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Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California 2016 Supported California State Legislation

August 1, 2016 News

California is home to the nation’s largest Asian American and second-largest Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (NHPI) populations. Asian Americans are the fastest growing immigrant community in California and the greater United States. This population makes up nearly 16% of the total state population, and by the November 2016 elections, the Asian American, Native, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community will make up 11% of the state electorate. The AANHPI community is incredibly complex and diverse; while each community has their own language, culture, and history, many of these communities face similar challenges in this state and nation. For instance, language access remains a major issues for the AANHPI community. 1.7 million Asian Americans statewide are limited English proficient (LEP), an 11% increase since 2000. Over 23% of Asian American households in California are linguistically isolated. Language barriers could prevent AANHPI community members from accessing state services, from finding employment, and even from voting.

We also find that specific AANHPI communities may face challenges unique to their community when we disaggregate AANHPI data. While some AANHPIs are among the most educated statewide, data from the American Community Survey show that Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian, Vietnamese, and Fijian American adults 25 years and older are less likely than the average Californian adult to have a high school diploma. Although many Asian Americans are enrolled in college, NHPI, Laotian, Filipino, Cambodian, Pakistani, Indonesian, and Bangladeshi American students have below-average admission rates to the University of California.

Taking these nuances into account, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California has taken support positions for the following legislation that addresses the many needs of the AANHPI community:

Criminal Justice Reform

AB 813 (Gonzalez)
Creates a mechanism of post-conviction relief for a person to vacate a conviction or sentence based on error damaging his or her ability to meaningfully understand, defend against, or knowingly accept the immigration consequences of the conviction. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown

AB 2195 (Bonilla) Crimes: felony murder data
Requires District Attorneys to collect data on the number of persons, by race and gender, charged with and convicted of felony murder, and report the data annually to the Department of Justice (DOJ) beginning July 1, 2017. This bill requires DOJ to incorporate this information, disaggregated by county, race and gender, on its annual report related to homicides. Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee

AB 2298 (Weber) Gang Database
Will require local law enforcement departments to notify people when they are added to a shared gang database, including the statewide CalGang Database; enable people to inquire as to their status on a database, to challenge their designation if they are no longer involved or have never belonged to a gang, to have a clear process for removal, and to be notified if they are removed. The bill also requires the State Department of Justice to report how many people are added and removed from gang databases by age, race, gender and geography on an annual basis. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

AB 2590 (Weber) Restorative Justice
Revises existing legislative declarations concerning the purpose of punishment to instead state that the purpose of sentencing is public safety achieved through accountability, rehabilitation, and restorative justice, as specified. Finds that programs should be available for inmates, including but not limited to, educational programs that are designed to prepare all offenders for successful reentry into the community. Encourages the development of policies and programs designed to educate and rehabilitate all offenders. Encourages the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to allow all inmates the opportunity to enroll in programs that promote successful return to the community. Replaces the word “punishment” with the word “sentence” in the statute that the bill amends. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

AB 2765 (Weber) Amend Prop 47
Proposes to amend Prop 47 (PC section 1170.18) so that the filing deadline for a Prop 47 petition (i.e., felony resentence) or application (i.e., felony reclassification) is extended to November 4, 2022, or a later date upon a showing of good cause. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 443 (Mitchell) Forfeiture: assets: controlled substances
Requires additional due process protection in cases where the State of California seeks to forfeit assets in connection with specified drug offenses and requires a criminal conviction when property/money forfeited under federal law is distributed to state or local law enforcement. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 881 (Hertzberg) Vehicles: violations
Stops the use of license suspensions as a means of collecting court-ordered debt. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 966 (Mitchell) Controlled substances: sentence enhancements: prior convictions
Limits the current three year enhancement for prior conviction of specified controlled substance offenses to convictions for the manufacture of a controlled substance, or using or employing a minor in the commission of specified controlled substance offenses. Status: Failed in Assembly Public Safety

SB 1157 (Mitchell) Incarcerated persons; visitation
Prohibits local correctional facilities and juvenile facilities from replacing in- person visits with video or other types of electronic visitation. Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown.

SB 1242 (Lara) Sentencing; misdemeanors
Retroactively applies the provision of law defining one year as 364 days for the purposes of sentencing. Specifically, this bill: 1) States that the reduced sentence applies to all convictions entered before the effective date, even final judgments and provides that a person previously sentenced to one year in county jail may file a motion in the trial court requesting to be resentenced to a period not to exceed 364 days. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1286 (Leno) Peace Officers: records of misconduct
Provides greater public access to peace officer and custodial officer personnel records and other records maintained by a state or local agency related to complaints against those officers. This bill would require additional information to be provided in a written notification to a complaining party of the disposition of a complaint against a peace officer or custodial officer. Status: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee


AB 1721 (Medina) Student financial aid: Cal Grant Program
Increases amount of Cal grants from 25,750 to 34,000 and expands Cal grant award money opportunities for California Community College students. Status: Held in Senate Appropriations Suspense File

AB 1741 (Rodriguez) California Community Colleges Promise Program
Establishes California College Promise Innovation Grant for California Community Colleges to establish or expand regional programs for college preparation. Program to be administered by the California Community College Chancellor’s office and to work in partnership with K-12 school districts and public universities in California. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

AB 2364 (Holden) Public postsecondary education: exemption from nonresident tuition
Requires CCC to exempt undocumented students currently enrolled in dual enrollment programs from paying non-resident fees. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

AB 2598 (Ting) Lunar New Year
Require the Governor to annually commemorate Lunar New Year and encourage public schools to hold commemorative activities. Status: Held Senate Education Committee

AB 2548 (Weber) School accountability: statewide accountability system
Lays the foundation for California’s new accountability system and strengthens efforts to close opportunity and achievement gaps in our schools. This bill ensures alignment between the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and federal law, and it offers parents, educators, and other education stakeholders critical information on the performance of schools and districts using multiple measures. This legislation also guides the work of county offices of education and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) by ensuring that data on all of the state priorities is used to align the level of support and assistance to the needs of the local educational agency or individual schools. Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown.

AB 2726 (McCarty) Personal income taxes: credit: Scholarshare account contributions
Allows a credit under the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Law for contributions made to one or more ScholarShare account. Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee

SB 906 (Beall) Public postsecondary education: priority enrollment systems
Current laws require CSU, CCC and requests UC to give priority enrollment to foster youth, students with disabilities, and low-income students. This bill removes the sunset date of Jan 1, 2017 and changes eligibility for priority enrollment to include foster youth in foster care after their 16th birthday and under the age of 26 during registration. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1050 (De Leon) – College Readiness.
SB 1050 “expands the pie” of educational opportunity by expanding University of California (UC) enrollment slots so that more California students of all backgrounds can attend the UC. SB 1050 also creates a pipeline of educational opportunity and success from K-12 through graduation from the UC by supporting the college readiness and eligibility of low income, high need students; giving qualified high need students (low income, English learners, foster youth) of all backgrounds a fair shot at attending the UC; and providing resources and support to promote student success and graduation from college. Status: The policies for SB 1050 were enacted in the 2016 – 2017 California State Budget through AB 1602 and SB 828.


SB 1107 (Allen) Political Reform Act of 1974
Allows state and local governments to offer public campaign financing programs. Prohibits, under state law, foreign governments and foreign principals from making contributions and expenditures in connection with candidate elections. Increases the maximum monetary penalties for unlawful foreign contributions and expenditures. Limits the uses of campaign funds that are held by public officials who have been convicted of various public trust crimes. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1288 (Leno) Elections: local voting methods
Authorizes a general law city, a general law county, or an educational district, as specified, to conduct a local election using ranked choice voting (RCV), as specified. Permits a general law city, a school district, and a district not formed for municipal purposes to elect a candidate for nonpartisan office at a primary election by majority vote, instead of a plurality vote, as specified. Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown.


AB 2077 (Burke & Bonilla) Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention Act
Establishes policies and procedures to ensure that people move seamlessly between Medi-Cal and Covered California. Prohibits Medi-Cal benefits from being terminated until at least 20 days after the county sends the notice of action terminating Medi-Cal eligibility if the individual is eligible to enroll in a qualified health plan through Covered California, to the extent federal financial participation is available. Establishes application processing timelines for counties for individuals who were enrolled in Covered California and who are determined newly eligible for Medi-Cal through the application processing system known as the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System. Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown.

SB 10 (Lara) Health For All
This bill requires Covered California to apply to the United States Department of Health and Human Services for a Section 1332 waiver to allow persons who are not otherwise able to obtain coverage through Covered California by reason of immigration status to obtain coverage from Covered California by waiving the requirement that Covered California offer only qualified health plans. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1139 (Lara) Health professionals: medical residency programs: undocumented immigrants: scholarships, loans, and loan repayment
Makes eligible any student, including a person without lawful immigration status, and/or a person who is exempt from nonresident tuition, who meets the requirements for admission, to participate in a medical school program and a medical residency training program. Prohibits specified grant and loan forgiveness programs from denying an application based on an applicant’s’ citizenship or immigration status. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.


AB 2819 (Chiu) Unlawful detainer proceedings
This bill modifies the 60-day masking period in unlawful detainer actions to restrict access to court records generated by these proceedings unless the plaintiff prevails in the action within 60 days of filing the complaint. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1053 (Leno) Housing discrimination: section 8 applications
Increase the protections against housing discrimination on the basis of one’s source of income under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) by revising the definition of “source of income” to include lawful, verifiable income paid to a housing owner or landlord on behalf of a tenant, including federal, state, or local public assistance or housing subsidies, including, but not limited to, federal housing assistance vouchers under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as specified. Status: Held in Senate Appropriations

Immigrant Rights

AB 1770 (Alejo) Food assistance program: eligibility
This bill extends eligibility for nutrition assistance under the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to a noncitizen who is lawfully present in the United States, provided he or she meets all remaining eligibility requirements. Status: Vetoed by Governor Brown.

AB 2159 (Gonzalez) Evidence: Immigration Status
This bill provides that in a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death, evidence of a person’s immigration status shall not be admitted into evidence, nor shall discovery into a person’s immigration status be permitted, except as specified. This bill provides that it does not affect the standards of relevance, admissibility, or discovery under existing law, which recognize that such inquiries can be allowed where the person seeking to make the inquiry has shown by clear and convincing evidence that the inquiry is necessary in order to comply with federal immigration law. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

One California Budget Item
Supported an increase from $15 million to $40 million for the “One California” Immigration Services Program. Through this historic new state program established in the 2015-2016 California State Budget, qualified nonprofits, who meet specific criteria and guidelines, may apply for grants to provide education, outreach, and application assistance to immigrant community members eligible for either deferred action programs or naturalized citizenship. Status: The program funding increased from $15 million to $30 million in the California State Budget.


AB 2667 (Thurmond) Civil Rights: Unruh Civil Rights Act: waivers
Ensures that all Californians enjoy the full benefit of the rights, penalties, remedies, forums, and procedures established by the Unruh Civil Rights Act and that individuals shall not be deprived of those rights, penalties, remedies, forums, or procedures through the use of involuntary or coerced waivers. Status: Failed on Assembly Floor

Equal Access Fund Budget Item
Supported an additional $10 million for the Equal Access Fund (EAF). The EAF provides a crucial supplement to other public and private funds available in California for the nonprofit legal aid providers striving to meet the civil legal needs of the low-income, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Equal Access Fund grants allow for providers to support these clients with free civil legal services. Status: The California State Budget approved an additional $5 million of one time funds to the EAF.

Language Access

AB 2809 (Rodriguez) Developmental services: regional centers
Require regional centers to provide various documents in threshold languages of a consumer and the consumer’s family, as specified, including documents related to the Individual Program Plan or Individual Family Service Plan. It also requires a regional center to consider any barriers to a parent participating in intensive behavioral supports and to document those barriers every six months and adjust requirements, as specified. Status: Senate Floor Inactive File

Worker Rights

AB 1066/AB 2757 (Gonzalez) Farmworker Overtime
Establishes the Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016 to provide overtime pay incrementally to California farmworkers over four years so that by 2020, workers that work more than eight hours a day, or 40 hours a week, will be paid one and one-half times that employee’s regular rate of pay. Status: AB 2757 Failed on Assembly Floor, AB 1066 was into law by Governor Brown.

AB 2125 (Chiu) Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program
Requires the California Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop and publish guidelines for local governments to implement local healthy nail salon recognition programs with specified criteria, including the use of less toxic nail polishes and polish removers and improved ventilation. Requires DPH to develop awareness campaigns and post specified information on its Internet Web site. Permits DPH to prioritize its outreach to counties with the greatest number of nail salons. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1001 (Mitchell) Employment: unfair practices
Strengthens and reinforces existing federal and state laws that prohibit an employer from engaging in “unfair immigration-related practices,” including requiring more documentation than is necessary to establish an immigrant’s work authorization under federal law, threatening to report an employee to immigration or other authorities, or retaliating against a worker for exercising any right afforded to him or her under state or local laws. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 1015 (Leyva) Domestic work employees: labor standards
Deletes the sunset date on the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which granted overtime compensation to specified domestic workers. Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown. Nail Salon Workers Budget Item

There are approximately 8,000 nail salons operating in California with over 95,000 licensed nail salon workers. Employees are commonly misclassified as independent contractors and frequently earn less than minimum wage while working long hours without overtime pay or regular meal or rest breaks. Advancing Justice – California supported an increase of $1 million to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office which would provide $400,000 for administration and labor enforcement and $600,000 for education for nail salon owners and workers of current labor laws. Status: The California State Budget directs the Department of Industrial Relations to develop a report to examine workplace labor violations within the nail salon industry and report its findings to the legislature by March 31, 2017. The report will also include strategies on education for nail salon owners and workers.

For more information or question, please contact Andrew Medina, California Policy Manager for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, at (916) 448-6700 or amedina@advancingjustice-ca.org