A Busy Week in the State Senate
Facing a bill deadline, the California State Senate passed key bills last week designed to create green jobs, boost education funding and make it more transparent and equitable, increase the regulation and oversight of the oil and gas extraction process known as fracking, increase affordable housing, improve campaign spending disclosures, and prevent gun violence.
Following this productive and busy week, I wanted to update you on the progress of some of the legislation I have authored.
- The Economy and Our Working Families. My Senate Bill 770 to strengthen California's Paid Family Leave Program by allowing workers to receive partial pay to care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws passed out of the State Senate with bipartisan support. Current law only allows the use of this leave, funded by workers' contributions to the State Disability Insurance program, to care for a parent, child, spouse or registered domestic partner. Expanding this program will result in no additional costs to employees or employers, and will prevent families from having to make the terrible choice between caring for a loved one or putting food on the table.
- Boosting Consumer Protections. Cars under a safety recall can have defects such as failing brakes that can result in serious and deadly accidents. The first bill of its kind in the nation, my Senate Bill 686 to prohibit car dealers and rental car companies from selling used cars under a safety recall until they've been fixed passed off the Senate floor last week and now heads to the Assembly.
- Strengthening Environmental Protections. Although my own bill to regulate the waste water produced from fracking, Senate Bill 395, faces stiff opposition from industry groups, I plan to continue to work on this important measure with the hopes of moving the bill in January. I will continue to press the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to propose strong and meaningful regulations on the oil companies and fracking. I was pleased to lend my support to Senate Bill 4, a comprehensive bill to provide more regulation and oversight of fracking, authored by State Senator Fran Pavley.
During the next few weeks, I will be focusing on the state budget as we work toward our June 15 deadline. As always, I appreciate hearing from you. I hope you will stay in touch by emailing me or calling my Santa Barbara office, 805-965-0862, or my Oxnard office, 805-988-1940.
State Senator, 19th Senate District