Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

California

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California 
2016 Supported California State Legislation 

 
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.
Requires 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, and to have access to a court hearing if they feel the process for challenging their designation was unfair. The bill also requires the State Department of Justice to report on an annual basis how many people are added and removed from shared gang databases by age, race, gender and geography.  
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.
Reign in abuses surrounding the practice to civil asset forfeiture, and reestablish the most basic tenets of Constitutional law and values, requiring that in most cases, a defendant be convicted of an underlying crime before cash or property can be permanently seized. This bill will require that more drug asset forfeiture cases be handled under state law, rather than transferred to federal courts, and that seized assets are dispersed to local law enforcement agencies, courts, defenders, prosecutors and the General Fund, pursuant to state law.  
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown
 
SB 881 (Hertzberg) Vehicles: violations.          
Extends the deadline for the traffic fine amnesty program created in the 2015 budget from March 31, 2017, to January 1, 2018. The amnesty program has been highly successful by restoring driver’s licenses to more than 100,000 Californians and the courts have resolved more than 132,000 delinquent debt cases in just the first seven months of the program.
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.
Requires a local detention facility that elects to utilize video or other types of electronic devices for inmate visitations to also provide an inmate with in-person visitation that meets or surpasses the minimum number of weekly visits required by those regulations for a person detained in the facility. If a local detention facility does not have existing space available for in-person visitation, the bill would require the facility to comply no later than January 1, 2022.  
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 
 
 
Education
 
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 
AB 2864 (Chau) Pupil instruction: Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882: Chinese Americans’ contributions to establishment of transcontinental railroad.
Ensures that students in California receive instruction in their History and Social Science Curriculum regarding the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the contributions made by Chinese Americans in establishing the Transcontinental Railroad.
Status:  Signed into law by Governor Brown. 
 
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. 
 
 
Elections          
 
SB 1107 (Allen) Political Reform Act of 1974.
Expand the options for local governments to respond to voters’ concerns about campaign financing.  The bill would permit local governments or the state, if they so choose, to enact laws that create public campaign financing programs, as long as they meet specified requirements for fairness and accountability.  It would not on its own create any new programs or require any government to do so, but would simply restore local control to decide.  With this change, local governments would have the flexibility to tailor campaign finance policies to local concerns and conditions.
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. 
 
 
Health
 
AB 1726 (Bonta) - AHEAD Act 
Directs the Department of Public Health to disaggregate data for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community on or after July 1, 2022.  AB 1726 will illuminate health disparities within AANHPI communities by requiring the Department of Public Health (DPH) to disaggregate demographic data it collects and reports, such as rates for major diseases, leading causes of death per demographic, subcategories for leading causes of death in California overall, pregnancy rates, or housing numbers. This breakdown in data will have a positive impact on the overall health of the AANHPI community in California.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown. 
 
AB 2077 (Burke & Bonilla) Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention Act. 
This bill would put policies and procedures in place to ensure that people move seamlessly between Medi-Cal and Covered California. AB 2077 facilitates better transitions between the two programs by setting up a clear process for notifying consumers when their Medi-Cal or Covered California coverage ends and giving them sufficient time to enroll in another program. The bill also sets up a process and timeframe for determining Medi-Cal eligibility and facilitating plan enrollment when a consumer moves from Covered California to Medi-Cal. The bill ensures consumers can move seamlessly between these two programs without disrupting their coverage and care.  
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.
Seeks to address the chronic shortage of medical professionals in underserved communities by ensuring that all people, regardless of their immigration status, have access to the state’s scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for health professionals. This bill also specifies applicants may not be denied from pursuing a medical degree and other healing arts residency training programs simply because of their immigration status.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown. 
 
 
Housing            
 
AB 2819 (Chiu)  Unlawful detainer proceedings.
Keep tenant records private unless landlords prevail within 60 days of filing eviction lawsuits or win a judgment at trial during or after the 60 day period. The legislation would also ensure that landlords retain access to information they need when making rental decisions and build on California’s efforts to promote fair access to court records.
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.  
 
 
Judiciary           
 
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.
Removes the exemption for agricultural employees regarding hours, meal breaks, and other working conditions, including specified wage requirements, and would create a schedule that would phase in overtime requirements for agricultural workers over the course of 4 years, from 2019 to 2022, inclusive. Beginning January 1, 2022, the bill would require any work performed by a person, employed in an agricultural occupation, in excess of 12 hours in one day to be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the employee’s regular rate of pay. The bill would provide employers who employ 25 or fewer employees an additional 3 years to comply with the phasing in of these overtime requirements.
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 Department of Toxic Substances Control to publish guidelines for cities, counties, and cities and counties to voluntarily implement local healthy nail salon recognition (HNSR) programs. The bill would allow the guidelines to include, but not be limited to, specified criteria, such as the potential for exposure of nail salon workers and customers to chemicals. The bill would also require the department to develop a consumer education program, present the guidelines to local health officers, local environmental health departments, and other local agencies, and post specified information on its Internet Web site.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown. 
 
SB 1001 (Mitchell) Employment: unfair practices.          
Protects immigrant workers by prohibiting employers from requesting specific documentation not required by the I-9 form or refusing to accept legally acceptable documents at the time of hiring- a discriminatory practice known as “document abuse.”  It would also prohibit employers from refusing to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of status that accompanies the authorization to work, or to reinvestigate or re-verify an incumbent employee's authorization to work.This bill would create a state remedy for this unfair labor practice that targets immigrant workers.  
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown. 
 
SB 1015 (Leyva) Domestic work employees: labor standards.  
Defends overtime equity and support dignified labor standards for California’s domestic workers. SB 1015 continues the success of AB 241 (2013), which granted overtime protections to privately employed domestic workers. This bill would remove the sunset provision and make the law’s provisions permanent.
Status: Signed into law by Governor Brown. 
 

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.