Continuing Our Work Together
I'm proud of our ongoing work together over the years that has put California in the lead nationwide on such issues as prohibiting offshore oil drilling, ensuring that more women participate on corporate boards and requiring equal pay for women. With more than a year left until my Senate term concludes at the end of 2020, I continue to honor my commitment to work hard for our community. Here's an update on what I have been working on recently:
Making Communities Safer and More Wildfire Resilient
California is facing the continued threat of climate change-induced wildfires.
My Senate Bill 182 seeks to make ground-breaking changes to local planning to ensure our communities are safer. If we do build in very high fire risk areas, SB 182 will ensure fire-resistant construction, evacuation routes, firefighting and water resources, defensible space, and other requirements. My work on this legislation will continue into January, but I'm confident we can move this bill forward at the beginning of the coming year.
My Senate Bill 160, just signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, will ensure that emergency planning is sensitive to our state's significant cultural and linguistic diversity.
Protecting Consumer Privacy Rights
Protecting our privacy rights in an age of unprecedented technological change has long been a priority for me. Last year, the Legislature passed the nation's first consumer privacy measure, the California Consumer Privacy Act, set to take effect in January 2020. The Los Angeles Times recently noted in an editorial that the tech industry's efforts to weaken the law this year, "haven't yielded any major changes to the law yet, thanks in no small measure to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) holding the line on the bills coming through her committee." Fighting for consumer privacy rights will continue to be a priority for me into next year. It is not just a matter of protecting our Constitutional right to privacy, but critical to our democracy, freedom and independence in determining our collective future.
Helping Aging Californians
By 2030, our older population in California will nearly double, bringing an increase of 4 million people over the age of 65 in our state. We must be prepared to meet seniors' needs and allow them to live at home for as long as possible. My Senate Bill 280 strengthens home building standards to help aging and disabled adults reduce their risk of dangerous falls.
My Senate Bill 228 provides a policy framework for the Master Plan for Aging and Disabled Californians, established by Governor Newsom through executive order. Both bills are now on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature.
Protecting Taxpayer Dollars---Oil and Gas Infrastructure and Tax Giveaways
Two additional bills of mine seek to protect public dollars from misuse. My SB 551, also on the Governor's desk, requires the state to assess the eventual price tag of shutting down and cleaning up California's oil and gas infrastructure. This is important as we grapple with the unexpected taxpayer costs of cleaning up facilities such as Platform Holly off the coast of Santa Barbara, where the taxpayer has already been forced to spend over $110 million with the likelihood of millions more. Taxpayers should not be left holding the bag for the oil industry's mess.
My SB 468, also on the Governor's desk, would provide oversight on a handful of California's most costly tax breaks to determine if they are achieving their goals and are making the best use of public dollars. If not, the Legislature can take further action to bring these programs into line with the best interests of the public.
I hope you will stay in touch. It is an honor to continue to serve you,
Senator Hannah Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District
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