2015 Legislative Update

2015 Legislative Update

Senator Lara's legislative package tackles some groundbreaking work focused on economic prosperity, advancing justice for kids, working to get healthcare for undocumented Californians, creating a state office to help integrate immigrants, protecting vulnerable communities from pollution, and stopping animal abuse.

The following twelve of Senator Lara's legislative proposals were signed into law:

Improving Access to Healthcare

#Health4All Kids Act
(Senate Bill 4):
California is stronger when everyone has access to health care, including our immigrant children and families. The Health for All Act will cover children, create infrastructure to cover adults and request a federal waiver so all families can purchase coverage with their own money, regardless of immigration status.

Protecting Youth

Child Abuse Protections
(Senate Bill 14):
Prevents an adult in a position of authority who sexually abuses a child from claiming that child consented or from using that child's sexual history in defense of a civil claim for damages. Ultimately, this bill will ensure minors who are sexually abused are able to get the help they need to recover from trauma inflicted by an adult who was supposed to take care of them.

Starting Over Strong
(Senate Bill 504):
Improves economic outcomes for California’s youth by eliminating a fiscal barrier to societal integration and also reduces the chances of recidivism. Youth who are able to expunge their records have increased chances of gaining employment and securing housing.

Investing in Our Local Community

Water Access and Equity
(Senate Bill 208):
Improves the opportunity for non-profits and disadvantaged communities to secure integrated regional water management plan grants.

Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Board
(Senate Bill 355):
Changes the composition of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Board to ensure that a local perspective is included in the decision-making process.  This bill requires one voting member of the board to be a resident from a city that borders the Lower Los Angeles River.  Additionally the bill will include representatives from both the California State Senate and California State Assembly on the board.

Long Beach Civic Center
(Senate Bill 562):
  Merges existing State law applicable to lease-leaseback public-private partnerships, and State law applicable to Design-Bid-Finance-Operate-Maintain public-private partnerships, and applies this hybrid public-private partnership model to the Long Beach Civic Center Project, which is being built under a historic Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and in partnership with Plenary-Edgemore.

Worker's Rights

Worker’s Compensation Equiy for All
(Senate Bill 623):
Specifies that an injured worker shall not be excluded from receiving workers compensation benefits from the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund or the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund based on his or her immigration status.  This bill addresses an inconsistency between state law and existing regulations when an employer fails to provide workers compensation insurance, to ensure that undocumented workers have access to care and treatment for their injuries.

Public Safety

Judicial Discretion
(Senate Bill 382):
Clarifies the existing criteria used by judges when determining whether a youth should be tried in juvenile or adult court. It would make clear that judges may consider more comprehensive information about the crime and the young person’s ability to rehabilitate.

Right to Record Act
(Senate Bill 411):
Clarifies that video recording, audio recording, and/or photographing public safety officers in the course of their duties by members of the public, does not constitute an obstruction of an officer.

Improving Access to Education

School Residency
(Senate Bill 400):
Permits a parent who resides the majority of the week at their place of employment to enroll their child in that local school district, even if they maintain another principal residence. 

School Counselors
(Senate Bill 451):
Encourages K-12 districts to adopt educational school counseling programs, defines the scope of school counseling, and encourages ongoing professional development.

Immigrants Rights

California Office of New Americans
Establishes the California Office of New Americans within the Governor’s office. The Office will ensure California is ready to implement administrative relief and immigrant integration policies, among other duties.

Environmental Protections

Hazardous Waste Facility Permitting Reform
(Senate Bill 673):
Establishes a Community Oversight Committee within the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to make policy recommendations to the department, and to serve as a liaison and conduit between the department and communities that may be impacted by facility permitting and enforcement actions