SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined the California Legislative Women's Caucus today to sign legislation that improves services and support for women, children and families in California. The bills signed today included seven of the eight bills the Caucus had legislative priorities as part of their Stronger California agenda.
"The Legislative Women's Caucus is the crossroads where all perspectives unite to represent California," said Cristina Garcia, Chair of the California Legislative Women's Caucus. "Our priorities uplift all women--half of the population in California and the Nation-- through equal opportunity, access to childcare, family friendly workplaces and protecting vulnerable communities. What's good for women is good for California and the economy."
The Caucus announced their ongoing commitment to advancing childcare needs for Californians in the next legislative session beginning January 3, 2018 when all bills signed today will go into effect. Two additional Women’s Caucus member bills were also signed Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s AB 10 and Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio’s AB 557.
“The Legislative Women's Caucus is once again paving the way toward a better California, and today's actions will make a positive difference for women, children and families across the state,” said Governor Brown.
The Governor signed the following bills today:
SB 500 by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) expands the crime of extortion to include demands for sexual activity and images of intimate body parts. Governor Brown signed SB 500 on October 5, 2017.
“I am proud the Governor signed SB 500. By signing this bill, California is telling sextortion victims that they matter and that they absolutely deserve to be able to receive justice in a court of law,” said Senator Leyva.
SB 63 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) increases workplace protections for new parents who work for small businesses. The bill provides 12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave for Californians who work for companies with 20 to 49 employees and protects these new parents from losing their jobs and health care benefits.
“This is a great victory for working parents and children in California, and I am grateful to the Governor for signing this bill into law. With more women in the workforce, and more parents struggling to balance work and family responsibilities, our policies must catch up to the realities of our economy and the daily lives of working families. No one should have to choose between caring for their newborn and keeping their job,” said Senator Jackson.
AB 10 by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) requires public schools serving low-income students in grades 6 to 12 to provide feminine hygiene products in half of the school’s bathrooms at no charge.
“By signing this bill the Governor sends a clear message that California values and respects all aspects of a woman’s health and education. Menstrual products are medical necessities and it is important we recognize not having access to these products impacts a young girl’s education. I’ve heard stories from many young girls that struggle with their period on a monthly basis, affecting their schooling, morale, and health,” said chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus Assemblymember Garcia.
AB 168 by Assemblymember Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) prohibits all employers, including the Legislature, the state and local governments, from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment and requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request.
"The practice of seeking or requiring the salary history of job applicants helps perpetuate wage inequality that has spanned generations of women in the workforce. AB 168 is a needed step to ensure that my 9-year-old daughter, and all women, can be confident that their pay will be based on their abilities and not their gender," said Assemblymember Eggman.
AB 273 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) expands the eligibility criteria for subsidized child care services to parents who are taking English as a second language or high school equivalency courses.
“One of my goals as a legislator is to support women. An essential part of doing that is to ensure that women and their families have access to affordable child care. AB 273 is going to allow more parents to finish their GED, learn English, enter job training, and pursue higher education. This is a big victory for California families,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry.
AB 480 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) provides CalWORKs welfare-to-work participants assistance with diaper costs for children under three years old. A signing message can be found here.
"Whether it's single mothers who are trying to hold down a job or one of the thousands of women who are sexually assaulted each year, the work of the Women's Caucus and Governor Brown's signature today show California is again leading the way when it comes to protecting women who need it the most,” said Assemblymember Gonzalez Fletcher.
AB 557 by Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) makes CalWORKS homeless benefits immediately available to applicants who are victims of domestic violence.
“My bill increases access to needed services and helps ensure that timely actions are taken to help survivors who need financial and housing assistance in order leave an abusive home. Like many Californians, I have seen first-hand the impact domestic violence has on families and communities – I know we can and will do more for women, men and children who need help escaping their violent environment. I applaud Governor Brown for taking action today to help stop the cycle of abuse,” said Assemblymember Rubio.
AB 1312 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) extends the amount of time that rape kits and forensic evidence must be kept and adds specific rights for rape survivors to California law.
AB 1386 by Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) provides patients with information relating to breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) mutations in order to inform treatment decisions and increase genetic counseling and screening rates.
"Women with newly diagnosed breast or ovarian cancer who may have a genetic mutation often don't get testing, or even a chance to speak with a genetic counselor who would help them weigh the necessity of such a test. Genomic testing is vital as it can guide treatment options for these women to give them the best possible odds of survival,” said Assemblymember Waldron.
The California Legislative Women’s Caucus is the only bipartisan, bicameral caucus in the legislature whose members also represent Californians in every other state legislative caucus.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
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