Since 2003, nearly 450 fellows have helped develop and support numerous bills and gained invaluable experience navigating complex legislative processes. With 35 of our fellows’ policy projects signed into law, and various resolutions and administrative wins at both the state and county levels realized because of our fellows’ hard work, we’ve seen how a single leader’s actions can have an enormous impact on communities.
Legislative Wins: 40 Bills Signed Into Law
AB865 (Resource families: training)Will make sure children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing human trafficking get the care they need. Foster care providers will now be required to receive training to provide appropriate care to exploited and trafficked minors.
AB942 (CalFresh: Restaurant Meals Program)Will expand access to hot and prepared food choices for people experiencing homelessness, disabilities, and old age through a statewide expansion of the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program.
SB24 (The College Student Right to Access Act)Will make California the first state to mandate that all student health centers at all 34 public universities and colleges offer abortion medication.
Senate Bill 160 (Emergency services: cultural competence)Will make sure that our emergency response plans will reflect the needs of diverse Californians. This law will require emergency planning to be culturally competent by incorporating qualified representatives and interpreters in all emergency communications.
Senate Bill 495 (Bias-Free Child Custody Child Act)Makes sure that sex, gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation of a caregiver has nothing to do with that person’s ability to love and care for a child. This new law will make it easier for every child to have a loving family.
Senate Bill 1393 was signed into law on September 30, 2018Restores judicial discretion to strike sentence enhancements for prior felony convictions.
Assembly Bill 2785 was signed into law on September 30, 2018Requires California Community Colleges and California State Universities to provide lactation accommodations to student parents.
Assembly Bill 2413 was signed into law on October 24, 2018Strengthens housing protections for survivors of violence and individuals in emergency situations who are threatened with eviction as a result of their calls to emergency services.
Senate Bill 310 was signed into law on October 15, 2017Makes it easier for incarcerated trans people to petition for a legal name and/or gender marker change. The first piece of legislation written by currently and formerly incarcerated transgender people.
Assembly Bill 273 was signed into law on on October 12. 2017Increases access to opportunities for families across the state by allowing parents to qualify for subsidized child care during the time they take English as a Second Language and High School Equivalency courses.
Assembly Bill 523 was signed into law on October 7, 2017Allocates 35 percent of California’s renewable energy fund to projects located in and benefiting disadvantaged and low-income communities.
Senate Bill 1000 was signed into law on September 24, 2016Started as a WPI-Local project, this bill requires cities and counties to address environmental justice in their general plans.
Senate Bill 1015 was signed into law on September 12, 2016Removes the sunset provision on the successful AB 241 from 2013 (below), making permanent the overtime labor protections for domestic workers.
Assembly Bill 2057 was signed into law on September 30, 2016Provides expedited CalFresh for survivors of domestic violence.
Assembly Bill 1603 was signed into law on June 17, 2016Repeals the Maximum Family Grant rule that prohibited additional aid to children born into a family receiving aid under the CalWORKs program.
Senate Bill 219 was signed into law on October 11, 2015Expands access to the Alternative Custody Program (ACP), which currently allows eligible incarcerated people to finish their sentences outside of prisons in order to care for their families. (This bill started with the Class of 2014 WPI fellows and continued by the alumnae.)
Assembly Bill 420 was signed into law on September 27, 2014Limits the number of California students who are suspended and expelled, particularly for relatively minor behavioral problems that do not threaten school safety. Until this bill passed, the “willful defiance” offense was used disproportionately to discipline and expel minority students.
Assembly Bill 1579 was signed into law on September 26, 2014Known as the Healthy Baby Act of 2014, this bill gives pregnant women access to lifesaving CalWORKs cash and healthcare benefits in their second (as opposed to third) trimesters of pregnancy. It will particularly affect women facing domestic violence because abuse often starts or escalates during pregnancy.
Assembly Bill 2102 was signed into law on September 18, 2014Facilitates the collection of demographic data within allied health professions. This data will help create a workforce that's better equipped to meet our communities’ diverse health needs. This law will go a long way towards helping us develop a dynamic workforce capable of helping everyone, in particular the state’s growing Latino population.
Assembly Bill 1468, a budget bill, was signed into law on June 20, 2014This budget bill included an authorization for a sheriff or a county director of corrections to implement a voluntary alternative custody program for male and female inmates who have been committed to a county jail for a felony or misdemeanor and to additionally include confinement to a mental health clinic or hospital that offers appropriate mental health services.
Assembly Bill 422 was signed into law on October 1, 2013Updates the information provided to parents about the National School Lunch Program to include information about the new low-cost health care coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange and the Medi-Cal programs. By updating information provided to parents through schools, the parents will be better informed to take advantage of new and lifesaving health care coverage options.
Assembly Bill 241 was signed into law on September 26, 2013*This bill, better known as the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, provides overtime pay to an estimated 100,000 California housekeepers, child care providers and caregivers when they work more than nine hours in a day or forty-five hours a week. More than 90 percent of domestic workers in California are women.
*Worked on by two previous WPI teams and passed on the third try.
Senate Bill 612 was signed into law on August 19, 2013California law currently allows survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and elder or dependent adult abuse to break their residential leases with documentation limited to either a court-issued protective order or a police report. This bill expands the type of documentation allowed as proof of abuse to include reports from domestic violence and sexual assault counselors, human trafficking case workers and other mental health and health care professionals.
Senate Bill 73 (originally Senate Bill 39) was signed into law on June 27, 2013*Outlines how the Proposition 39 funds will be allocated to California's K-12 schools and community colleges and it ensures that those funds deliver the expected energy efficiency and cost savings. Because of SB 73, some of the Proposition 39 funding will be allocated to school districts based on the proportion of their low-income student population as well as to small school districts in pollution-impacted regions.
* SB 39 went through the traditional legislative process but was subsumed in the state budget's last minute negotiations, becoming SB 73, a budget trailer bill.
Assembly Bill 2530 was signed into law on September 30, 2012*Ensures that incarcerated pregnant women are restrained in the least restrictive way possible when being transported to and from a state or local correctional facility (reintroduction of AB 568 and AB 1900).
*Worked on by two previous WPI teams and passed on the third try.