Last Sunday, at midnight, was the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to sign or veto a slew of bills. As traditional, he saved many of the more controversial bills to the very end.
Of the 1,217 bills sent to him this year, the Governor vetoed only 201, or approximately 16 percent. Hundreds of new bills became law but the CCC is pleased to report that in the final hours before the signing deadline, Governor Brown vetoed two bills that the CCC had opposed.
SB 320 (Leyva, D-Chino) would have mandated that all public universities in the state provide chemical abortion drugs in their on-campus student health centers. The Governor vetoed this bill, refuting the author’s claim that there is limited access to abortion services in California.
You can view all of the Reverence for Life bills followed by the Conference this year at our Legislation page. You can also review bills in other legislative priority areas.
SB 320 was one of the most significant Reverence for Life bills and has been before the legislature for two years now, a rarity in California’s legislative process. Thank you to The Legislative Network and all who took the time to write letters and contact legislators to ensure the Catholic voice was heard.
In addition, the Governor vetoed SB 3120 (Gonzales-Fletcher, D-San Diego), which would have ”re-opened” the statute of limitation for civil liability in childhood sexual assault cases. This bill is similar to another he vetoed five years ago which, as cited in Governor Brown’s veto message, failed to include all victims.
The final fate of other bills that the CCC advocated for or against proved mostly successful with a few disappointments.
Restorative Justice - SB 1391 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens), was signed by the Governor. A Catholic Advocacy Day bill, SB 1391 will prohibit youth ages 14 and 15 from entering the adult criminal justice system and instead keep them in the juvenile justice system.
SB 960 (Leyva, D-Chino) was also signed by the Governor. This bill will require California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to submit a report to the legislature in regards to the department’s progress on suicide risk evaluations and 72-hour treatment plans that are designed to reduce risk factors associated with suicide.
SB 1232 (Bradford, D-Compton) was also signed. The bill will provide victims of violent crime more time to apply for compensation.
SB 1437 (Skinner, D-Berkeley), also signed, will restore proportional responsibility in the application of California’s murder statute. We believe in reserving the harshest punishments for those who intentionally plan or actually commit murder is a better public policy for the state of California.
Education - The number of underprepared teachers working in California’s classrooms has more than doubled in just three years. As a top education priority, the CCC advocated several measures to strengthen our statewide K-12 teaching force for all students – especially those most in need.
AB 2285 (O’Donnell, D - Long Beach) will recruit more out-of-state teachers in high-demand subjects. SB 577 (Dodd, D - Napa) will allow community colleges to offer a teacher credentialing programs for those areas with low college-going rates or limited access to teacher credentialing. Both AB 225 and SB 577 were approved by the Governor.
It is essential to educate children both at home as well as school to respect the life and dignity of all persons. The CCC supported the enactment of SB 972 (Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge) which will require that all student identification cards are imprinted with a suicide hotline. AB 1868 (Cunningham, R – San Luis Obispo), also enacted, will enable students to be educated in the curriculum under the Healthy Youth Act on the dangers of messaging sexually explicit materials through cell phones, social networking sites, computer networks, or other digital media.
Care for Our Common Home - Pope Francis reminds us that we are an interdependent world, one people, living in a common home. Climate change represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity, with its worst impact felt by our poorest communities and developing countries worldwide in the coming decades. Signed by the Governor with the CCC’s support SB 100 (de León, D- Los Angeles) will help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This establishes a new state policy that all electricity must come from renewable and zero-carbon resources by 2045.
Public environmental literacy is vital to address the complex social-ecological crises of our times. This begins in our state’s K-12 classrooms. Every California student should be educated in Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) as well as an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and at the same time protecting nature. To that end, the CCC supported the approval of SB 720 (Allen, D- Santa Monica) to better integrate EP&Cs throughout California’s elementary and secondary curriculum across multiple subject areas
Immigration - Unfortunately, AB 638 (Caballero, D-Salinas) could not garner enough votes on the Senate Floor and stopped there. AB 638 would have made it unlawful for an individual not authorized to practice law in CA to represent others on immigration matters.
However, AB 2887 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters) was signed by Governor Brown on deadline day. AB 2887 will provide additional flexibility to the State’s Office of Migrant Services to better serve the state’s migratory agricultural workers.
The fate of these other Catholic Advocacy Day were determined earlier in the legislative session and previously reported. AB 2701 (Rubio, D-Baldwin Park) would have created a grant program to provide funding for school-based trauma recovery centers. It failed to pass the Assembly Appropriations Committee, along with AB 2269 (Lackey, R-Palmdale). AB 2269 would have extended the CalWORKs program for persons receiving aid until he or she reaches the age of 20, if the recipient was attending school and making satisfactory progress toward graduation or completion of a program. The other Catholic Advocacy Day bills, SB 1214 (Portantino, D- La Canada Flintridge) and AB 1862 (Santiago, D-Los Angeles) both died in committee. More information on these bills is still available on our Catholic Advocacy Day page.