The California Catholic Conference follows many bills through the legislative process. Some are highlighted on Catholic Advocacy Day, but there are many bills that the Bishops support. These are the bills that were recently signed into law by Gov. Brown. Click here to view the status of the bills
Respect Life Bills
The physician-assisted suicide legislation, ABx2-15 (D- Eggman), was signed earlier this week by Governor Brown, making it legal for a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to assist terminally ill patients to take their own life. As the Bishops stated in response to the Governor’s signing of this bill, “This law stands in direct contradiction to providing compassionate, quality care for those facing a terminal illness. We are particularly disappointed that the very real concerns and risks posed to our brothers and sisters in vulnerable communities of the disabled and elderly have been consistently ignored by our state’s elected officials.” You can read the full California Bishops’ Statement here.
The Governor did sign into law SB 464 (D- Hernandez) - which would allow health practitioners to use a self-screening tool to identify patient risk factors for the use of self-administered hormonal contraceptives by a patient and authorize them to prescribe, furnish, or dispense, as applicable, self-administered hormonal contraceptives to the patient. We oppose this bill because it would reduce the standard of care for women and young girls by allowing immediate access to contraceptives and abortifacients, including the morning after pill (Plan B), via mail order from medical professionals through the use of an internet application – without a proper medical examination and with no questions asked.
SB 261 (Hancock)- Youth offender parole hearings- certain inmates (under the age of 23) would be eligible for a parole hearing if they received a lengthy or life sentence for their crime.
SB 519 (Hancock)- Youth Offender: parole hearings- will put SB 261 into effect on or before Jan. 1, 2016.
AB 672 (Jones-Sawyer)- Inmates: Wrongful conviction: Assistance upon release- this will provide reentry assistance for wrongfully convicted persons that were released from state prison. It will provide access to compensation and services that are afforded to parolees but not those wrongfully convicted.
AB 1056 (Atkins)- Second Chance Program- Provides the formally incarcerated with mental health services, substance abuse treatment and housing services helping them integrate back into society successfully.
AB 15 (Holden)- Limitation of actions: Human rights abuses- Extends the statue of limitations for victims of human trafficking to file civil action against their abusers.
AB 433 (Chu)- Public Social Services: CalWORKs- allows a family grieving over the loss of a child to continue receiving benefits and time-off work for the month of the death and the following month.
AB 60 (D- Gonzalez), a consumer protection bill which the CCC supported, was signed by the Governor. This bill will protect Californians from immigration attorneys and consultants demanding an advanced payment for services exclusively related to a pending immigration reform act at the federal level and will help safeguard against predatory practices in the wake of the President’s executive order(s), both current and forthcoming.
AB 560 (D- Gomez) and AB 900 (D-Levine) both seek to provide additional support for many of the unaccompanied and undocumented minors living in California by protecting children and minors (under the age of 21) from having their immigration status exposed or taken into account when seeking civil recourse. AB 560 has already been signed into law and AB 900 is awaiting action by the Governor.
Sitting on the Governor’s desk:
AB 775 (D- Chiu), would enact the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act, requiring a licensed covered facility to disseminate a notice to all clients stating that every pregnant woman has the right to decide whether to have a child or to obtain an abortion. AB 775 is still sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting a signature or veto. The CCC is requesting that the Governor veto this bill because it would discriminate against any and all pregnancy centers/clinics that hold a pro-life viewpoint.
AB 1177 (D- Gomez), which would prohibit most primary care clinics from being required to enter into a written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital as a condition of licensure, is also pending action by the Governor. This bill will put patients’ health in jeopardy because, absent a transfer agreement in place between community clinics and one or more nearby hospitals, the treating emergency physician would not have immediate access to personal, health, and medical information for patients facing medical emergencies or requiring additional medical care. To date, AB 1177 has not been acted upon by the Governor.
AB 371 (Mullin)- CalWORKs Family Unity Act of 2016- abolishes the two-parent work penalty for those receiving public assistance. It encourages work and family unity.
SB 219 (Liu)- Prisons: alternative custody- Currently the alternative custody program allows low-level women offenders to live with their children in a secure environment. This bill clarifies that existing medical conditions are not a basis for excluding an inmate for this program.
SB 4 (D- Lara), a bill that would allow all eligible children aged 19 and under to enroll in comprehensive health coverage, regardless of immigration status, through the state’s Medi-Cal program.
Made into a two-year bill:
Similar to SB 4, a bill that would allow all adults (aged 19 and over) to enroll in comprehensive health coverage regardless of immigration status through the state’s Medi-Cal program, namely SB 10 (D- Lara).