The 12 state lawmakers who represent portions of Orange County wrote 81 bills that advanced through a recent critical deadline this session, with legislation that addresses everything from unemployment fraud to packaging for cannabis-infused drinks to caps on mobile home park rent spikes now one step closer to becoming law.
Friday, June 4, was the deadline for legislation to make it out of the house where it originated, meaning bills by State Senators had to get approved by the Senate while bills by Assemblymembers had to get the green light from the Assembly. These bills now all face committee hearings and floor votes in the other chambers before an Oct. 10 deadline for Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign approved legislation into law.
Locally, State Sen. Thomas Umberg and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva had the highest number of bills advance this session, with 12 from Umberg and 11 from Quirk-Silva still in play. On the other end of the spectrum was Assemblymember Steven Choi who advanced two bills and Assemblymember Janet Nguyen who advanced one.
Of course, it’s tougher for Republicans to pass legislation given Democrats’ super majority. Authoring legislation that gets support is also just one way to measure a lawmaker’s effectiveness, with their support for legislation written by others and their services for constituents back home also key parts of the job. Plus, quality counts over quantity, since complex bills that make big changes are much tougher to pass than bills that tweak existing programs.
Here’s a look at bills by local legislators that so far are moving forward this session.
State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, of SD-29
Newman – whose 29th Senate District includes portions of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties – authored 16 bills this session. Half made it through to the Assembly by last week’s deadline, including these key bills.
• SB 583: Would automatically register eligible adults to vote when they show required documentation while visiting any DMV office and would send changes to registered voters’ addresses or names to elections officials so they could update voter rolls.
• SB 266: Would expand Chino Hills State Park by about 1,600 acres by adding a neighboring parcel that’s been donated to the state and two more that will be purchased with already-identified federal, state and private funds.
State Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, of SD-32
Archuleta, whose 32nd Senate District includes portions of Orange and Los Angeles counties, advanced eight out of the 17 bills he introduced this session. Key bills included:
• SB 277: Would apply new restrictions on fireworks and let authorities resell some confiscated fireworks to certified wholesalers and give the proceeds to the existing State Fire Marshall Fireworks and Disposal Fund.
• SB 576: Would continue existing moratoriums on new legal gambling halls while allowing a modest increase in the number of licensed gaming tables.
• SB 643: Would require the state to assess fueling infrastructure and fuel production needed to support the adoption of zero-emission trucks, buses and off-road vehicles.
State Sen. Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, of SD-34
Umberg, who represents the 34th Senate District in northern coastal O.C., already had a bill requiring that ballots be mailed to all voters for any elections that take place through the end of this year signed into law. He also advanced 12 of the 22 bills he introduced this session, including:
• SB 35: Would extend the area where electioneering activities may not take place from 100 to 200 feet away from voting and clarify the rules and penalties for encouraging voters to place their ballots in unofficial ballot boxes.
• SB 241: Would let witnesses appear in court remotely under certain circumstances, require courts to prioritize sensitive proceedings and allow courts to electronically serve documents to parties with their consent.
• SB 498: Would increase the income eligibility cap for legal aid services from 125% to 200% of poverty lines and extend eligibility to all disabled veterans.
• SB 665: Would let private employers voluntarily give preference to veterans in hiring and employee retention decisions.
State Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, of SD-36
Bates, whose 36th Senate District includes portions of Orange and San Diego counties, authored 18 bills this session. Six advanced to the Assembly, including:
• SB 248: Would make it easier for a state hospital to hold a sexually violent predator who is convicted of a new felony.
• SB 454: Would let the government file child support property liens on anyone who is at least $1,000 or three months overdue, instead of the one-month threshold in effect today.
State Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, of SD-37
Min introduced 13 bills during his first year in the State Senate representing central O.C.’s 37th District. Five made it out of the Senate, including:
• SB 264: Would ban gun shows on state-owned property.
• SB 500: Would require light-duty autonomous vehicles to be zero-emission.
• SB 654: Would allow children to speak at their own custody hearings.
Assemblymember Phillip Chen, R-Brea, of AD-55
In his third term representing AD-55 – which includes portions of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties – Chen authored 25 bills. Eight made it to the Senate.
• AB 356: Would give doctors who’ve used fluoroscopy digital X-ray machines in other states temporary certificates to use the equipment in California during the six to nine months it takes to become certified here.
• AB 1222: Would let companies bottle cannabis-infused drinks in clear containers, just like alcohol, rather than requiring them to follow broader guidelines for cannabis products that can’t be sold in see-through packaging.
• AB 1260: Would help the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s effort to create the first hydrogen- and battery-powered train in North America by applying exemptions to the state’s environmental review laws that now cover hydrogen fueling stations for buses to also cover such stations for trains.
Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, of AD-6
Quirk-Silva introduced 26 bills during her fourth term representing O.C.’s 65th District. Eleven of her bills advanced to the Senate.
• AB 68: Would require cities and counties to document and publicly report an inventory of affordable housing units and strategies to help people experiencing homelessness in their borders.
• AB 362: Would require shelter operators to adopt certain safety and health standards or risk losing state funding.
• AB 978: Would cap annual rent increases in mobile home parks at whichever is lower: 3% plus cost of living or 10%.
• AB 498: Would offer $15 million in grants matched by school districts, county education offices or charter schools to increase the number of computer science teachers.
Assemblymember Steven Choi, R-Irvine, of AD-68
Choi, who’s in his third term representing eastern O.C.’s 68th District, authored 13 bills, including several around increasing tax credits tied to COVID-19. Two of his bills advanced.
• AB 251: In the wake of the college admissions scandal, would prohibit administrators involved in reviewing applications for students admitted without meeting usual requirements from being involved in campus fundraising or development.
• AB 1002: Would give veterans in California equivalent course credit at UC and CSU schools for their military training and education.
Assemblymember Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, of AD-69
Daly authored 10 bills this session. Six made it out of the Assembly, including:
• AB 604: Would require that interest earnings on money in the state’s Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account be spent on state highway maintenance and not diverted elsewhere.
• AB 781: Would make a major flood control project in Orange County, known as the Westminster-East Garden Grove Flood Risk Management Project, eligible to receive funding from the state.
• AB 1560: Would require the state to collect information about student access to computers and home internet service, then let the state contract with internet companies to provide free or reduced-cost access to students in need.
Assemblymember Janet Ngyuen, R-Fountain Valley, of AD-72
Nguyen, who’s in her first term representing the 72nd District, authored 17 bills. One advanced to the Senate.
• AB 1039: Would extend the deadlines by four years for the Department of Education to create model curriculum on the Vietnamese refugee experience, Cambodian genocide and Hmong experience to give the state time to allocate funding and develop effective programs.
Assemblymember Laurie Davies, R-Laguna Niguel, of AD-73
In her first term representing southern O.C.’s 73rd district, Davies introduced 13 bills and saw six advance, including:
• AB 381: Would require all drug treatment centers to have opioid overdose emergency medication on site and have staff trained on how to use it in emergencies.
• AB 419 : Would prohibit a defendant from being told any personally identifying information about a victim or witness of a crime.
• AB 543: Requires the CSU and UC systems to give information about the food assistance program CalFresh during student orientations.
Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Laguna Beach, of AD-74
Petrie-Norris authored 20 bills this session and eight advanced to the Senate before Friday’s deadline.
• AB 110: Would help prevent unemployment insurance fraud by inmates of California prisons by requiring the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to give the state’s EDD the names and social security numbers of current inmates
• AB 689: Would require the state to offer financial and technical help to make sure local domestic violence centers can implement 24-hour crisis communication systems
• AB 1057: Would expand California’s “red flag law,” which lets authorities temporarily seize guns from anyone shown to be a danger to themselves or others, to also cover key parts of so-called “ghost guns,” the increasingly common home-built guns that often can’t be traced.
Source: Orange County Register