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News & Press: Legislative

CAG Update: Fiscal Committees Act on Bills

Monday, August 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Touda Bentatou

The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees met yesterday to act on their Suspense Files. The Suspense File is where bills tagged with significant costs to the state are placed before committee and house leadership meet and decide which bills will move off the file and to their respective floors, and which will be held in committee.

The Suspense Files of both houses contained significantly fewer bills than in normal years, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Legislature. Members were asked to pare down their bill packages, and policy committees decided to hear only those bills that were related to COVID-19 or to essential and necessary services. In total, the committees acted on 260 bills, compared to the over 700 suspense bills the committees acted on at the corresponding hearing in 2018.

Any legislative proposal subject to today's fiscal deadline that failed to move out of the committees yesterday is effectively dead for the year. The surviving bills will now move to a full vote of the respective house chambers before the Legislature gavels down the 2019-20 Legislative session at the end of August.

Below is a complete list of actions taken by the committees on bills relevant to education stakeholders, but we also wanted to highlight the passage of a few key bills.

Restrictions on unspent supplemental and concentration dollars.

AB 1835, authored by Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D – San Diego) continued to move through the legislative process, receiving a unanimous vote of 7-0. The bill restricts unspent supplemental and concentration grant dollars and makes it clear that they are required to be spent on the pupils who generate them.

Ethnic Studies bill resurrected, passed to Senate Floor.

Authored by Assembly Member Jose Medina (D – Riverside), AB 331, which adds the completion of a semester-long course in ethnic studies to the list of state high school graduation requirements, has been revived. You may recall that the bill stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee last year. However, the additional year not only provided the Legislature with added perspective from recent events, but also gave the author enough time to negotiate amendments to delay implementation time, put safeguards in place to ensure the appropriateness of the curriculum, and to increase local flexibilities. These amendments helped the bill secure passage out of the committee, and the bill moved to the Senate Floor on a 5-1-1 vote.

Vaping bill moves forward.

Despite vocalized concerns from members of both sides of the aisle during its most recent policy committee hearing, SB 793, authored by Senator Jerry Hill (D – San Mateo), moved forward without any amendments and will now move to a vote of the full Assembly. As currently drafted, the bill bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, with a few specified exemptions, in California. Given the concerns expressed, particularly by other Democrats in the Assembly, it remains to be seen if the bill can garner enough support to pass off the Assembly Floor without significant amendments.

Bills dealing with digital divide advance.

Two bills, AB 570 authored by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Winters) and SB 1130 authored by Senator Lena Gonzalez (D – Long Beach) aim to help close the digital divide by making various changes to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Both bills moved forward from their respective committees, and both bills were amended to better conform to one another and work in tandem. Given, however, that both bills are attempting to make modifications to the CASF, it is unclear whether the amendments resolve all potential conflicts between the two bills, or if the authors will need to continue working together to clear up any lingering issues during the final week of session.

What's next?

The Legislature now has a little over a week to act on the bills in their houses, with Monday, August 31st being the final day for each house to pass bills. We will provide an update on those actions as well. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Assessment and Accountability

AB 331 (Medina) - Pupil instruction: high school graduation requirements: ethnic studies.

This bill, commencing with the 2024-25 school year, adds the completion of a semester-long course in ethnic studies to the list of state high school graduation requirements, and also applies all high school graduation requirements to charter schools. Amendments taken delay the bills implementation, makes the bill contingent upon an appropriation, removes the charter school graduation requirement provision, and increases local flexibility.

Action: Passed with Amendments

Early Childhood

AB 123 (McCarty) - Early childhood education: childcare and development programs.

This bill deems recipients of Medi-Cal or CalFresh as eligible for subsidized child care and authorizes state preschool providers and general child care providers to waive family fees if serving students only via distance learning. This bill also requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to allow general child care providers to serve children age 0-12 in a commingled classroom.

Action: Hold in Committee

AB 125 (McCarty) - Early childhood education: reimbursement rates.

This bill modifies the state's system and rates for reimbursing subsidized childcare and development programs by creating a more uniform reimbursement system reflecting regional costs of care adjusted for certain factors. This bill would be contingent upon the enactment of Senate Bill 174 (Leyva) of the 2019-20 Regular Session.

Action: Hold in Committee

Facilities

AB 841 (Ting) - Energy: transportation electrification: energy efficiency programs: School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program.

This bill requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve specified transportation electrification vehicle charging applications by electric investor-owned utilities (IOUs), and make changes to allow electric IOUs to more easily recover costs from electric ratepayers for the deployment of transportation electrification vehicle charging infrastructure as well as require specified training certification for any state funded or authorized funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This bill would also establish a stimulus program at the California Energy Commission to fund appliance, plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades to local education agencies (LEAs) using ratepayer funded energy efficiency incentives. Amendments taken will establish priority order for schools.

Action: Passed with Amendments

Governance/Operations

AB 2028 (Aguiar-Curry) - State agencies: meetings.

Amends the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act to require specified timeframes for posting meeting materials and modifies the public testimony process. Amendments taken strike the timeframes for posting meeting materials.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 2126 (O'Donnell) - Temporary school closures: notification: survey.

This bill requires CDE to develop and implement a website, app, and survey to collect temporary school closure information from school districts, including whether they have a plan to provide meals and instruction during these closures

Action: Hold in Committee

SB 431 (McGuire) - Telecommunications service: backup electrical supply rules.

This bill requires the CPUC to develop and implement backup power rules for telecommunication services in areas the CPUC has determined to be at high risk of wildfire.

Action: Hold in Committee

Human Resources

AB 196 (Gonzalez) - Workers' compensation: COVID-19: essential occupations and industries.

This bill extends a conclusive presumption to all essential employees, as defined, that COVID-19 is an industrial injury.

Action: Passed

AB 499 (Mayes) - Personal information: social security numbers: state agencies.

Prohibits a state agency from sending any outgoing mail containing an individual's social security number unless the number is truncated to its last four digits and requires agencies to follow reporting requirements and offer identify theft prevention services. Amendments taken add an exemption to be able to request one's own information, and removes agency mitigation requirements.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 685 (Reyes) - Occupational safety: COVID-19 exposure: notification.

This bill requires employers to provide specified notices to employees, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Public Health (DPH), and others if an employee is exposed to COVID-19. Amendments taken reduce employer notification requirements and make other clarifying changes.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 979 (Holden) - Corporations: boards of directors: underrepresented communities.

This bill requires a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive office is located in California to have a minimum number of members from an underrepresented community on its board, as specified. Amendments taken add LGBTQ, amends reporting requirements, and adds coauthors.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 1731 (Boerner Horvath) - Unemployment insurance: work sharing plans.

This bill directs the Employment Development Department to consider all work sharing plans to be deemed approved upon receipt for 12 months if submitted between September 15, 2020 and September 1, 2023. Amendments taken increase the threshold for unemployment benefits and make other technical changes.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 2101 (Committee on Public Employment and Retirement) - Public employees' retirement.

Makes various technical, conforming, or noncontroversial changes to the retirement system related statutes of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS), the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and the State Association of County Retirement Systems to improve the administration of the State's various public retirement systems. Additionally, it would make a specified change to the creditable compensation of "leave of absences" at STRS.

Action: Passed

AB 2257 (Gonzalez) - Worker classification: employees and independent contractors: occupations: professional services.

This bill, among other things, (1) exempts additional professions and occupations from the "ABC test" for employment status, and (2) strikes the existing limitations on the referral agency language. Amendments taken expand exemptions and make other clarifying changes.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 2992 (Weber) - Employment practices: leave time.

This bill extends to crime victims certain anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation protections. Amendments taken add coauthors.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 3216 (Kalra) - Unemployment: rehiring and retention: state of emergency.

Requires employers that operate a hotel, event center, airport hospitality operation, janitorial service, building maintenance or security service to recall employees previously laid-off. Additionally, the bill would require successor employers in these industries to maintain a preferential hiring list of eligible employees identified by the incumbent employer and be required to hire from that list for a period of six months after the change of control. Amendments taken allow employers to make specified offers to laid off employees, and strike the private right of action.

Action: Passed with Amendments

SB 614 (Rubio) - Teacher credentialing: reading instruction.

This bill, on January 1, 2025, repeals the existing state assessment for competency in reading instruction, the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment, and directs the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to ensure, by July 1, 2024, all Teacher Performance Assessments assess teacher credential candidates for multiple subject credentials and special education credentials for competency in reading instruction. The bill requires the content of the new assessment to align with the current English Language Arts and Development curriculum frameworks adopted by the State Board of Education.

Action:Hold in Committee

SB 1103 (Hurtado) - Workforce training programs: supportive services.

This bill establishes the Lifting Families Out of Poverty Workforce Training Supportive Services Program to, upon appropriation, offer $25 million in grants to entities providing supportive services to participants in industry-based, worker-focused training partnerships such as a High Road Training Partnerships.

Action:Hold in Committee

SB 1173 (Durazo) - Public employment: labor relations: employee information.

This bill adds additional enforcement processes, including providing the Public Employment Relations Board new penalty authority, related to an employee organization's right to specified public employee contact information. Amendments taken reduce penalties to $10,000 and other administrative changes.

Action: Passed with Amendments

SB 1383 (Jackson) - Unlawful employment practice: family leave.

This bill expands the California Family Rights Act to provide job-protected leave to additional workers.

Action: Passed

School Finance

AB 1835 (Weber) - Education finance: local control funding formula: supplemental and concentration grants.

This bill requires each LEA to annually identify and report unspent Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) supplemental and concentration grant funds and clarifies that the unspent funds must continue be used to increase or improve services for unduplicated pupils in future years.

Action: Passed

AB 2765 (O'Donnell) - Public works: prevailing wages.

This bill requires the payment of prevailing wages for any work done under private contract on a project for a charter school when the project is paid for, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of conduit revenue bonds. Amendments taken exclude charter schools with fewer than 80 students.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 2884 (Berman) - California State Lottery: revenue allocation.

This bill expands the acceptable uses of restricted lottery proceeds provided to the California Community Colleges (CCCs) to include housing and food assistance for students.

Action: Passed

SB 795 (Beall) - Economic development: housing: workforce development: climate change infrastructure.

This bill, upon appropriation by the Legislature, makes available up to $2 billion annually for allocation to various existing housing, homelessness and pre-apprenticeship programs, and to two newly created infrastructure financing programs at the State Coastal Conservancy and Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz).

Action: Hold in Committee

SB 884 (Dodd) - Education finance: emergencies: public safety power shutoffs.

This bill adds public safety power shutoffs to the list of emergencies for which a LEA may receive financial protections due to a resulting school closure.

Action:Hold in Committee

School Safety

AB 1022 (Holden) - Peace officers: use of force.

This bill, among other things, disqualifies a person from being a peace officer for, as a peace officer, using excessive force that results in great bodily injury or death or for a peace officer's failure to intercede in another officer's excessive use of force. It also makes it a crime for a peace officer failing to intercede in another peace officer's use of excessive force.

Action: Hold in Committee

AB 1299 (Salas) - Peace officers: employment.

Requires law enforcement agencies to notify the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) when a peace officer separates from employment and when an officer does so with a pending complaint, charge, or investigation of a serious nature. It also requires the agency to complete the investigation and report the outcome to POST, which would be required to maintain the information in a manner accessible to the officer, the employing agency, and any prospective employing agency.

Action: Passed

AB 1963 (Chu) - Child abuse or neglect: mandated reporters.

This bill makes human resource employees and adults who are in direct contact with and supervision of minors, as specified, mandated reporters under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.

Action: Passed

SB 776 (Skinner) - Peace officers: release of records.

This bill expands categories of police and custodial personnel records subject to disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act. Amendments taken remove language related to attorney-client privilege.

Action: Passed with Amendments

SB 793 (Hill) - Flavored tobacco products.

This bill bans the sale or possession with the intent to sell flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancer, including flavored "vaping" products and menthol cigarettes, with exemptions for the sales of flavored shisha tobacco product for use in a hookah (a type of water pipe), loose leaf tobacco and premium cigars.

Action: Passed

Student Services

AB 1979 (Friedman) - Foster youth: housing.

This bill makes a number of changes to expand housing options available for youth in the extended foster care system, including expanding the definition of a "supervised independent living setting" to include a transitional living setting approved by the county to support youth who are entering or reentering foster care or transitioning between placements, but excludes a youth homelessness prevention center or an adult homeless shelter from qualifying. Amendments taken make placements payments permissive and require Department of Social Services to issue guidance.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 2112 (Ramos) - Suicide prevention.

This bill authorizes the CDPH to establish an Office of Suicide Prevention with specified duties and responsibilities to address increasing suicide rates in the state. Amendments taken make the bill contingent upon an appropriation.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 2360 (Maienschein) - Telehealth: mental health.

Enacts the Mothers and Children Mental Health Support Act of 2020, which would require, by July 1, 2021, a health plan and health insurer to provide access to a telehealth consultation program for children, pregnant individuals, and individuals up to one year postpartum.

Action: Passed

AB 2538 (Chu) - Athlete agents: minor athletes: health and safety.

This bill prohibits athlete agents from, (1) sending a minor client who is a professional athlete to any location that would be hazardous or detrimental to the athlete, or (2) entering into a contract that requires a minor client to appear at any event or establishment where alcoholic beverages or other intoxicating substances are sold or served.

Action: Hold in Committee

SB 729 (Portantino) - Food sector workers: COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave: handwashing.

This bill provides two weeks of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for food sector workers. This bill contains provisions similar to the Governor's Executive Order N-51-20. Amendments taken align the bill's provisions to the Executive Order.

Action: Passed with Amendments

SB 803 (Beall) - Mental health services: peer support specialist certification.

This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to establish standards and a certification process for peer support specialists and requires DHCS to seek federal approvals to allow counties to provide peer support specialist services as a distinct Medi-Cal service type, provided the county funds the nonfederal share of Medi-Cal costs for the services. Amendments taken allow DHCS to delegate duties to counties, and adds provisions related to funding.

Action: Passed with Amendments

SB 912 (Beall) - California Fostering Connections to Success Act.

This bill puts emergency protocols in place for foster youth who turn 18 and non-minor dependents who turn 21 during declared states of emergencies. Amendments taken delete provisions in reference to 18 years old, and reduces further emergency aid to 6 months.

Action: Passed with Amendments

Technology

AB 570 (Aguiar-Curry) - Communications: broadband services: California Advanced Services Fund.

This bill expands and extends the CASF and make various modifications to the program, including increasing the minimum speed of broadband infrastructure deployed by the CASF and creating a new account within the CASF to fund broadband infrastructure at specific facilities. Amendments taken ensure all funded projects to utilize future-ready infrastructure, and make conforming changes with SB 1130.

Action: Passed with Amendments

AB 713 (Mullin) - California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

Establishes new exemptions from the California Consumer Privacy Act for certain types of medical information, including exemptions for patient information that has been de-identified under specified federal requirements, and medical information used in medical research. Would also require businesses to disclose how patient information was de-identified, prohibit reidentification of de-identified patient information except in certain circumstances, and place limitations on the sale and licensing of de-identified patient information.

Action: Passed with Amendments

SB 1130 (Gonzalez, Lena) - Telecommunications: California Advanced Services Fund.

Revises the program goal of the CASF to, by the end of 2024, approve funding for infrastructure projects that will provide "high-capacity, future-proof infrastructure...to no less than 98% of California households in each consortia region." (Current law establishes the program goal as, by the end of 2022, funding of infrastructure projects that will provide "broadband access" to no less than 98% of households in each consortia region.) Additionally the bill directs the CPUC, in approving CASF program infrastructure projects, to approve certain infrastructure projects in "unserved areas and unserved high-poverty areas," each as defined in the bill, and to prioritize projects in such areas where internet connectivity is available but only below certain technical downstream, upstream and latency standards. Amendments taken remove the requirement that program goals must be achieved with existing resources and clarifies that the fund may not exceed $330 million.

Action: Passed with Amendments