Assemblymember Holden’s 2017 Bills Cleared State Assembly

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sacramento, CA – This week, six of Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bills passed off the Assembly Floor. These bills help low income students, enable more housing construction, protect energy customers and create solutions that help all Californians.  Ten of Assemblymember Holden’s bills are ready to advance to the State Senate. These bills include AB 17 which creates low cost transit passes for low income students; AB 56 which makes funds available to housing-related projects; AB 61 which reforms worker’s compensation; AB 279 which adjusts the rates of developmental disabilities service providers; AB 533 which increases penalty for off-road reckless driving; AB 726 which protects energy customers; AB 959 which increases regional center service transparency; AB 1180 which establishes a storm water compliance fund; AB 1239 which increases access to EV charging stations; and AB 1567 which streamlines foster youth enrollment in community colleges and universities.

Bill Highlights:

AB 17 will create low cost transportation passes for California’s low income students. The cost of getting to and from school adds pressure to the already skyrocketing cost of receiving a quality education. AB 17 will provide safe, reliable and low cost means for California students to get to class, reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and develop lifelong ridership habits among California’s high school and college students.

AB 56 will clarify which types of housing-related projects are available to fund through the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank).   I-Bank is authorized to fund and assist in a variety of projects that help spur economic development. However, I-Bank is prohibited from funding housing directly. This presents a grey area where the types of projects that may relate to housing, but are not housing in particular, might come into question on how the funds are being used. AB 56 pools together definitions to relieve ambiguity and clarify the types of housing-adjacent projects that could be funded by I-Bank in order to help incentivize housing in the long run.

AB 61 will require that one of the 11 seats on the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) Board of Directors have previous small business experience.  This member would ideally offer practical advice on the role that workers compensation has on small businesses across the state.

AB 279 will extend authority to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and regional centers to adjust the rates of developmental disabilities service providers to comply with local minimum wage ordinances. Current law prevents DDS or regional centers from adjusting service provider rates of reimbursement without specific statutory authority to do so.  Without an increase to reimbursement rates to meet local mandates, many services providers may have to shut their doors. AB 279 extends recognition to local ordinances raising minimum wage at a different pace than the state.

AB 1567 will authorize the Department of Social Services and County welfare departments to share the data of a foster youth once they are enrolled into college. Nationally, California has the largest population of foster care youth. Evidence shows that those who access resources early have higher chances of achieving academic success.  AB 1567 seeks to facilitate data sharing to increase the number of foster youth who enroll in and utilize campus support programs. It also streamlines the process by which a foster youth enrolls into educational assistance programs in a California Community College and a California State University.