CIPC Legislative Update: Bills affecting California’s Immigrants move forward.

Legislative opportunities emerge amidst budget woes.

As the California State Legislature continues to grapple with closing the state’s $26 billion spending gap, a number of important new bills affecting immigrants in California are beginning to come up for review before lawmakers in the state’s Senate and Assembly.

Below is a list of legislative proposals for 2011, most of them designed to give immigrants and their families  access to the critical work supports, health and human services and civil rights protections that they need to thrive and continue as major contributors to the state’s economy and social-cultural life. Also included in this list are a series of anti-immigrant proposals that have also been introduced. Although many of these types of measures have failed in the past, CIPC will continue to monitor them and alert advocates if any begin to move through the legislature.

Throughout the month of April, CIPC will host a series of webinars to give in-depth information on key legislation. To learn more about the series please visit http://caimmigrant.org/brownbagwebinarseries.html

CIPC SPONSORED LEGISLATION

AB 1236 (FONG) – E-VERIFY – CO-SPONSOR WITH MALDEF: This bill states that, except as required by federal law, neither the state nor a city, county, city and county, or special district shall require an employer to use an electronic employment verification system a) as a condition of receiving a government contract, b) as a condition of applying for or maintaining a business license, c) as a penalty for violating licensing or other similar laws.  This bill has been set to the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. To learn more, join the Webinar on April 13th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

AB 1389 (ALLEN) – SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS AND VEHICLE IMPOUNDMENTS – CO-SPONSOR: This bill amends and adds a new section into the California Vehicle Code detailing compliance by law enforcement agencies to the criteria set forth in the Ingersoll decision on sobriety checkpoints. This will settle and avoid confusion for local police departments and protect the civil rights of drivers at sobriety checkpoints statewide.  This bill has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee.  To learn more, join the Webinar on April 18th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

AB 6 (FUENTES) – INCREASING CAL FRESH PARTICIPATION – SUPPORT: This bill increases access to and participation in CalFresh by removing barriers and simplifying the application process while saving the state money. Specifically, this bill requires CalFresh and CalWorks to move from quarterly to semi-annual reporting and utilize the Income Reporting Threshold (IRT), which follows existing federal and state law. Additionally, AB 6 also eliminates the Statewide Finger Imaging System (SFIS) for CalFresh households and develops the “Heat and Eat” initiative.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Human Services Committee on April 5thTo learn more about AB 6 and AB 922, join the Webinar on April 15th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

AB 185 (HERNANDEZ) – MATERNITY SERVICES COVERAGE – SUPPORT: This bill would require individual or group health insurance polices under the Department of Insurance to cover maternity services.  Additionally, maternity services would include prenatal care, ambulatory care, involuntary complications of pregnancy, neonatal care, and inpatient hospital maternity care, including labor and delivery postpartum care.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Health on April 5th.

AB 673 (SPEAKER PEREZ) – OFFICE OF MULTICULTURAL HEALTH – SUPPORT:  This bill would require the Office of Multicultural Health within the State Department of Public Health to perform various state duties with respect to California’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Health on April 12th.

AB 916 (V.M. PEREZ) – PROMOTORES: FEDERAL GRANT OPPORTUNITIES – SUPPORT: This bill would require the Department of Public Health to assess the benefits on the use of promotores by making recommendations for attaining and maximizing federal funding to expand community health workers throughout the state.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 6th.

AB 922 (MONNING) – OFFICE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS FOR HEALTH COVERAGE – SUPPORT: This bill creates an Office of Health Consumer Assistance to provide outreach and education about health care coverage to consumers and help them resolve problems accessing coverage or care. The Office would be permitted to contract with community organizations that have a long-standing record of consumer assistance to provide those services. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on April 5th. To learn more about AB 6 and AB 922, join the Webinar on April 15th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

AB1088 (ENG) – DISAGGREGATED DATA FOR APIs – SUPPORT: This bill would ensure that state-collected health, social services, labor, and civil rights data is disaggregated into additional AANHPI ethnic groups, as currently reported by the U.S. Census, and make the data available to the public by requiring various state departments and boards to post the data on their websites.  This bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection.

LANGUAGE ACCESS AND EDUCATION

AB 124 (FUENTES) – ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS – SUPPORT: This bill would establish the English Language Development Standards Advisory Committee to ensure high-quality instruction for the thousands of English language learners.  The Committee is charged with revising and aligning the English language Development Standards with the recently approved academic content standards in English language arts.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

AB 130 AND 131 (CEDILLO) – THE CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT 2011 – SUPPORT: These bills exempt students who have attended California schools for 3 or more years, high school graduates, and persons attending and graduating from technical schools and adult schools in California from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges and the California State University.  Additionally, these bills would allow students exempt from paying nonresident tuition to apply for a private pool of financial aid administered by the State of California to continue their college education. These bills will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 6th. To learn more about the California Dream Act, join the Webinar on April 27th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

AB 176 (LARA) – STANDARDIZED TESTING IDENTIFICATION – SUPPORT: This bill requires test sponsors to accept university transcripts and university identification issued within the last five years as a valid form of identification for test takers.  This bill will be heard on the Assembly Floor.

AB 207 (AMMIANO) – SCHOOL RESIDENCY IDENTIFICATION – SUPPORT: This bill would provide guidance to school districts about the types of documentation that may be required as proof of residency in the district. The California Department of Education’s general rule regarding proof of district residency is that districts may accept a wide range of documents and parent representations regarding residency.  The Education Code, however, is silent with regard to the types of documents that school districts may require as proof of district residency, except for those districts along the international border.  This bill will be heard on the Assembly Floor.

AB 305 (FURUTANI) – SURVEY OF LANGUAGE NEEDS – SUPPORT: This bill would require the State Personnel Board (SPB) to review the results of surveys and implementation plans by state agencies on how they are meeting the language needs of California residents. Specifically, this report will list state agencies and their respective field offices that have deficiencies in translating materials and staffing deficiencies to meet the needs of California’s diverse communities.  This bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 6th. To learn more, join the Webinar on April 5th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

AB 409 (LARA) – COMPREHENSIVE STUDENT TESTING – SUPPORT:  This bill allows Two Way Bilingual Immersion (Dual Immersion) schools to administer the Standards-based Test in Spanish (STS) to all students. Two Way Bilingual Immersion schools have the goal of developing students who are academically successful in both English and Spanish, and they are held to the same performance expectations as English-only schools under No Child Left Behind.  This bill will next be heard in the Assembly Committee on Education.

AB 532 (V.M. PEREZ) – PUPIL ASSESSMENT – SUPPORT:  This bill ensures a fair accountability and assessment system to track the progress of English-language learners in California schools. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Education.

AB 618 (FURUTANI) – COURT INTERPRETERS – SUPPORT:  This bill would set forth declarations and findings ensuring an adequate supply of court interpreters.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 5th.

AB 844 (LARA) – STUDENT GOVERNMENT FOR AB 540 STUDENTS – SUPPORT: This bill would allow students exempt from paying nonresident tuition in California colleges to serve in student government in any capacity through the California State University or California Community Colleges and to receive any compensation connected to such service to the full extent consistent with federal law.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education on April 12th.

AB 938 (V.M. PEREZ) – PUBLIC DRINKING WATER NOTICES – WATCH:  This bill requires the full translation of public notices regarding serious water violations into Spanish and any other language that is spoken by more than 10% of the customers impacted.  This bill will next be heard in the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials on April 5th.

SB 302 (YEE) – COMPREHENSIVE PUPIL LEARNING PROGRAM – SUPPORT:  This bill would require the California Department of Education to administer and implement the Comprehensive Pupil Learning Support System to provide each pupil with an educational support system.  This bill will be heard in the Senate Committee on Education on April 13th.

SB 111 (YEE) – LANGUAGE RESTRICTIONS – SUPPORT – This bill would make it a violation of the Jesse M. Unruh Civil Rights Act to adopt or enforce a policy that requires, limits, or prohibits the use of any language in or with a business establishment unless that policy is shown to be necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the business, fulfills a legitimate purpose, and has no less discriminatory means to accomplish the policy’s stated purpose.  This bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 5th.

SB 675 (Wright) – PRIVATE COLLEGE STUDENTS – WATCH: This bill prohibits private colleges from enrolling non-native speakers unless and until the student passes an English proficiency test. This change would apply to all non-native speakers of English whether they had a valid high school diploma or not. A violation of this provision will make any agreement between the student and the school unenforceable.  This bill will be heard in the Senate Business and Professions Committee.

WORKERS RIGHTS

AB 132 (LOGUE) – CAR WASHING – WATCH: This bill requires the Labor Commissioner to notify an employer of a car washing business who has failed to register that business prior to subjecting the employer to a fine. If the employer fails to register within 60 days of receiving notification, the employer may be subject to a civil fine.  This bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment.

AB 889 (AMMIANO) – DOMESTIC WORKERS – SUPPORT:  This bill provides domestic workers with industry-specific protections to use kitchen facilities and cook their own food, and creates standards for sleep, sick days, living wage increases, and paid vacations.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment on April 13th.

SB 104 (STEINBERG) – AGRICULTURAL BARGAINING UNITS – SUPPORT:  This bill would permit agricultural employees, as an alternative procedure, to select their labor representatives by submitting a petition to the board accompanied by representation cards signed by a majority of a bargaining unit.  This bill will next be heard on the Assembly Floor.

CIVIL RIGHTS AND EQUALITY

AB 78 (MENDOZA) – ADVISORY ELECTION ON IMMIGRATION – WATCH:  This bill would call an election for the purpose of placing before the voters of the State of California an advisory question asking whether the President and Congress shall create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have worked in the US for at least 5 years, have no felony convictions, have learned to speak English, and have paid all taxes. This election would take place in June 2012.  This bill has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

AB 84 (FONG) – NEW CITIZEN VOTING – SUPPORT: allows individuals who become citizens after the voter registration deadline to register and vote until the close of polls on Election Day. Current law allows any citizen who is at least 18 years old and a resident of the state of California to register to vote 15 days prior to an election.  Individuals who turn 18 in the last few days before an election may still register to vote provided that they turn 18 by the time of the next election.  Allowing new citizens an opportunity to register to vote and to go to the polls will ensure that all Californians have an opportunity to participate in the Democratic process and decide on important policies affecting their families and communities.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 6th.

AB 1081 (AMMIANO) – SECURE COMMUNITIES – SUPPORT:  This bill honors local governments’ right to decide whether and how to participate in the so-called “Secure Communities” Program (S-Comm), a controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program that has raised serious public safety concerns and has resulted in the rapid separation of thousands of families. This program automatically shares with ICE all fingerprints taken by local law enforcement immediately after any individual is arrested.  Operating on a pre-conviction model, the S-Comm Program notifies ICE upon arrest, no matter how minimal the charge or, indeed, even if criminal charges are never brought, charges are dismissed, or the person is acquitted.  This bill would grant decision-making power to local governments as to whether they would like participate in this troubled program since they know best the needs of their constituents.  This bill will next be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 26th. To learn more, join the Webinar on April 4th at 12noon. Click here to reserve your space.

SB 109 (Gaines) – VOTE BY MAIL – WATCH: This bill allows counties with less than 400,000 to conduct special vacancy elections for local office as all-mail elections. This bill will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments.

SB 117 (KEHOE) – DISCRIMINATION – WATCH: This bill would prohibit a state agency to enter into a contract of more than $100,000 with a contractor who discriminates based on the gender or sexual orientation of the spouses or domestic partners of employees.  This bill will next be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 5th.

SB 251 (CORREA) – DRIVERS’ LICENSE AND SELECTIVE SERVICE – This bill would make registration for any future draft automatic when males between the ages of 18 and 26 apply for a driver’s license or license renewal.  This bill will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing on April 12th.

SB 641 (CALDERON) – ONE-STOP VOTING – WATCH – This bill would establish “one-stop voting” allowing an eligible person to register to vote and immediately vote on Election Day or the month before Election Day at the County election headquarters.  This bill will be heard in the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments.

RESOLUTIONS

ACR 3 (HAYASHI) – KOREAN AMERICAN DAY – SUPPORT:  This measure proclaims January 13, 2011 as Korean-American Day in California.  This bill is currently in the Assembly Inactive File.

ACR 6 (DONNELLY) – HUMAN TRAFFICKING – WATCH: This measure recognizes the month of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and recognizes February 1, 2011 as California’s Free from Slavery Day.  This resolution has been signed by the Governor.

ACR 12 (MENDOZA) – CESAR CHAVEZ DAY – SUPPORT:  This measure would recognize March 31, 2011 as the anniversary of the birth of Cesar Chavez and would call upon all Californians to participate in observances in memory of Cesar Chavez as a symbol of hope and justice to all.  This bill is currently on the Assembly Floor Third Reading File.

ACR 27 (MENDOZA) – CINCO DE MAYO – SUPPORT:  This measure would proclaim May 2 through May 9 2011 as Cinco de Mayo week.  This bill will next be heard on the Senate Floor.

ANTI-IMMIGRANT LEGISLATION

AB 26 (DONNELLY) – UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS – STRONG OPPOSE: This bill is one of many anti-immigrant pieces of legislation being introduced across the country targeting hard-working taxpaying families through ineffective and unlawful attempts at fixing the nation’s broken immigration system.  This bill removes the federal government’s responsibility for regulating and enforcing the nation’s immigration laws and placing it at the hands of any local government in California.  This will divide communities, pit neighbors against each other and result in discrimination against citizens and non-citizens alike because of the way they look or the language they speak.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 5th.

AB 63 (DONNELLY) – COLLEGE TUITION AND FEES – This bill would have denied in-state tuition to eligible students who do not meet specified residency requirements, thereby repealing AB 540.  AB 540 (Firebaugh), which allowed undocumented students access to in-state tuition in California public colleges and universities was signed into law in 2001 as a bipartisan effort with broad support from universities, businesses, and labor groups. This bill failed passage in the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

AB 810 (WAGNER) – COUNTY TRANSLATORS – OPPOSE: This bill would repeal existing provisions authorizing clerks in counties with a population of 900,000 or more to employ as many foreign language interpreters as are necessary to interpret in criminal and juvenile cases, and to translate documents intended for filing in any civil or criminal action or proceeding or for recordation in the county recorder’s office. This bill has not been referred to a committee.  This bill has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

AB 663 (MORRELL) – VOTER IDENTIFICATION – OPPOSE: This bill would require voters to provide a government issued photo identification in order to vote. This bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee on April 12th.

AB 945 (DONNELLY) – VOTER IDENTIFICATION – OPPOSE:  This bill would require a person desiring to vote to produce and show a valid form of state-issued photographic identification to the precinct worker at the polling place.  This bill will be heard in the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee on April 12th.

AB 1018 (DONNELLY) – MANDATORY E-VERIFY – STRONG OPPOSE:  This bill would require all state, city, and county employees to verify each person who requests state-funded benefits through the voluntary federal E-Verify program. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 5th.

AB 1031 (DONNELLY) – DUI FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS – OPPOSE:  This bill would require an arresting authority to notify the appropriate federal agency the presence of a person if the person is arrested for driving while under the influence and the person fails to provide the arresting authority appropriate documentation demonstrating his or her legal presence in the United States.  This bill has been referred to the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

AB 1140 (DONNELLY) – CALWORKS/CALFRESH – OPPOSE: This bill would revise the requirements for providing aid under the CalWORKs and CalFresh programs by replacing the existing time limit for receipt of aid with a 6-month limit, operative 90 days after the effective date of the bill. This bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Human Services.

AB 1274 (DONNELLY) – FALSE DOCUMENTATION – OPPOSE:  This bill would make technical changes to existing law added by Proposition 187 in 1995 that provides that any person who uses false documents to conceal his or her citizenship or resident status be guilty of a felony and punish with imprisonment for 5 years or a fine of $25,000.  This bill has not been referred to a committee.

SB 802 (RUNNER) – VOTER IDENTIFICATION –  This bill would require that the identification envelope for a vote by mail ballot include the last 4 digits of the voter’s California driver’s license or identification card number or, if unavailable, the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number and a security flap to conceal the voter’s information during mailing. The bill would require the elections official to verify the accuracy of that information before counting the vote.  This bill has been referred to the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.

For more information on these, please visit www.leginfo.ca.gov/billinfo.html or call Alberto Gonzalez at 916.448.6762.

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