Stern Bills Move on Wildfire, Climate, Health, Education & Accountability

June 7, 2021

Sacramento –The following 12 bills by Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles) in areas of homelessness, mental health, worker safety, climate change, wildlife, and accountability for taxpayer-funded nursing homes, power shut offs, and oil/gas pollution  passed off the California State Senate floor last week. 

SB 693--Never Again Education Act revitalizes public school education about the Holocaust and other genocides to stop rising anti-Semitism and other hate crimes with new tools and funding for teacher and student to use on campus when acts of hate occur.

SB 284 Mental Health Care for First Responders Act destigmatizes post traumatic stress injuries and rising suicide rates among 911 operators, law enforcement officers, and firefighters, by presuming they are telling the truth when they apply for workers’ compensation for mental health injuries suffered on the job. See Healing Our Own.  Co-sponsored by California Statewide Law Enforcement, Peace Officers’ Research Association of California, California Professional Firefighters  and California Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.

SB 317 Mental Health Alternatives to Incarceration-Based Care for Defendants ensures defendants deemed incompetent due to mental health issues are given credit for time served in mental health treatment facilities, not just jail.  Co-sponsored by Los Angeles County and California Public Defenders.

SB 63 The Wildfire Resilience through Community and Ecology Act empowers people to fight climate change with volunteer training for local fire corps, home hardening, removal of flammable invasive plants (like roadside mustard), and nature-based fire breaks like live oaks and other plants native to the chaparral. See Wildfire grant unveiled

SB 12 The Fire Safe California Act would require local governments to adopt stronger fire standards and aim to reduce development pressure in the Wilderness Urban Interface (WUI). This is a compromise from earlier more restrictive legislation.  See The Straightforward Way to Make California’s Wildfires Less Deadly

SB 423 The Grid Reliability through Clean Energy Act charts a different path than Texas to deal with extreme climate-driven blackouts by building zero carbon baseload power to replace old fossil fuel and nuclear plants that not only pollute, but have shut down during heat waves and cold snaps. See LA clean energy plan: Cut natural gas, fight climate change.  Sponsored by the Clean Power Campaign.

SB 551 The California Electric Vehicle Authority would position us as the global leader not just in buying clean cars but in jobs and investment in manufacturing batteries, cars, buses and trucks, and constructing charging infrastructure. See Welcome to Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator - LACI. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Clean-Tech Incubator and the Transportation Energy Partnership.

SB 790 The Keep California Wild Act ensures that as we build more transportation and housing we keep the California wild side thriving with habitat connectivity like the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Corridors.

SB 650 The Corporate Transparency in Elder Care Act would require for-profit nursing home corporations making billions from taxpayer-funded Medical and Medicare to disclose their transactions and financial structure to regulators. See Washington Post -- profit & pain in California's for-profit nursing home Industry. Co-sponsored by SEIU California and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

SB 406 The Neighborhood Oil & Gas Drilling Community Rights Act gives all Californians living near oil and gas, whether they’re a homeowner or a renter or unhoused, a voice with state regulators, and access to maps of hidden well sites and their pollution and enforcement history.  See ProPublica--Are California Oil Companies Complying with the Law?

SB 533 The Public Safety Power Shutoff Prevention and Disclosure Act forces utilities to disclose their plans to reduce the risks of PSPS events with communities, small businesses, schools and local governments.

SB 419 The Oil & Gas Workforce Safety Act ensures that the workers who clean up and manage our oil and gas sites around California aren't outsourced or paid substandard wages.  See Green Stimulus for Oil and Gas Workers: Considering a Major Federal Effort to Plug Orphaned and Abandoned Wells - Research Projects

SB 480 reforms the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to address sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct by board members, officers, and employees. See Women faced harassment in MWD apprentice program