2019 End of Session Update
Another CA legislative session has come to an end with the passage of the deadline for the Governor to sign or veto all bills on October 13th. While theoretically, the legislature could vote to override a gubernatorial veto by a ⅔ majority vote in both chambers, functionally this never happens due to CA legislative tradition — a gubernatorial veto hasn’t been overridden since 1979! So for all intents and purposes, the 2019 legislative year is now over.
Let’s recap how the Indivisible CA: StateStrong priority bills fared. These are bills that were voted as top priorities for 2019 by our coalition of over 65+ grassroots Indivisible groups in California.
TO BECOME LAW
The following IndivisiBills passed the legislature and were signed by the Governor to become law on January 1, 2020.
- AB 392 (Weber) – Police Use of Deadly Force – Redefines the circumstances in which use of police use of deadly force would be considered justifiable to be in self-defense
- AB 32 (Bonta) – End For Profit Prisons – Prohibits California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from entering into or renewing contracts with private, for-profit detention centers
- AB 857 (Chiu) – Public Banking – Gives municipalities and the power to create their own public bank
- AB 1482 (Chiu) – Tenant Protections – Prevents rent gouging and protects people who rent from unfair evictions by requiring landlords to have a “just cause”for any eviction
- SB 47 (Allen) – Ballot DISCLOSE Act – Requires ballot initiative, referendum, or recall signature gatherers to disclose top funders/endorsers
- SB 136 (Wiener) – Repeal Unjust Sentence Enhancements – Fights mass incarceration by repealing an ineffective and unnecessary sentencing enhancement for people with a prior prison conviction
- SB 200 (Monning) – Clean Drinking Water – Ensures that every Californian has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible drinking water
The following IndivisiBill passed both chambers of the legislature but was vetoed by the Governor.
- SB 139 (Allen) – Fight County Gerrymandering – Requires counties with more than 250,000 residents to establish an independent redistricting commission, ensuring a more fair, nonpartisan system for drawing the lines of county supervisorial districts
TWO YEAR BILLS
2019 was the first year of a two-year legislative session, meaning that any bills that didn’t make it through the legislative process this year can pick up where they left off next year. We hope to see the following IndivisiBills move forward in 2020!
- AB 4 (Bonta) / SB 29 (Durazo) – Expands medicaid to undocumented immigrants
- AB 177 (Low) – Create a statewide holiday for election day
- AB 363 (Gonzalez) – Requires voting centers in all counties to be open the Saturday, Sunday, & Monday before an election.
- ACA 6 / AB 646 (McCarty) – Restores voting rights to people on parole
- AB 1080 (Gonzalez) / SB 54 (Allen) – Requires a 75% reduction by 2030 of waste generated from single-use packaging and single-use plastic products in the state
- AB 1217 (Mullin) – Requires issue ads to disclose top funders/endorsers
- AB 1276 (Bonta) – Develop and implement the Green New Deal with the objective of reaching specified environmental outcomes within 10 years
- AB 1332 (Bonta) – Prohibits localities from entering into new contracts or investing in with entities that work with ICE/CBP by sharing data or providing detention facilities
- AB 1611 (Chiu) – Prohibits surprise bills from “out-of-network” ERs, and caps prices to bring down health costs
The CA legislature works on thousands of bills every year and it’s not possible for Indivisibles to engage on all of them. Some other important bills that didn’t make it onto our priority list also passed this year that are worth mentioning:
- AB 5 (Gonzalez) – Prevents employers from misclassifying workers as independent contracts by requiring them to employ the ABC test established in the Dynamex decision
- AB 51 (Gonzalez) – Ends mandatory arbitration in California
- SB 24 (Leyva) – Requires student health centers to offer abortion by medication
- SB 72 (Umberg) – Implements same day registration at all vote centers in California
Governor Newsom also vetoed SB 1, a pro-environment bill that would have prevented California environmental standards from dropping below the current federal standards. This should have been an easy bill for him to sign, but unfortunately Governor Newsom sided with Big Ag on this that one.
The legislature is on recess until January 2020 (except for a quick one-day session in December). This means that legislators are home in their districts meeting with constituents and stakeholders. Here’s what you should do before the next session starts up:
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Legislators need to hear from you to know if they did a good job or not. Tweet at your legislator thanking them if they voted the right way on any of these critical bills and shaming them if they didn’t.
- CONNECT WITH PARTNERS: Work with community partners to understand their priorities for the upcoming legislative session and plug in to try to help.
- BRAINSTORM: Do you have any bright ideas for how to make your community a better place? Now is the time to pitch those ideas to your legislator! They will be spending the fall collecting ideas for bills to introduce in 2020.