SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, members of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus (LWC) announced a robust package of legislation and budget action items to further improve the lives of women and their families, as well as the economic future of communities across the state.
In recent years, the Women’s Caucus has led the way to help pass the nation’s strongest equal pay law for women, expand access to child care, repeal the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) Rule and many other woman and family oriented efforts.
“The hardworking members of the Women’s Caucus continue to lead vital efforts in the Legislature to improve the daily lives of women, children and families in California,” said Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. “I am particularly excited about the broad scope of important bills that our members are spearheading this year. Just as the Women’s Caucus has prioritized and helped to successfully pass several significant bills and budget actions in previous years, I am confident that the vast majority—if not all—of these 2019 priorities will become a reality.”
Five pillars reinforce the Legislative Women’s Caucus’ priority legislation and budget action for 2019: Workplace equity, family-friendly policies, access to child care, health & safety and protecting vulnerable communities.
“California runs a 24-hour-a-day workforce, but our child care options for working families do not meet that need, nor support those who provide child care. This bill professionalizes and creates stability for family child care providers by bringing workers to the decision-making table,” noted Legislative Women’s Caucus Vice Chair Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara).
- AB 378 (Limón) – Gives child care providers the right to collectively bargain with the State of California and to advocate for the children and families they serve.
“Strong family friendly workplace policies keep women in the workforce and ensure that no one has to choose between caring for a newborn or sick family member and earning a living. Together, these bills will ensure that California remains at the forefront when it comes to family focused policies that support women, families and our economy,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara).
- SB 135 (Jackson) – Ensures that nearly all Californians who pay into the state’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program can use it without fear of job loss; that more newborns can receive individual at-home care for their first six months of life; and ensure that California’s leave laws reflect the state’s diverse, intergenerational family, and caregiving needs.
- AB 24 (Burke) – Enacts the Targeted Child Tax Credit which would provide increased support for California families living in poverty.
- AB 196 (Gonzalez) – Ensures workers utilizing the state’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program can receive 100 percent wage replacement during the period of their leave.
Access to Child Care
“A good child care system for California is one that recognizes high quality continuity of care for children; honors and facilitates the workforce to continue to learn and grow to better serve children; and recognizes the need for a fair wage within a unified and coherent system. The child care bills that members of the Legislative Women’s Caucus are supporting this year will help pave the way for a vision where all children and working parents can thrive,” stated Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles).
- SB 174 (Leyva) – Addresses ongoing problems with the bifurcated rates within the Early Care and Education (ECE) system by establishing a single regionalized reimbursement rate system for child care, preschool, and early learning services.
- SB 321 (Mitchell) – Aligns CalWORKs Stage 1 child care rules with all other subsidized child care programs in California, including Stage 2 and 3.
- AB 324 (Aguiar-Curry) – Creates guidelines for an Early Care and Education (ECE) professional development and retention system to strengthen, recruit, and retain the ECE workforce.
Health & Safety
“The Caucus has long prioritized the health of women and girls. As we move forward, we continue this path with AB 31 removing taxes from menstrual products and with my own bill, AB 577, recognizing maternal mental health isn’t confined to the first sixty days after pregnancy. Additionally, SB 464 by Senator Mitchell recognizes and addresses clear inequities in pregnancy and birth outcomes for black women and children by requiring implicit bias training for all perinatal providers in hospitals and birthing clinics and also requires data collection by the Department of Public Health,” noted Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton).
- SB 464 (Mitchell) – Recognizes and addresses clear inequities in pregnancy and birth outcomes for black women and children by requiring implicit bias training for all perinatal providers in hospitals and birthing clinics; also requires data collection by the Department of Public Health.
- AB 31 (Garcia) – Repeals the sales tax on menstrual products.
- AB 577 (Eggman) – Extends Medi-Cal postpartum care from 60 days to one year for women diagnosed with a maternal mental health disorder, ensuring no gap in coverage and maintaining continuity of care.
Protecting Vulnerable Communities
“When women lead, we lift each other and our entire communities up. My bill, AB 629, and SB 611 by Senator Anna Caballero seek to protect two of our most vulnerable communities, helping victims of human trafficking rebuild their lives, and creating a plan to meet the growing need for affordable, accessible housing for our seniors. I am honored to carry just one bill in a comprehensive, intersectional, and far-reaching package of legislative priorities that speaks to the breadth and diversity of the women who make up our caucus and the women we represent across the state,” said Assemblymember Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita).
- SB 611 (Caballero) – Calls on the Governor’s Office to establish the Master Plan for Aging’s Housing Older Persons Effectively (HOPE) Task Force.
- AB 629 (Smith) – Creates parity within the California Victim Compensation Program for victims of human trafficking by allowing them to receive compensation for their direct economic losses.