Nearing the legislative finish line: How SCV elected officials have voted on key bills


California lawmakers are voting on hundreds of bills this week as the legislative season ends on Friday.

Some of the state’s most widely-discussed bills must jump through their last hurdles, which have included input from Santa Clarita’s elected officials, and still await Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

Sanctuary state   

California could become a sanctuary state after Governor Brown negotiated with Senate leader Kevin De León’s (D-Los Angeles) on changes to his Senate Bill 54.

Under the legislation, California will not help federal agents deport people who are undocumented. With the input of Brown, the bill agrees that California will deport violent felons and criminals who do not have documentation.

On the Senate floor, Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) voted yes and Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) voted no on the bill.

When it went to the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) voted no.

The bill still must go to the Assembly floor, where both Lackey and Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) will vote on it.

If it passes the Assembly, SB 54 will go to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Clean money

Seeking transparency on state ballot measures, Assembly Bill 249 would require large donors of TV, radio, online and print advertisements to be disclosed and clearly spelled out.

This bill has gotten unanimous yes votes from Santa Clarita Valley elected officials.

Acosta and Lackey voted in favor on the Assembly floor and Wilk voted yes on the Senate floor.

Stern, who serves as a principal coauthor on the bill, voted in its favor in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee and on the Senate floor.

After passing through the Assembly Elections Committee Thursday morning, the bill is headed to the Assembly floor for its last stop before the governor’s desk.

Affordable housing

Several affordable housing bills are making their way through the legislature and are up for final consideration this week after deliberations among legislators.

If Senate Bill 2 passes, there would be a $75 fee for mortgage refinances and real estate transactions, excluding home sales. The $250 million this could accumulate would go to financing low-income housing construction.

Lackey voted against the bill in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

On the Senate floor, Stern voted in favor and Wilk voted in opposition.

Complementing this legislation, Assembly Bill 166 would waive the $75 fee for low-income residents.

Both Lackey and Acosta voted in favor of this bill on the Assembly floor.

Through Assembly Bill 1505, cities could require developers to designate a certain amount of low-income homes in development projects.

In the Assembly Local Government Committee and on the Assembly floor, Lackey voted against the bill. Acosta also voted against the bill on the Assembly floor.

Protecting pets

One bill would ensure that Californians adopt and not shop for their pets.

To stop unkind puppy mill practices, A.B. 485 would ban California pet shops from selling dogs, cats and rabbits that were bred cruelly.

On the bill’s first round on the Assembly floor, Lackey voted against the bill and Acosta abstained from voting.

When the bill went to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, Senator Wilk voted no.

Though, when the bill went to the Senate floor, Wilk voted yes, as did Stern.

Assembly Bill 485 must go back to the Assembly floor for a final vote before Friday.

Provisional driving

If Assembly Bill 63 passes by Friday, young adults will have more driving restrictions starting in 2020.

The legislation would increase the age of provisional driver’s licenses from 18 to 21 years old. In the first year of driving, or those with a provisional license – designed to allow time for experience to build – cannot drive with anyone under 20 years old in their car and cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., except for to work and school.

On the first round on the Assembly floor, Acosta abstained from voting and Lackey voted in favor. The second time, Acosta voted no and Lackey voted yes.

Wilk and Stern both voted in favor of the bill on the Senate floor.

The bill now heads to Governor Brown’s desk for final approval.

Paid maternity leave

California school employees would be granted at least six weeks of paid maternity leave if Assembly Bill 568 gets signed by Governor Brown.

Currently, teachers are either forced use their vacation time or sick time for pregnancies, miscarriages and childbirth.

Lackey and Acosta voted yes on this bill both times it hit the Assembly floor.

In the Senate Education Committee, Wilk abstained from voting, but both he and Stern voted yes on the Senate floor.

The bill now heads to Brown’s desk for final consideration.

Assemblyman Lackey

Two of Lackey’s bills are still awaiting final approval by the governor.

Assembly Bill 503 would create a payment program for low-income residents who have outstanding parking tickets to alleviate the financial burden of late fees.

A.B. 1131 would streamline the annual auditing process for the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.

Assemblyman Acosta

Law enforcement would have the right to seek a court-ordered warrant for invasion of privacy cases through Assembly Bill 539, aiming to help victims of “revenge porn.” This bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Acosta’s AB 1172 is also on Brown’s desk, which would relinquish a currently state-owned portion of Sierra Highway to the city of Santa Clarita.

Senator Stern

Stern is waiting for the governor’s signature on SB 225, which would require public places to display a phone number victims of human trafficking could text message for help.

His Senate Bill 358, which would require the Secretary of State to post campaign finance information online, is also awaiting Brown’s approval.

Senator Wilk

On Thursday, the Senate pushed Wilk’s Senate Bill 634 to the governor’s desk, which would create one unified Santa Clarita water district by dissolving the Castaic Lake Water Agency and the Newhall County Water District.

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