California State Senate Highlights 2018 Legislative Accomplishments
SACRAMENTO – The California State Senate closed the 2018 legislative session this evening approving significant initiatives that support California’s working families, invest in our education system, protect our environment and prepare California for the harsh new realities of climate change.
“I am proud of the work we have done this year,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins. “We continue to be one of the nation’s most active and effective legislative bodies, confronting age-old inequities and finding innovative solutions to new problems.”
Ten years after the financial crisis threw our state into disarray; California is back on its feet. The legislature has steadily restored vital funds to classrooms, clinics, community centers, and other public services that help Californians thrive. In fact, this year’s budget invested more in k-12 education than ever before, and represents an increase in per-pupil spending of nearly two-thirds over 2011-12 levels. The budget also:
- Invests more than $1.2 billion to kick-start housing construction and shelter the homeless.
- Expands aid to families in need, with more than $360 million every year targeted to lift children out of deep poverty.
- Increases the earned-income tax credit to help two million working class households meet their needs.
- Builds record reserves of nearly $16 billion – a safeguard against uncertainty.
- Passed the nation’s strongest net neutrality law to ensure Californians continue to benefit from a free and open internet.
- Passed landmark internet privacy protections to give consumers unprecedented control over their personal information online.
- Led the charge to eliminate the money bail system, putting all Californians accused of a crime on equal footing before the law.
- Passed nation-leading workplace harassment and sexual misconduct reforms.
- Fought to end the school-to-prison pipeline, to keep youth offenders out of our adult prison system, and to focus on redemption, not retribution, in our justice system.
- Made significant progress in our reforming our justice system, including eliminating the felony murder charge; ending the practice of trying 14 and 15 year olds as adults and incarcerating them in adult prisons.
- Took important steps to adapt to the new reality of climate change by passing SB 901 (Dodd, D-Napa). The bill revamps our disaster response and preparedness protocols, builds a new framework to strengthen our electrical grid and protect ratepayers from bearing the brunt of the costs from unchecked blazes, among many other important changes.
- Made California the first major economy on the planet to commit to 100% clean energy by the year 2045.
- Passed legislation to prevent new offshore oil drilling to protect our precious coasts and the local economies and ecosystems that depend on them.
“In so many ways, we are a study in progress. But we are also a work in progress,” Atkins said, noting that California must continue to address poverty, income inequality, homelessness and housing affordability, among many other challenges.
“Let’s celebrate our progress now, take an honest accounting of our challenges, and let’s get back to work in January with renewed purpose.” Atkins added.