California Latino Legislative Caucus Announces 2021 Legislative Priorities
The California Latino Legislative Caucus, led by Caucus Chair Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) and Vice-Chair Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), today announced the Latino Caucus’ 2021 legislative priorities.
“This last year has made very clear that many of our institutions - from the economy, to our public health systems, to our schools to name a few - are not working for Latino communities,” said Senator Durazo. “This year, the legislature must put these equities front and center in our policymaking and pass legislation that will bring about a just recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. These 17 bills prioritized by the Latino Caucus will uplift workers, strengthen our healthcare system, expand immigrants rights, reduce economic inequality, protect the environment, and improve our schools.”
“The pandemic has made very clear that many of our institutions - from the economy, to our public health systems, to our schools to name a few - are failing Latino communities,” said Senator Durazo. “Our legislative priorities address these inequities. These 17 bills prioritized by the Latino Caucus will uplift workers, strengthen our healthcare system, respect the contributions of immigrants, protect the environment, improve our schools and rebuild an economy where all Californians prosper."
"This past year has exposed and exacerbated the many inequities that Latinos across the state face on a multitude of issues: health care access, broadband access, economic opportunities, housing, and workers’ rights," said Asm. Rivas. "By advocating for policy change in these areas, we can create a stronger, more equitable California for everyone."
Members of the Latino Caucus voted to prioritize the following 17 bills for the 2021 legislative session:
Economic Equity/Tax Reform
AB 221 (Santiago) Emergency Food Assistance for All: This bill provides emergency food assistance to low-income families, regardless of immigration status, and requires the Department of Social Services to recommend ways to establish a permanent food assistance program for all food-insecure Californians.
SB 691 (Rubio) CalEITC Expansion: Low Wage Workers and Unpaid Caregivers: This bill permanently increases the California Earning Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) for workers excluded from the federal EITC and extends eligibility for the Young Child Tax Credit.
AB 101 (Medina) Ethnic Studies: This bill requires high schools to provide ethnic studies starting in academic year 2025-26 and requires students graduating in 2029-30 and thereafter to take one semester of ethnic studies.
AB 469 (Reyes) FAFSA and Dream Act Completion: This bill improves student access to college financial aid resources by requiring Local Education Agencies to ensure all high schools seniors complete the FAFSA or CADAA forms before graduating.
AB 1554 (Ramos) California Indian Education Act: This bill requires the grade school History-Social Science curriculum be revised to include instruction on the culture, history, and contributions of California’s Indian tribes.
AB 1 (C. Garcia) DTSC Reform: This bill seeks to make the Department of Toxic Substance Control more transparent and accountable by instituting reforms proposed by an Independent Review Panel.
AB 1500 (E. Garcia) Safe Drinking Water, Wildfire Prevention, Drought Preparation, Flood
Protection, Extreme Heat Mitigation, and Workforce Development Bond Act of 2022: This bill proposes a $6.7 billion bond to respond to the impacts of climate change. Disadvantaged and vulnerable communities are prioritized for bond investments.
AB 14 (Aguiar-Curry)/ SB 4 (Gonzalez) Broadband Access: These bills help bridge the digital divide by expediting access to reliable broadband service and addressing the diverse connectivity needs of all Californians.
Health Care Access
AB 4 (Arambula)/SB 56 (Durazo) Health for All: These bills expand health care access by ensuring that all low income adults/seniors, irrespective of immigration status, are eligible for full scope Medi-Cal coverage.
New American/Immigrant Rights
AB 937 (Carrillo) VISION Act: This bill protects individuals deemed eligible for release from jails and prisons from facing additional punishment in the immigration detention system by prohibiting transfers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without a federal warrant.
AB 1096 (L. Rivas) Replace Alien with Non-Citizen in State Statutes: This bill combats negative stereotypes and racial animus by replacing all references of “alien” in state statute with “non-citizen.”
SB 714 (Caballero) County Central Committees: Undocumented Delegates: This bill allows DREAMers and other aspiring citizens to be appointed and/or elected to a delegate position with a county central committee.
Worker Rights/Workplace Safety
AB 73 (R. Rivas) Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protection Act: This bill protects farmworkers and other agricultural workers from wildfire smoke by providing resources for specialized Cal/OSHA strike teams, bilingual educational materials and stockpiles of protective masks.
AB 1074 (Gonzalez) Rehire and Retention Rights for Laid-off Hospitality Workers: This bill protects jobs and supports economic recovery by ensuring employees in the hospitality industry, specifically those laid-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are rehired to their previous jobs when their employer reopens.
SB 321 (Durazo) Domestic Worker Health & Safety: This bill extends basic labor protections, particularly those in California’s Occupational Safety and Health Act, to privately paid “household domestic service” employees.
PDF versions of the legislative priorities, contacts for the offices of the bill’s authors, and the guiding principles of the Latino Caucus can be found here.
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