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LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: Five legislative bills authored by Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil pass Senate Appropriations Committee
Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil
State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil

The California State Senate Appropriations Committee convened on Thursday to review several key pieces of legislation. The session resulted in the passage of five crucial bills authored by Senator Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson) which focus on public health, water infrastructure, fairs, and crucial human services programs. However, two bills were held in committee.

"I am pleased the majority of my bills have passed, as they address a range of critical issues from public health to community resilience," said Senator Alvarado-Gil. "However, I am disappointed that SB 1028 and SB 1222 did not pass, because they are significant priorities for Senate District 4. Both pieces of legislation are vital for enhancing local control over alcoholic beverage licenses and ensuring equitable educational opportunities in our rural communities. I remain committed to advocating for these priorities in the future," the Senator added.

SB 945 (Wildfire Smoke Study) passed and would mandate that state agencies, led by the Department of Public Health, create a comprehensive database that will measure the health impacts of wildfire smoke and correlate these with wildfire fuels mitigation investments. The goal is to provide policymakers, public health officials, and forest health managers with clear data to mitigate the harmful effects of wildfire smoke on California’s environment and residents.

SB 1088 (Water Infrastructure) passed and would establish the Rural and Small Community Fire Resilience Program within the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). This program will coordinate with the Department of Water Resources, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the State Fire Marshal to develop a funding distribution system. This system will assist communities in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) by providing state matching funds to enhance fire resilience.

SB 1197 (Respite Services) passed and would ensure the availability of in-home respite services for caregivers of children and adults with developmental disabilities, including those in the foster care system. These services are essential for maintaining the well-being of individuals in home settings and providing necessary relief to their caregivers.

SB 1261 (Fairs) passed, which increases the amount of funding dedicated to the Fairs and Exposition Fund. This adjustment aims to better allocate financial resources to our state fairs.

SB 1396 (Home Visiting Program) passed and would extend the enrollment period for the CalWORKs Home Visiting Program from under 24 months to under 36 months of age and allows families to participate in the program for at least 24 months. This extension seeks to maximize developmental benefits for young children, particularly in underserved and vulnerable communities.

SB 1028 (ABC Licenses) and SB 1222 (Community Colleges) were held by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will not be moving forward in the legislative process. SB 1028 proposed authorizing the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to issue up to 10 additional on-sale general licenses (Type 47) for public eating places per county each year when the county reaches its limit. The bill also included provisions for local control by enabling county boards of supervisors to limit the number of additional licenses. SB 1222 would have ensured all state territories are included in a community college district or provided equivalent postsecondary opportunities. It also required a study by the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) to evaluate educational needs in five rural counties not currently included in a community college district and suggest actions to ensure equitable education.

— Senator Alvarado-Gil represents the 4th Senate District including the Counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne.


Alanis’ bill to end youth homelessness passes Assembly

Assemblymember Juan Alanis announced on Tuesday that his bill to expand the Youth Homelessness Act of 2018 passed the Assembly Floor with zero opposition.   

AB 1817 would create two additional goals to end and prevent youth homelessness in California, including goals to address food insecurity and economic instability among those ages 12-24 in California.

“This bill would create a more comprehensive list of goals to address the needs of our homeless population,” said Assemblyman Alanis. “We need to ensure that one of California’s most vulnerable populations has access to nutritious food, job opportunities, and affordable housing.” 

When the Youth Homelessness Act of 2018 was first passed, the state began tracking goals related to the number of people experiencing homelessness and the duration of homelessness. However, following the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that our homeless population is experiencing food insecurity, economic instability, and mental and physical health issues at unprecedented rates. 

“I am proud that AB 1817 has passed through the Assembly with the support of my colleagues,” said the Assemblymember. “If passed, this bill would become one step toward addressing California’s homelessness rates from a comprehensive perspective.”

AB 1817 passed unanimously on the Assembly Floor and is now headed to the Senate for referral to a policy committee. 

Assemblymember Alanis represents the 22nd Assembly District, which includes the communities of Modesto, Turlock, Ceres, Denair, Patterson, Gustine, Newman, Hilmar, Ballico, Snelling, Keyes, Grayson, Crows Landing, Diablo Grande, Stevinson and Empire.