State Policy Update: June 18th, 2013

Update provided by Anais Dodson, Research and Evaluation Intern 

AB5: Homeless Bill of Rights
Status : The bill is currently in the committee and as of May 24, 20013, is set for a second hearing. Held under submission.
AB5 would stand against locally passed laws that target mostly homeless people for crimes such as sleeping, standing, sitting, and even food-sharing in certain locations. This is happening in various municipalities in California and all over the country. AB 5 provides that no person’s rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied or abridged because he or she is homeless, has a low income, or suffers from a mental illness or physical disability.

SB 283: Successful ReEntry and Access to Jobs
Status: As of May 30,2013 the bill passed the senate and is currently in the Assembly Human Services Committee. It has been read for the first time and being held at desk.
SB283 authorizes CalFresh benefits to be paid to an individual who was convicted with past drug felonies by a state or federal court after December 31, 1997. It has been amended citing “If the county social services agency receives verification that the individual’s supervised release has been revoked, the individual shall become ineligible for CalFresh benefits under this section for the duration of the revocation period.” As of May 30,2013 the bill passed the senate and is currently in the Assembly Human Services Committee.

AB551: Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act
Status: As of June 6, 2013 the bill continues to reside in the Senate and has recently been scheduled for hearings on June 26, 2013 under the Governance and Finance Committee.
AB551 would authorize a county, or a city and county, and a landowner to enter into a contract to allow for the use of vacant land for small-scale production of agricultural crops. The bill would require a contract be for a term of no less than 5 years and to enforceably restrict property that is at least 0.10 acres in size. The bill would also require the county assessor to consider the Act, when valuing the land for taxation purposes.

AB 191: Strengthening the Connection Between CalFresh and MediCal
STATUS: This bill proposed by Assembly member Bocanegra is currently under review by the Senate’s Committee on Human Services.
AB191 would require the State Department of Social Services to raise the maximum gross income allowed for any individual who is eligible for CalFresh and who is a member of a household that receives, or is eligible to receive, medical assistance under the Medi-Cal program.

SB 622: Taxing Sugary Drinks to Fund Childhood Obesity Prevention
STATUS: As of May 23,2013 SB 622 is currently held in the Senate Appropriations Committee and under submission.
In response to the obesity epidemic SB 622 known as the Sweetened Beverage Tax Law would  funnel collected monies to create the Children’s Health Promotion Fund in efforts to diminish the human and economic costs of obesity and dental disease in California. The bill would tax a penny per fluid ounce to every distributor of bottled sweetened beverages at a rate of $0.01 per fluid ounce. A penny per ounce will also be taxed for for distributing concentrates, either as concentrate or as sweetened beverages derived from that concentrate.