Three Atkins Bills Advance in the Senate

April 6, 2017

This week, three bills authored by Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) cleared key policy committees.

SB 179, the Gender Recognition Act, passed through the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on a 9-1 vote. The bill would make California the first state in the country to create a third gender marker on state-issued identification documents for people who identify as nonbinary – neither male nor female. The bill would also streamline the process for transgender, intersex and nonbinary Californians to obtain identification documents that accurately reflect their gender.

Jointly authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), SB 179 was heard by the committee that handles transportation issues because it involves changes to driver’s license procedures. The bill heads next to the Senate Judiciary Committee. More information:

SB 587 also cleared the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, on an 11-0 vote. The bill would allow probation officers to display blue warning lights on their emergency vehicles, and would require them to complete an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Currently, probation officers, unlike many other types of law-enforcement officers, are not permitted to display blue warning lights. However, probation officers at times are called on to respond in emergency situations, and without blue lights, they’re not able to alert other officers and the public when responding that they are peace officers and are there to assist.

SB 587 goes next to the Senate Public Safety Committee. More information:

SB 625 passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 5-0 vote. The bill reestablishes an “honorable discharge” program for juvenile offenders who successfully complete parole and meet certain self-support criteria. Such a program helps formerly incarcerated youth secure employment or enroll in vocational training, making it a valuable tool in the fight against recidivism.

SB 625 goes next to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the final stop for bills bound for the Senate floor. More information: