On December 3, 2018, all new members of the California State Senate were sworn in and the 2019-20 Legislative Session began.
Legislators have until February 22, 2019 to introduce new bills for 2019. Here are some of the bills that Senator Hertzberg has introduced so far this year:
SB 36 - Pretrial Risk Assessment Data & Accountability - SB 36 requires each court or county that uses a pretrial risk assessment tool to maintain individualized data regarding the tool’s inputs and outcomes, as well as any associated recommendations to the court. The measure will ensure that risk assessment tools are thoroughly evaluated to ensure effectiveness in mitigating risk while minimizing biases and disparate results based on race, ethnicity, gender, economic circumstances, and behavioral or developmental disability.
SB 41 - Equity in Civil Damage Awards - SB 41 prohibits consideration of a plaintiff’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation in the calculation of monetary damage awards in civil damage awards.
SB 51 - Cannabis Banking - SB 51 creates a limited-purpose, state-chartered bank license that would be administered and regulated by the Department of Business Oversight. Privately-funded banks that receive this charter would be able to provide limited banking services to licensed cannabis and cannabis-related businesses. This bill is a follow-up attempt to SB 930 (Hertzberg, 2018), which was held by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 63 - Brightwood College Student Tax Relief - SB 63 would ensure students impacted by the recent closures of Brightwood Colleges across California are not penalized for the failure of the for-profit college. This bill ensures that federal loan debt assistance is not considered “gross income” for tax purposes.
SB 134 - Long-Term Water Use Efficiency - In 2018, SB 606 (Hertzberg, 2018) was signed into law, establishing, for the first time, permanent long-term water use efficiency standards and goals across the state. SB 134 establishes certain clarifications for urban water suppliers.
SB 192 - Posse Comitatus - Currently, it is a misdemeanor for any able-bodied person over the age of 18 to neglect or refuse to join a posse called by a peace officer. SB 192 would abolish this outdated and unnecessary crime from California law.
SB 205 - Stormwater Quality Improvement Act - SB 205 would diminish water pollution by requiring applicable industrial facilities to demonstrate compliance with the Industrial General Permit (IGP) when applying for their business license or renewal. This would standardize the filing process for all facilities subject to an IGP, encouraging uniformity with water quality requirements, and would bolster California’s efforts to keep harmful pollutants out of precious water sources.
SB 237 - California STEM Laureate - Spreading awareness and understanding of STEM advancements is a critical element of preparing California citizens of all ages for a technology-intensive future and ensuring that California remains a global leader in innovation and high-tech success. SB 237 will establish the position of California Laureate for STEM to be appointed by the governor. The Laureate will travel throughout the state to schools, universities, and events to better inform, educate, and excite Californians about STEM issues.
SB 254 - Resilient Homes Initiative - SB 254 requires the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) to identify operational savings and immediately invest them in proactive mitigation efforts - like residential retrofitting - that will improve California’s resilience against the next major earthquake.
SB 258 - Supporting Both Ends of the Leash - This bill makes $5,000,000 available, to homeless shelters to serve the needs of pets for people experiencing homelessness, such as shelter, food, and basic veterinary services. When we make accommodations for pets, we support both ends of the leash by bringing individuals into shelters who otherwise would not seek wraparound care.
SB 265 - Commitment to Child Hunger Prevention - Under previous law, when a school meal debt owed by a student's parent or guardian went unpaid, schools often denied the student lunch, or offered them an alternative, essentially publicly shaming the child. SB 250 (Hertzberg, 2017) made that practice illegal, but some schools are still maintaining policies that discriminate against children because they didn’t have lunch money that day. SB 265 ensures that meal charge policies established by school officials do not delay or deny food, or provide an alternative meal to punish students.
SB 315 - Opportunity Zones - The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the federal government reduces capital gains taxes for real estate and business investors in designated low-income areas, called Opportunity Zones. However, the federal law does not require that zone investors report basic data on their investments. SB 315 would require the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Office of Planning and Research, to track information related to Opportunity Zone investments.
SB 332 - Local Water Reliability Act - California’s wastewater has historically been treated solely as waste – used once, treated, and then disposed of through offshore dumping. SB 332 sets a new course for California’s water future by declaring the discharge of treated wastewater into ocean outfalls as waste and unreasonable use of water. It will also set bold but necessary goals for the recycling and re-use of treated wastewater.
SB 350 - Electricity Reliability Act of 2019 - the rapid growth of Community Choice Aggregators, Direct Access providers, and Behind the Meter services has changed the retail electricity market. A key focus for the state going forward will be how state regulators will ensure long-term resource procurement for reliability in such a disaggregated market, while still meeting statewide goals for reliability, sustainability, and affordability. SB 350 would modify existing law to ensure that the CPUC could implement a multiyear central Resource Adequacy mechanism that includes a central procurement entity that could cover gaps in long-term contracting and ensure access to capital across market players.
SB 389 - Mental Health Services Act for Parolees - The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) currently prohibits using funds for certain treatment services for state parolees. Should members of this population suffer from a mental health crisis that goes untreated, they could be at greater risk of recidivism and potential harm to themselves or to the community. SB 389 amends the MHSA to authorize counties to use money from the MHSA to provide services to people who are participating in a presentencing or post sentencing diversion program or who are on parole, probation, post release community supervision, or mandatory supervision.
SB 520 - Electricity Safety Net - Senate Bill 520 establishes a safety net for electricity customers, ensuring that service continues without disruption or extreme price shocks in the event that an electricity provider exits the market for any reason.