Following is a list of important bills awaiting action in the final weeks of the legislative session that starts Monday and ends Sept. 11. For a detailed story and more key legislation, click here.
MINIMUM WAGE — Increases minimum wage by $3.00 over the next two and a half years with automatic increases tied to inflation. SB 3 by Senators Leno (D-San Francisco) and Leyva (D-Chino).
HEALTHCARE COSTS– Seeks to protect large employers and workers from unjustified increases in the cost of their health benefits. Requires rate review and prior approval of rates for health plans and insurers that sell coverage in large group market. SB 546 by Senator Leno (D-San Francisco).
RACIST MASCOTS – Would establish the California Racial Mascots Act prohibit public schools from using the term Redskins as a school or athletic team name, mascot, or nickname. Requires schools to create and purchase new jerseys, gear, in some cases repaint gymnasiums and possibly turf. AB 30 by Assemblymember Alejo (D-Salinas).
DEPORTATIONS TO MEXICO TO SOCIAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM – Would require teaching California public school students about the unconstitutional deportation to Mexico during the Great Depression of citizens and lawful permanent residents. AB 146 by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens).
PLASTIC BEADS FROM COSMETICS–Would remove plastics, called microbeads, from face wash, body wash, toothpaste and other personal care products. AB 888 by Assembly Member Bloom (D-Santa Monica)
ELECTRONIC THREATS TO SCHOOLS—Would establish a punishment of a misdemeanor or felony for a threat of violence to California schools through social media and other forms of electronic communication. SB 110 by Senator Fuller (R-Bakersfield).
BOYS AND MEN OF COLOR—Would create a multiagency advisory body to take coordinated action in meeting the many challenges boys and men of color face in California. AB 80 by Assemblymember Nora Campos (D-San Jose).
ETHNIC STUDIES – Would require the superintendent of public instruction and State Board of Education to oversee and adopt curriculum that supports quality courses in ethnic studies. AB 101 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas).
MANDATING KINDERGARTEN—Would require children to complete one year of kindergarten before admission to the first grade. Current law only mandates full-time education for children ages 6 to 18 years. AB 713 by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D- San Diego).
FOSTER YOUTH – Would allow former foster youth who have been on probation when they were in foster care to receive benefits and a monthly stipend. SB 12 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose).
HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAM — Would suspend the exit exam and would remove the exam as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation or condition of graduation for students completing grade 12. SB 172 by Senator Carol Liu (D- La Canada Flintridge).
REDUCTION IN EMISSIONS* – Enacts the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015,” which establishes targets to reduce petroleum use in motor vehicles by 50% by 2030, double the energy efficiency of buildings by 2030, and increase retail sales of renewable electricity to 50% by 2030. SB 350 by Senator De León (D-Los Angeles).
VOTE REQUIREMENT FROM TWO-THIRDS TO 55% FOR TAX INCREASE – – With voter approval, would give local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%. ACA 4 by Assemblymember Frazier (D-Oakley).
WARNING LABEL FOR SUGAR CONCENTRATED BEVERAGES – Would impose fines on beverage manufacturers and food retailers for failing to meet labeling requirement for sugar-sweetened drinks. SB 203 by Senator Monning (D-Carmel).
Transportation (Special Session 1)
TRANSPORTATION TAXES–Will constitutionally guarantee that the billions in transportation taxes paid by California drivers annually are only used for transportation purposes. SCA X1 1 by Senator Huff (R-San Dimas).
HIGH SPEED RAIL—Would allow Californians to vote on whether they want to continue funding the $100 billion project. If voters kill the rail project, any unspent money would be shifted to new highways and streets. SB X1 3 by Senator Vidak (R-Hanford).
HIGH SPEED RAIL FINANCING –Would prohibits the use of cap and trade revenues as proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown for the rail project. SB X1 6 by Senator Runner (R-Antelope Valley).
Healthcare (Special Session 2)
E-CIGARETTES – Would add e-cigarettes to existing tobacco products definition. It includes e-cigarettes within the existing tobacco products definition, thereby restricting the use of e-cigarettes in the same locations as traditional cigarettes. SB 5 X2 by Senator Leno (D-San Francisco)/ AB 6 X2 Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove).
INCREASE AGE OF SALE FOR TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO 21 – It is estimated that 90 percent of tobacco users start prior to age 21, and 80 percent of lifetime users start before the age of 18. SB 7X2 by Senator Hernandez (D-West Covina)/AB 8 X2 by Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg)
*Ed’s Note: CORRECTS 13th graf by deleting reference to gas price increase in SB 350.