2018 Authored Legislation
For her second year in the State Assembly Laura has continued to prioritize our environment; this year, she has put forth a number of bills that would focus on conservation, water efficiency, putting California on a clear path towards a fossil-fuel free future, and eliminating our exposure to toxic pollution and waste. She has also continued to focus on doing everything she can to protect our State's most vulnerable populations including foster youth and sex workers involved in or witnesses to violent crime.
Bills Signed Into Law
In 2018, Laura put forward 37 pieces of legislation with 21 passing both houses and being signed into law by Governor Brown.
AB 1668 – In 2016, Governor Brown and his administration outlined water conservation goals in an executive order and the "Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life" report. AB 1668 provides the State Water Resources Control Board with one time authority to establish long-term standards for 2026 urban water management plans. It also revises the requirements of urban and agricultural water management plans and directs the Department of Water Resources to develop requirements for rural water management plans consistent with the Governor's report.
AB 403 – For years, state employees within California have had whistleblower protection when reporting the misuse of state resources. However, those same protections have not extended to employees of the legislature. AB 403 establishes a process for legislative employees to report misconduct and prohibits retaliation against legislative staff for reporting. AB 403 was jointly authored by Assemblymembers Melendez, Dahle, Friedman, and C. Garcia.
AB 2227 – Consumers deserve clear information about major purchases. AB 2227 will protect consumers and add more clarity to motorcycle purchases by requiring dealerships to post the manufacturer's suggested retail price as well as any supplemental charges or mark-ups added by the dealer. If passed, AB 2227 will make sure California's easy riders won't be taken for a ride when buying a new bike.
AB 2243 – In a study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco & St. James Infirmary, over 60% of sex workers face some form of assault while engaged in sex work—32% reported a physical assault, while 29% reported a sexual assault. AB 2243 would provide protections for sex workers who want to come forward to report a crime of violence perpetrated against them during an act of prostitution, or want to testify as a witness to such a crime. Specifically, AB 2243 bars evidence of criminal liability for prostitution if the sex worker engaged in the act is a victim or witness to a violent felony.
AB 2261 – Originally created in the 1970s to bridge the gap between schools and the neighborhoods they serve, community representatives work with school staff on the planning for community-related programs and services. AB 2261 clarifies the role of community representatives, eliminates the cap on the hours they can work, and places them into classified service.
AB 2263 – This bill incentivizes historic preservation and adaptive reuse of existing structures by reducing parking requirements. AB 2263 eliminates parking requirements for historic structures eligible for designation under the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historical Resources, or a local city or county register of historic resources, and eliminates additional parking requirements for historic structures that are converted for residential or mixed use purposes.
AB 2363 – This bill allows locals to determine where the speed should be lower based on pedestrian/biker safety. AB 2363 permits local authorities to round speed limits to within five miles per hour of the 85th percentile and maintain the ability to reduce a speed limit by an additional five miles per hour based on criteria defined in a traffic and engineering study. This bill expands what defines a traffic and engineering study to include the potential for, or frequency of, traffic collisions that result in deaths or injuries. This allows locals to determine where the speed should be lower based on pedestrian/biker safety.
AB 2413 – Existing law prohibits a landlord from evicting a tenant based upon an act or acts of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or elder or dependent adult abuse against the tenant or the tenant's household member. AB 2413 expands on this existing legal framework by creating new protections for tenants and household members so that they cannot be evicted or otherwise penalized for the act of calling law enforcement assistance or 9-1-1 emergency assistance in cases where the landlord may consider such calling as constituting a nuisance which warrants action against the tenant. AB 2413 is jointly authored by Assemblymembers Chiu, Bonta, Friedman, and Reyes.
AB 2548 – According to a 2017 study, Los Angeles County is home to the worst congestion in the world, with commuters spending over 100 hours during the peak stuck in traffic. AB 2548 authorizes the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) in partnership with the County of Los Angeles to establish a county-wide commuter benefits program which would require employers of a certain size in Los Angeles County to offer benefits that encourage employees to ride-share and increase transit ridership.
AB 2594 – After the 2015 Valley and Butte fires, some insurers attempted to cut off payments to insured persons after only 12 months had elapsed from the date of loss; rather than the 24 months they are entitled to after a declared disaster. Under current law, no suit can be brought unless it is "commenced within 12 months next after inception of the loss." There is also a separate provision which allows the insured up to 24 months in order to collect full replacement costs and additional living expense costs after a declared disaster. AB 2594 ends the discrepancy between the two provisions and provides consumers and insurers greater clarity and consistency by allowing 24 months for both the collection of replacement costs and the beginning of any lawsuit.
AB 2663 – Prior to 2006, a change in ownership between domestic partners was not eligible for the same exclusion that applied to married couples. Subsequent legislation fixed the discrepancy to allow domestic partners registered at the state level to qualify for the tax exclusion. However, domestic partners registered only with a county, city or other local jurisdiction, were ineligible for the exclusion. AB 2663 creates parity in the law so that every domestic partnership has equal access to full and equal benefits, regardless of where they originally registered. The bill creates an "amnesty" for those local registered domestic partnerships to receive a reversal of the reassessment, and appropriate refunds.
AB 2753 – Existing Density Bonus law requires a city or county to process a density bonus application within 30 days and provide a list of documents and information required for that application. However, there is nothing currently in statute that specifies when a local government must declare if the density bonus application is accepted or rejected, which can cause delays in the development of housing. AB 2753 creates a consistent timeline for local government to utilize when processing density bonus applications, which will provide more certainty to developers and a more expeditious development process overall.
AB 2782 – The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires agencies to consider the negative impacts of development projects on the environment. AB 2782 suggests that a lead agency consider the positive economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits, including region wide or statewide environmental benefits of a proposed project, and the potential negative impacts of denying the project, when evaluating a project undergoing environmental review.
AB 2802 – Expands the Insurance Payment Intercept Program which matches individuals who owe past-due child support with their insurance claims to verify that insurance payments made are first used to pay overdue child support. If less than 90% of insurers participate voluntarily in the intercept program the program becomes mandatory. While all states participate voluntarily in the federal version of this program, seven other states have opted to create a mandatory program. Texas saw an initial 184% increase in child support collections from insurance payments when they switched from a voluntary to a mandatory participation intercept program in 2009. In Texas's last fiscal year, the state intercepted payments totaled $65 million. As of 2017, there are 185 companies that voluntarily participate in California's intercept program. In fiscal year 2016-2017, the program intercepted approximately $3.9 million.
AB 2826 – California law currently provides guidelines for school districts to follow when considering a family's request to transfer schools, however, when a district is burdened with a high volume of requests, requests can be denied simply because the district ran out of time. AB 2826 updates the law to provide greater clarity to parents and school districts on the transfer process, including extending the window to consider transfers to 30 business days, granting districts and families a little more flexibility to get the transfer process right for students.
AB 2911 – Given the devastation of the 2017 wildfire season, it is imperative that we reevaluate and update our current fire safety measures. Over 1 million acres were burned, tens of thousands of infrastructures were destroyed, hundreds were evacuated or displaced from their homes, and 46 individuals lost their lives. In the wake of such destructive fires, California has often enacted responsive measures to try and curtail the risks associated with future wildfires. AB 2911 improves the fire safety of communities in high fire risk severity zones by updating past fire safety legislation to better reflect the severe nature of our recent wildfire seasons.
AB 2955 – The Rancho Master Plan, which borders the city of Glendale and Burbank, was created to protect the unique equestrian nature of the area, and has an extensive network of equestrian trails. Residents frequently travel through the community by horse, often traversing the same roads as vehicles. AB 2955 will allow the City of Burbank and Glendale, when setting speed limits on the public streets within the common-interest boundaries of Rancho Master Plan, to use equestrian safety as a safety-related factor in order to decrease posted speed limits.
AB 2975 - California has 1,362 miles of state-designated rivers in the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System – critical habitat for wildlife with extraordinary historical, cultural, and environmental value. As uncertainty mounts at the federal level, AB 2975 provides state protection for a federally-protected wild and scenic river if the federal government acts to eliminate federal protection for all or part of a river or acts to exempt the river from the federal provision that prohibits dams or major diversions on protected river segments.
AB 3098 – California's residential care facilities for the elderly serve tens of thousands older adults and adults with disabilities in communities across the state. While every facility is required to have a disaster plan in place whether they serve 6 or 600 residents, that plan is only effective if staff and residents know what to do during an emergency. AB 2098 requires all facilities to hold drills on a regular basis to ensure that when disaster strikes, whether it's a wildfire, earthquake, or a flood, everyone is ready.
AB 3162 – State-licensed residential alcohol and drug abuse treatment facilities with capacity of six or less persons are an important treatment model that enables the patients to be integrated into communities throughout the state. However, under existing regulations, residential licensing does not require that services permitted under a residential license are provided solely at the location where the State license is issued, creating a loophole that some licensees are exploiting by buying multiple houses in neighborhoods, often next door to each other, and combining services at multiple addresses to take advantage of economies of scale and make massive profits. AB 3162 reforms outdated regulations for the licensing of residential drug and alcohol treatment facilities to enable authority for the Department of Health Care Services to ensure compliance with existing licensing laws.
AB 3232 - Unlike electricity generation, there are no state goals or mandates specifically aimed at reducing the carbon emissions in our more than 13 million homes, apartments, and commercial buildings California. AB 3232 would get California on a path to require all new buildings after 2030 to be zero-emissions buildings. It also would require the state to establish a strategy to achieve a reduction in the emissions from the state's existing building stock of 50 percent below the 1990 levels by January 1, 2030.
2018 Authored Legislation
Protecting Our natural resources
AB 3170 – In order to make water conservation a way of life for all Californians, we need more incentives available to the average resident. AB 3170 encourages individuals to make water saving improvements in their homes and businesses through a statewide tax holiday that exempts water conservation products including WaterSense products, smart irrigation timers, drip equipment, mulch, and more, from sales and use taxes during the last weekend in March every year.
AB 3206 – California's ongoing drought is prompting a closer look at the use and management of the state's water resources. As important as water metering is, there are no performance standards for the use and efficiency of water meters installed in California. AB 3206 requires the California Energy Commission to set standards for the accuracy of water meters before installation and also requires the State Water Resources Control Board to establish requirements for testing the accuracy of installed water meters.
AB 1000 – Preserving California's vulnerable public lands and is a top priority as we work towards a more sustainable future. AB 1000 strengthens protections for the ecologically fragile Mojave Desert by ensuring any water transfers from desert groundwater basins do not adversely affect the region's natural or cultural resources, including vital groundwater or habitat.
AB 2648 – Because of the unique nature of water contamination, the length of time it often takes for a holding structure to fail and begin leaking, and the amount of time it takes to detect the effects of water contamination, it is necessary that California allow individuals a path to recover damages that result from such water contamination. Under existing law, any individual seeking damages for an injury resulting from a construction defect cannot bring such a claim unless the suit is brought within 10 years of completion of construction. An issue arises when the injury is caused by water contamination, which often takes years—sometimes decades—to detect. AB 2648 exempts damage claims that are the result of water contamination from the 10-year limitation.
AB 2828 – California's agricultural industry feeds the world, and as water resources for irrigation grow increasingly limited, farmers have been turning to new sources to irrigate their crops, including wastewater from the oil industry. To protect public health, AB 2828 requires the State Water Resources Control Board to determine whether utilizing oil wastewater for irrigation of crops and other beneficial uses is safe, before additional permits can be approved.
healthcare and public safety
AB 1560 – In clinics and hospitals across California, nurse practitioners provide critical health care services to millions. However, an arbitrary supervision ratio that limits the number of nurse practitioners that a physician can supervise to just four creates a significant barrier to providers hoping to staff their centers to meet the needs of the community. AB 1560 eliminates the ratio, easing access to quality health care, particularly in underserved communities.
AB 2340 – Foster youth in California are among our most vulnerable residents. When they fall victim to human trafficking, the challenges they're facing only become more significant. AB 2340 provides clarity in our justice system to ensure that foster youth that are victims of human trafficking retain access to all of the benefits and supports they're entitled to.
AB 2419 – After the Northridge quake in 1994, California put in place stricter building standards for hospitals. The seismic safety standards required hospitals large and small to retrofit their existing buildings and comply with stronger guidelines when building new structures. AB 2419 updates the reporting timeline used by the state to gauge how hospitals are complying with the new standards.
Housing and transportation
AB 2553 – California is in the middle of a housing crisis. AB 2553 bolsters housing development near transit by authorizing California jurisdictions to provide property tax reimbursements to encourage and enable compact and efficient housing projects in the one-half mile surrounding high-quality transit station areas.
AB 2246 – As technology evolves and innovations in transportation emerge, consumer protection measures need to keep pace. AB 2246 ensures that consumer protections applicable to rental car companies apply equally to personal vehicle sharing programs and ensure that airports and California's tourism program have authority over all forms of rental car companies.