From expanding health care to preventing bullying of LGBTQ+ students, San Diego County's Democratic representatives in the State Legislature are striving to improve the lives of all Californians. Here are just a few of the policy initiatives our representatives have been working on this year. To learn more about these and other important pieces of legislation, please click on the legislator's name.
- Senator Toni Atkins (SD 39), the Senate President Pro Tempore, helped establish an independent Workplace Conduct Unit and Review Panel for legislative staff to review workplace conduct violation allegations and ensure independent and confidential investigations. This far exceeds any legal requiremements and is a national first for worker protection. Both bodies began operating in February -- an important first step in taking action to protect victims and witnesses and hold perpetrators accountable.
- Senator Ben Hueso (SD 40) introduced SB 313, the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act, which aims to prevent the usage of wild or exotic animals in traveling acts. The act would make it illegal for circuses and other travelling entertainment to use said animals in their performances. The bill is aimed to address both concerns for animal welfare and potential public safety issues arising from animal abuse.
- Assemblymember Shirley Weber (AD 79) has introduced AB 392, also known as “The California Act to Save Lives,” which would restrict officers from using deadly force unless they are faced with bodily harm, or in order to save a life. Assemblymember Weber has introduced this bill in an attempt to “reduce civilian deaths without compromising officer or community safety.”
- Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (AD 76) introduced a bill that would require sports prize equity for both male and female participants in all sporting competitions held on public lands. Assemblymember Horvath has introduced this bill in an attempt to address gender pay disparities that are present in competitive sports. The bill, AB 467, will begin the committee hearing process in March.
- Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (AD 80) introduced AB 773, which would mandate that public high schools provide students with information and resources to educate them about electoral engagement. Her bill would help educate the growing demographic of young voters about the mechanics of voting while encouraging them to become and remain civically active.
- Assemblymember Todd Gloria (AD 78) has partnered with Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to introduce AB 493, "The Safe and Supportive Schools Act of 2019," to improve support for LGBTQ+ students in California. AB 493 seeks to provide teachers in California with annual training to help them foster a more supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students.
- Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (AD 77) -- who recently joined the Democratic Party -- has coauthored SB12, which would increase youth mental health evaluations for Californians by establishing an Integrated Youth Mental Health Program. The program would identify locations around California that can be used to assist established county services in providing mental health services to youth.