Eight bills authored by Sen. Atkins advance in the SenateAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, April 21st, 2017
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Eight pieces of legislation authored by Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) – shaping policy ranging from environmental protection, veterans issues and human trafficking to healthcare and LGBT and labor rights – advanced in the California Senate this week:
- SB 214 cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 17 and was sent to the Senate floor. The bill strengthens the capacity of the San Diego River Conservancy to protect and enhance historic, cultural and natural resources within the watershed along the 52-mile San Diego River. It adds representation from the City of Santee and the Kumeyaay Diegueño Land Conservancy to the conservancy’s Board of Directors and provides the conservancy with greater ability to enter into joint-powers agreements.
- SB 197, jointly authored with Sen. Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 17 and was sent to the Senate floor. The bill would help facilitate – through the waiver of state and local sales and use taxes for charitable organizations that purchase building materials and supplies – construction of medical facilities in California that serve veterans and active-duty troops afflicted with posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and related conditions.
- SB 270 cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 18. The bill requires all hotels and motels in California to train their employees on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to report those signs to law enforcement.
- SB 310 cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 18. The bill establishes the right of people incarcerated in state prisons and county jails to access to the court to obtain a name change or a name-and-gender change.
- SB 548 cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 18. The bill allows local firefighters to take claims of unfair labor practices directly to court if the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) is unable to rule on them within 150 days or opts not to issue a decision.
- SB 587 cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee on April 18. The bill allows probation officers, after completing an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, to display blue warning lights on their emergency vehicles when to responding to emergency situations, enabling them to alert other officers and the public that they are peace officers and are there to assist.
- SB 223 cleared the Senate Health Committee on April 19. The bill requires all health plans in California to meet the higher nondiscrimination, consumer-protection and language-assistance standards that exist in the Affordable Care Act – no matter what happens to the ACA – ensuring equal access to affordable healthcare regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
- SB 379 cleared the Senate Health Committee on April 19. The bill clarifies that schools that offer free oral-health assessments may facilitate dental screenings by requiring parents to opt-out if they do not want their children to receive an assessment. It also requires schools to report to counties aggregate data on tooth decay and encourages schools to report oral-health data to the state.
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