Smith’s second law seeks to support children’s causes

In this Signal file photo, Assemblywoman Christy Smith points to the football field where she practiced as a Pop Warner football league cheer leader as a girl during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for 21 new classrooms at Sierra Vista Junior High School in Canyon Country. Her new bill reprioritizes the revenue for Kids Plates from the DMV, which will help more children, she said Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, quickly followed up her first bill being signed into law with a second successful effort Wednesday.

While her first law, Assembly Bill 853, focused on supporting students, her second law addresses children’s health, another high priority for her, she said Wednesday. 

AB1336 addresses what receives funding from “Kids Plates,” which are license plates with a star, handprint, plus sign or heart shape used to personalize a person’s license plate.

The law “re-aligns the most pressing child-safety issues, so that that’s where the expenditures are going,” Smith said. “It was brought to my office by people who know I am a big advocate for children, and they thought I would be a good voice for the bill.” 

In a news release announcing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature on the bill, Smith also thanked the bill’s sponsor, the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health.

AB 1336 adds the following issues to the list of causes to receive Kids Plates funding: pedestrian safety; misuse and access to prescription medications; baby/infant sleep suffocation; children left in parked cars and being backed over in the driveway and parking lots; and sports injuries.

“Without this bill, literally hundreds of children would continue to die each year due to preventable injuries,” said Steve Barrow, co-chair of the statewide effort to end unintentional injury as the leading cause of death and hospitalization. “This seemingly small act of the legislature and Governor will protect many children from preventable injury harm.” 

Her first law, AB 853 made adjustments to the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan that now allows California students to use their ScholarShare savings plans to directly pay third parties for living expenses, such as rent.

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