With less than two weeks to go in this Legislative session, legislators are working furiously to shepherd their bills through both houses and onto the Governor’s desk. The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is tracking a number of bills, but several are particularly noteworthy:
SB 1146 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) a bill that would have threatened the religious freedom of faith-based colleges, is still being negotiated but as of today it appears that the bill will cover only transparency provisions for students. This bill is being carefully tracked and has gone through many versions. With one week left in the session, there is not much time left to alter its provisions.
One extremely troubling bill that recently re-emerged is AB 2531 (Burke, D-Inglewood). A direct endangerment to women’s health the CCC is strongly opposed to the bill. AB 2531 would allow women to be compensated and create a perverse market dynamic for women to sell oocytes, or human eggs, in the name of research. It would also exploit women who are most in need of resources, including college students, immigrants and women with economic challenges.
AB 2531 could be taken up at any moment. Click here to quickly send a letter to your legislator demanding a NO vote. Governor Brown previously vetoed a version of this bill, writing “Not everything for life is for sale nor should it be.”
The CCC is still working on AB 2590, the restorative justice bill authored by Dr. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). The bill would make legislative findings and declarations that the purpose of sentencing is public safety achieved through rehabilitation, and restorative justice. The bill would state that programs should be available and would encourage the department to allow eligible inmates the opportunity to enroll in programs that promote successful return to the community. AB 2590 promotes redemption and the value of all human life.
AB 1276, authored by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), would spare minors ages 13 through 17 from facing additional trauma when testifying in human trafficking cases. The bill provides the opportunities for testimony to take place outside of the courtroom, easing fears about retaliation and anxieties in having to face a perpetrator. AB 1276 is a Catholic Advocacy Day bill and is currently awaiting approval in the Assembly before it heads to the governor for his signature. (Read the background here.)