SCV reps update status of bills on last day of 2019 legislative session

Sacramento, State Capitol Building

Friday marked the end of the 2019 legislative session for elected officials representing the Santa Clarita Valley and the rest of California. 

As senators and Assembly members kept busy voting on multiple bills, local representatives already knew several of their bills are headed to the governor’s desk. 

The last day for Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign or veto pieces of legislation is Oct. 13. 

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita

Smith had several bills passed after being elected to the state Assembly in November 2018, and she said 2019 has been “an immense honor to serve the community of the 38th Assembly District and 40 million people throughout California.” 

Four bills by the assemblywoman have been signed into law, including Assembly Bill 1051, which updates the course load of nursing faculty to build the pipeline of nurses. Seven bills in her legislative package have one month to become law: 

  • AB 543 makes school sexual harassment resources accessible.
  • AB 629 authorizes the Victim Compensation Board to provide compensation equal to loss of income or support to human trafficking victims.
  • ABs 967 and 1507 update the California Charter Schools Act by requiring schools to have their Local Control and Accountability Plans reviewed and approved, and close the loophole that greenlights school districts to approve charter school sites outside of their boundaries. 
  • AB 1233 waives AP exam fees for low-income students and foster youth.
  • AB 1637 works with the State Controller’s Office to streamline the unclaimed property request process.
  • AB 1729 increases high school enrollment in summer community college courses.

State Sen. Scott Wilk, D-Santa Clarita

Efforts toward expanding California’s hemp industry and saving pets’ lives are now only a signature away from becoming state law, Wilk announced Thursday. 

Senate Bill 153 would ensure California law is in full compliance with changes to federal law regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp, as it is “going to revolutionize agriculture and bring new manufacturing to the state,” the senator said in a previous news release. 

SB 202, known as the “Doggy Donor Bill,” passed the Legislature unanimously. The bill would save animal lives in case of serious injury or illness by expanding the available commercial animal blood donor pool to include community-sourced donors. 

Both houses of the Legislature also cleared SB 206, the Fair Play to Play Act, which Wilk co-authored. If enacted, the bill would give California student athletes the right to their name, image and likeness to allow them to earn money from sponsorships and endorsements.

“These young men and women deserve every opportunity to benefit financially from their hard work, just like any other talented young person,” said Wilk. 

Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale

Lackey, who also co-authored SB 206, has three bills heading to the governor’s desk: 

AB 420, which Wilk co-authored, would change the University of California’s Cannabis Research Program to cultivate cannabis for study purposes and changes its legislative reporting requirement from every six months to every 24 months; AB 1351, which improves access to public transportation for individuals with disabilities; and AB 169, which seeks to expand protections for guide, service and signal dogs regardless of whether they are on duty. 

On Wednesday, Lackey introduced AB 1833 to demand more stringent quality control and testing practices for cannabis products by tasking the California Department of Public Health with creating the “Good Cannabis Manufacturing Practice Certification” program, which creates higher production standards for cannabis manufacturers. 

The bill is pending a referral to a policy committee. 

State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park

A big focus for Stern has been efforts to improve monitoring and transparency at Aliso Canyon following the Oct. 23, 2015, gas leak and the environmental and health effects that followed as a result.

His bill, SB 463, which would require the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to review and revise its policies in response to the Aliso Canyon root cause analysis, passed the Legislature Wednesday. 

“To this day, our families and first responders are kept awake at night, anxious about the health effects of the chemicals pumped into our community after the Aliso Canyon blowout,” said Stern in a prepared statement. “They deserve answers and action.”

The bill received support from Wilk and Smith. 

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