Key Housing, LGBTQ-Rights, Human-Trafficking Bills Authored by Sen. Toni Atkins Advance in Assembly

July 12, 2017

SB 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act – the top priority bill in Sen. Toni Atkins’ 2017 legislative package – cleared the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee today.

SB 2 creates a permanent source of funding for affordable housing through a modest fee on the recording of certain real-estate documents, not including sales of residential or commercial property. It will generate roughly $250 million to provide affordable housing for struggling families and individuals throughout California.

Meanwhile, just in time for San Diego Pride weekend (July 14-15), two LGBTQ-rights bills authored by Atkins – SB 179, the Gender Recognition Act, and SB 310, the Name and Dignity Act – also passed out of policy committees in the Assembly this week.

SB 179 creates a third gender marker on state-issued identification documents for people who identify as nonbinary – neither male nor female – and streamlines the process for transgender, intersex and nonbinary Californians to obtain identification documents that accurately reflect their gender. It cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday, July 10.

SB 310 establishes the right of people in state prisons and county jails to access the courts to obtain a name or gender change. It also requires corrections officials to use the new name of a prisoner who has successfully obtained a name change. It cleared the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 11.

Also passing the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday was Atkins’ SB 230, which would help prosecutors convict predators who traffic in sex slavery. The bill adds the crimes of sex trafficking, pimping and pandering to the list of exceptions to a rule prohibiting the introduction of character evidence during trial. SB 230 now heads to the Assembly floor.

In addition, the following bills authored by Atkins cleared policy committees in the Assembly.

  • SB 625 reestablishes an “honorable discharge” program for juvenile offenders who meet certain criteria, paving an easier path for them to access higher education or vocational training or get a job after their release from incarceration. The bill cleared the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 11.
  • SB 379 clarifies that schools that offer free oral-health assessments may facilitate dental screenings by requiring parents to opt-out if they do not want their children to receive an assessment, although any treatment would require active consent. It also requires schools to report to counties aggregate data on tooth decay and encourages schools to report oral-health data to the state. SB 379 cleared the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, July 11.
  • SB 587 allows probation officers, after completing appropriate training, to display blue warning lights on their emergency vehicles when to responding to emergency situations, enabling them to alert other officers and the public that they are peace officers and are there to assist. The bill cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday, July 10.
  • SB 437 improves upon a joint working group made up of senior-level representatives of the state departments of Managed Healthcare and Insurance to ensure that these two departments’ regulations are consistent and effective. The bill requires the working group to review consumer-complaint processes pertaining to timely access to care and network adequacy. And it adds a new topic for the working group to review: state implementation of federal healthcare reforms. SB 437 cleared the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, July 11.