Bills Signed Into Law
SB 970 - Employment: human trafficking awareness: Hotels and motels are ground zero for human traffickers, which means they’re hiding their criminal activities in plain sight. SB 970 will require all hotels and motels in California to provide training for their employees on how to spot the signs of human trafficking and report those signs to law enforcement. Signed by the Governor on September 27.
SB 1086 - Workers’ compensation: firefighters and peace officers: Thanks to AB 1035, passed in 2014, if a public-safety officer dies from a job-related illness more than 240 weeks after being diagnosed, his or her family can still qualify for state-provided survivor death benefits. The bill stretched that statute of limitations to 420 weeks. However, AB 1035 is scheduled to sunset in 2019. SB 1086 removes the sunset and makes the 420-week limit permanent. A police officer or firefighter’s family should not have to suffer because she or he lived too long. Signed by the Governor on September 23.
SB 1367 - San Diego River Conservancy: San Diego Rivers Watershed Consortium Program: This bill follows up on two previous bills by Senator Atkins – AB 392, which made the San Diego River Conservancy permanent, and SB 214, which strengthened the conservancy’s capacity to protect and enhance the San Diego River watershed. SB 1367 gives the San Diego River Conservancy the power to help protect and enhance other nearby rivers – the Otay, Sweetwater, and Tijuana Rivers – and their watersheds by helping identify and pursue funding sources, developing strategic plans, and working with local nonprofits and government agencies. Signed by the Governor on September 23.
Bills That Did Not Move Forward
SB 945 - Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program: In 2016, Governor Brown signed AB 1795, Senator Atkins’ bill to provide uninsured and underinsured Californians with expanded access to treatment for breast cancer and cervical cancer. SB 945 builds on AB 1795 by removing arbitrary time limits for care. Currently, the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program stops providing medical care for breast cancer after 18 months and cervical cancer after 24 months, regardless of medical need. SB 945 removes those limits and requires continuation of treatment as long as necessary. In Assembly Committee on Health
SB 1005 - Crime victim compensation: relocation expenses: pet costs: Sometimes, survivors of domestic abuse who must flee their home to get away from their abuser can’t afford the extra rent or deposit required to move their dog or cat into a new apartment. SB 1005 makes explicitly clear that survivors of violent crimes, such as domestic violence, may use the state-provided victim-relocation funds to which they are already entitled to pay for expenses related to housing an animal companion. Vetoed
SB 1125 - Federally qualified health center and rural health clinic services: Currently, if a patient receives treatment through Medi-Cal at a community health center from both a medical provider and a mental-health specialist on the same day, the state will reimburse the center for only one visit. A patient must seek mental-health treatment on a subsequent day in order for that treatment to be reimbursed as a second visit. There’s not good reason for that. SB 1125 allows health centers to bill Medi-Cal for both visits, even if they occur on the same day. This change will ensure that more people get the mental-health services they need. Vetoed