Last week, Assemblymember Monique Limón put out a call to her constituents asking for ideas about future legislation. “If you have ever thought to yourself, ‘There oughta be a law,’ or even, ‘That should not be a law’ this contest is for you,” Limón wrote in an email blast.
The idea emerged after several constituents came to Limón with problems she might not have known anything about, her office said. One was from UCSB students who said hunger was a surprisingly big problem on campus. Limón authored legislation to grant $7.5 million in state funds to be divvied up between the University of California, Cal State, and California Community Colleges for food pantries and other forms of aid.
In her first year, Limón authored 26 bills. Of those, 13 were signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, now in her fifth year in the upper house, worked on 29 bills this year. Of those, 11 made it to the governor’s desk. He signed eight of them and vetoed three. Below is an edited list of their legislation.
SB 44 — The Coastal Oil Well Cleanup and Remediation Act Up to $2 million derived annually from state mineral leases will be earmarked to seal long-abandoned oil wells along the California coast. In Santa Barbara County, the State Lands Commission has identified roughly 200 so-called legacy wells, most of them off Summerland Beach.
SB 63 — New Parent Leave Act Small businesses of 20 workers or more must offer 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to eligible employees within one year of a child’s birth (or adoption or foster-care assignment). Current law protects 12 weeks of parental leave for employees at businesses with a staff of 50 or more.
SB 725 — Veterans’ Pre-Trial Diversion The law clarifies conflicting language in the Penal Code and California law about pretrial diversion programs for veterans who suffered from PTSD and were charged with misdemeanor DUI.
SB 670 — Sentencing and County Incarceration The law will give the court discretion when sentencing a defendant who has felonies in other counties.
SB 36 — State Bar Dues Requires active attorneys pay $297 to fund the State Bar’s disciplinary system. In addition, the law provides access to State Bar records pursuant to judiciary rules and laws instead of the state’s Public Records Act.
SB 331 — Domestic Violence Counselors Expands existing law on the client-counselor confidentiality privilege to include counselors at colleges and universities with the primary mission to provide services to victims of domestic violence.
Brown vetoed three of Jackson’s bills, including one to codify federal regulations on sexual harassment that are currently in flux, and a bill that would mandate the California Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit most state agencies from disciplining employees who report improper federal activities.
AB 738—Native American Cultures Taught in Schools This law encourages school districts to adopt standards-based curriculum on Native American studies for one year from kindergarten through 12th grade.
AB 1119 – Access to Medical Records The law will allow emergency doctors to have better access to medical records to allow them to provide treatment or care to patients in crisis.
AB 944 — Spiny Lobster Commission This bill would allow for the creation of the California Spiny Lobster Commission, made up of Southern California fishers, which would be tasked with issues such as advertising and reducing whale entanglements.
AB 556 — Event Permit Violations This bill increases fines paid to county government for violations of event permit requirements — from $100 to $150 on a first violation and from $500 to $2,500 on a third violation.
AB 722 — Isla Vista Community Services District This bill would allow an elected official at the County of Santa Barbara to serve on the Isla Vista Community Services District, a governing body made up of five elected and two appointed officials.
Brown vetoed two of Limón’s bills, including one that mandates employers give employees access to their employer’s written injury and illness prevention program within 10 business days, calling it “unnecessary and duplicative” of a proposal underway.
Keith Hamm contributed to this report.