The deadline to introduce new bills in the California Legislature passed last week and the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is now vetting over 2,000 bills that have the ability to have significant changes to the landscapes of education, immigration, restorative justice and social issues in the state.
Harassment discussions have dominated discussions in and around the Capitol. With over 20 pieces of legislation introduced this year regarding the subject, this will overshadow a lot of these major policy issues.
SB 320 continues to be of high priority. SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) would require the on-campus health centers of public universities in California to offer abortion-inducing drugs. Click here to send a letter to your lawmaker demanding a ‘No’ vote this bill.
To date, there are several K-12 education measures aimed to continue addressing California’s teacher shortage. Of high priority is SB 1214, authored by Sen. Portantino (D- La Candada Flintridge), which is co-sponsored by the California Catholic Conference and the California Federation of Teachers.
SB 1214 would allow teachers with preliminary credentials to claim a $2,500 above-the-line tax deduction for fees incurred to complete any Induction Program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Such a measure would ensure greater Induction support for all California’s new teachers – those who are now actively educating our state’s students as well as those who may not be teaching right now but will join or return to the classroom later. In so doing, this SB 1214 will help to meaningfully increase California’s supply of qualified and fully prepared educators.
Other priority education issues this session include: expanding access to quality, affordable early childhood education -- for those most in need -- among public and private providers; dual enrollment for high school students in college courses; ensuring school and student safety; and preparedness for/accessibility to postsecondary learning.
Within the area of economic justice, there are a number of bills that will seek passage through the budget process regarding the end of deep poverty, increasing CalFresh benefits, supporting early home visits, and the expansion of the California Earned Income Tax Credit.
Restorative justice will focus on crime victims this year. The CCC is reviewing many bills introduced that deal with human trafficking and its awareness. There is also an attempt to reverse several gains that the CCC has assisted with within the criminal justice system over the last several years. Bills connected to Props 47 and 57, along with realignment, will be closely monitored. The CCC will also be looking for bills related to bail reform.
Many housing and homeless bills have been introduced to work on fixes on the affordable housing and homelessness issues that have plagued many communities across California but are in their early stages.
In addition, there are mental health bills on the table that the CCC will be observing closely.
The CCC will regularly update on the status of significant bills, and keep watch for ways you can help through The Legislative Network. Please visit www.cacatholic.org for the latest on this and all legislation being tracked.