The CA state legislature works very differently than Congress.
Unlike their federal counterparts, there’s a limit on how many bills each assemblymember or state senator can sponsor, and a February cutoff for introducing them. This year, the starting gates were loaded with a record 2,576 new bills , including 1799 Assembly bills and 237 Senate bills, in addition to numerous amendments and resolutions. Apparently the most popular bill right now is AB-31, which proposes to eliminate sales tax on tampons, pads and other menstrual products.
But there are some other very important bills on the crowded committee agendas as each house rushes to get all their bills heard and reported to the floor by the late April/early May deadlines, and then passed out of the own house by May 31st. Even with the inevitable loss of bills as they “die” in committee, this is a huge task. Last year, 2,177 bills were introduced and 900 passed.
Indivisible Ventura is working with a coalition of Indivisible groups throughout CA, as well as the Sierra Club, United Way, CAUSE, ACLU and others to pick out the bills most important to us and track them through the legislature. We then ask people to call when a bill we’re watching comes through one of their legislator’s committees, so good bills get to the governor’s desk and bad ones get stopped.
Action #1 – Call today for SB-200 “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.
We already asked you to call your state senator today to oppose SB-230, an attempt to distract us from truly reforming the use of force by police officers in CA. We would also like you to call in support of SB-200: “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund“.
Close to one million Californians, particularly those living in small disadvantaged communities, may be exposed to unsafe drinking water in their homes and schools, which impacts human health, household costs, and community economic development.
A significant number of California residents rely on state small water systems and domestic wells, which face a serious threat of contamination. It is in the interest of all Californians to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.
Minimal script for committee members: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to encourage fellow members of the Natural Resources and Water Committee to vote “YES” on SB-200: Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.
Action #2 – Inyo needs our help to stop SB-402!
Our Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is on the Natural Resources Committee that will be hearing this bill on Tuesday. Inyo County, which is home to Death Valley National Park, has an off-road vehicle pilot program that will expire in 2020. SB-402: “Vehicles: off-highway vehicle recreation” extends the program until 2025. This bill benefits a small group of OHV businesses while promoting damaging use of public lands. It promotes the dangerous use of OFF highway vehicles on public roadways. Inyo County is a hidden gem in far east California, it doesn’t deserve the to be turned into an OHV tourism destination. (Indivisible/Sierra Club – OPPOSE)
Minimal script for committee members: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to encourage fellow members of the Natural Resources and Water Committee to vote “NO” on SB-402: “Vehicles: off-highway vehicle recreation“.
Action #3 – Call Scripts of our state senators and assembly members.
Below you can see the bills we’re tracking and how they intersect with committees our legislators belong to. Either call with just your favorites or push a whole list through with the example call scripts below.
Not sure who your state senator is? Check here. (Their committee assignments are included in their websites.)
Assembly Member Monique Limón
Banking And Finance – Monday, April 22nd, 3:30 pm
- AB-857: Public banks. – (Action Network – SUPPORT)
- AB-1525: Cannabis: financial institutions. – SUPPORT
Natural Resources – Monday, April 22nd, 2:30 pm
- AB-38: Fire safety: State Wildfire Preparedness Board: Fire Hardened Homes Revolving Loan Fund. – (Sierra Club – SUPPORT)
- AB-1673: California Environmental Quality Act: judicial challenge: litigation transparency: identification of contributors. (Sierra Club – OPPOSE)
Health – Tuesday, April 23nd, 1:30 pm
Housing and Community Development – Wednesday, April 24th, 9:15 am.
- AB-67: Housing: homeless integrated data warehouse. (United Way – SUPPORT)
- AB-344: New Beginnings California Program. (United Way – SUPPORT)
- AB-816: California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program. (United Way – SUPPORT)
- AB-1486: Local agencies: surplus land. (United Way – SUPPORT)
- AB-1534: Regional Homeless Management Planning Act. (United Way – SUPPORT)
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Natural Resources and Water – Tuesday, April 23nd, 9:00 am
- SB-200: Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. (Indivisible – SUPPORT)
- SB-402: Vehicles: off-highway vehicle recreation: County of Inyo. (Indivisible/Sierra Club – OPPOSE)
Judiciary – Tuesday, April 23nd, 1:30 pm
- SB-1: California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers (Sierra Club – SUPPORT)
- SB-18: Keep Californians Housed Act. (United Way – SUPPORT)
- SB-25: California Environmental Quality Act: projects funded by qualified opportunity zone funds or other public funds.(Sierra Club – OPPOSE)
- SB-529: Tenant associations: eviction for cause: withholding payment of rent. (CAUSE – SUPPORT)
Public Safety – Tuesday, April 23nd, 8:30 am
- SB-47: Initiative, referendum, and recall petitions: disclosures. (Indivisible – SUPPORT)
- SB-230: Law enforcement: use of deadly force: training: policies. (ACLU/Indivisible – OPPOSE)
- SB-282: Supportive housing for parolees. (United Way – SUPPORT)
MONDAY! – Minimal Assemblymember Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I have a number of bills that I want Assemblymember [___] to SUPPORT: AB-857, AB-1525, AB-38, and AB-1611. and one I would like her to OPPOSE: AB-1673.
MONDAY! – Minimal State Senator Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I have a number of bills that I want Senator [___] to SUPPORT: SB-1, SB-18, SB-47, Sb-200, SB-282 and SB-529. and some I would like her to OPPOSE: SB 25, SB-402, and SB-230. I feel that her ‘YES” vote for SB 200 – the Safe and Affordable Drinking water fund and her “NO” vote for SB-230 are especially important.
TUESDAY! – Minimal Assemblymember Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I have a number of bills that I want Assemblymember [___] to SUPPORT: AB-67, AB-344, AB-816, AB-1486 and AB-1534.
CA partial legislative Schedule
- Apr. 26: Last day for policy committees to hear and report to fiscal committees fiscal bills introduced in their house
- May 3: Last day for policy committees to meet and report to the floor non-fiscal bills introduced in their house
- May 10: Last day for policy committees to meet prior to June 3
- May 17: Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report to the floor bills introduced in their house
- May 31: Last day for each house to pass bills introduced in that house