scholarship is not renewed due to an injury.

“It’s important for us to remember that student-athletes are students first and athletes second. Regardless of any injury they may incur, our academic institutions should stand by them and encourage them to complete their academic degrees,”said Bonta.

Legislation Held by the Appropriations Committee

AB 2069 – Medical Cannabis Worker Protection

“I’m disappointed that AB 2069 was held on suspense. Workers in California should not face discrimination on the basis of their status as a medical cannabis patient or on the basis of a patient’s positive drug test for cannabis used outside of the workplace. All patients deserve to be able to use medicine without the fear of losing their jobs. Twelve other states provide workplace protections for cannabis patients and treat medicinal cannabis just as any other prescribed medication,” said Bonta.

AB 3157 – Cannabis Tax Reduction (Assemblymembers Lackey, Bonta)

“I’m disappointed AB 3157 by Assemblymember Tom Lackey and me did not pass the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This bill would have helped fight the cannabis black market and helped businesses comply with the regulations,” said Bonta.

AB 1979 –  Homeowner Savings Accounts

“AB 1979 would have given a tax break to first-time homebuyers. We know Californians face some of the highest hurdles in trying to buy a home. This bill would have helped them save for a down payment. I remain committed to doing everything possible to help battle our state’s ongoing housing crisis,” said Bonta.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro and is the Assistant Majority Leader and Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus.