With the days getting shorter and summer nearing its close, September can often be a pretty melancholy time of year. This year feels different to me, though. First of all, as you read this, the Senate will have adjourned the 2022 legislative session, and I am so excited about all the good work we achieved this year, I don't think I could feel gloomy if I tried.
Secondly, there is so much work still to do here at home, throughout our state, and across the country, that I don't think we have the luxury of melancholy. We need movement. The days may be getting shorter, but we have a big job ahead keeping the momentum up and making sure California's powerful light continues to be a beacon.
I want to start September off right by sending a huge thank you and all respect to the working people who continue to make California a global titan. Happy Labor Day! The rights, safety, and economic well-being of working people must always be a priority. 2022 showed major gains in worker protections, and, with an increase in the minimum wage effective January 1, we continue toward a more realistic, impactful, and equitable wage. Let's keep rolling!
I'm pleased to share that the following pieces of legislation that I led or co-authored this session have been sent to Governor Newsom to be signed into law.
SB 1375 – Expanding Reproductive Health Services
Abortion is health care—period. And like other medical decisions, it is a private conversation between patients and their health care providers. By allowing trained and qualified nurse practitioners to perform first trimester abortions without the supervision of a physician, SB 1375 would give more people the ability to get the timely, essential care they need from a provider they know and trust—something that is already allowed in nine other states. We need to do everything we can to ensure abortion care is not only protected, but expanded in California. This bill is one important way are doing that.
SB 1041 – Supporting Navy, Marine Families Across California
Coming from a military family, I know the financial sacrifices our service members make in addition to the sacrifices they make for our country. SB 1041 would make permanent the sales tax exemption for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), so that they can continue to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to more than 14,000 California-based service members, veterans, and military family members.
SB 1027 – Enhancing the San Diego River Conservancy
SB 1027 aims to expand the jurisdictional boundary of the San Diego River Conservancy to include the entire watershed of the San Diego River. The bill would also expand the Conservancy's governing board to include a member of the El Cajon City Council and amends the definition of tribal nation to directly reference the Kumeyaay Bands associated with the area.
SB 1183 – Creating a Legacy of Children's Literacy…with help from Dolly!
A deep appreciation of reading is one of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me. I hope to carry on their legacy by bringing Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to California through SB 1183, which would ensure that our youngest readers can add to their home library every month for free, regardless of how much their parents make or where they live. Dolly said it best when she said, "You can never get enough books into the hands of enough children."
SB 1311 – Strengthening Consumer Protections for Service Members
I collaborated with Senator Susan Eggman and Attorney General Rob Bonta to serve as a joint author on SB 1311, which will extend additional legal and financial protections for active duty and reserve component service members and their families. They make sacrifices for our country every day and deserve the strongest consumer protections.
SB 1020 and other climate efforts
My colleagues and I also worked hard over the last two years to allocate more than $50 billion to enhance the state's ability to meet the urgent challenges of climate change, adaptation, and resiliency. That historic investment includes more than $20 billion in additional budget funding, known as a budget trailer bill, that we passed just hours ago for climate and energy funding. I'm looking forward to sharing more on this with you in the coming days!
Congratulations to Payco Specialties, who I was proud to recognize as the 2022 Small Business of the Year for Senate District 39! Their president, Rebecca Llewellyn, has led the company for nearly 40 years, serving as a mentor to many women in the construction industry.
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