Home California Sen. Cortese’s Bills on Affordable Housing, Public Health & More Head to the Governor’s Desk

Sen. Cortese’s Bills on Affordable Housing, Public Health & More Head to the Governor’s Desk

by ECT

Several bills authored by California State Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) have advanced to the Governor’s desk as this year’s legislative session came to a close earlier this evening.

Headed to the Governor’s Desk:

  • AB 1171 – Ending the Spousal Rape Exception
  • SB 564 – Santa Clara County Hospitals
  • SB 780 – Local Economic Development; Funding for Affordable Housing
  • SB 791 – Surplus Land Unit

Already Signed into Law:

  • SCR 18 – Compassionate California
  • SB 411 – Rights for Retirees
  • SB 461 – Unfair Competition Law Enforcement


Headed to the Governor’s Desk:

It is the end of this year’s legislative session and we’ve passed hundreds of bills to improve the lives of every Californian,” said Senator Cortese. The following bills authored by the Senator advanced to the Governor’s desk:

  • AB 1171 – “Ending the Spousal Rape Exception”: AB 1171 will bring parity to California’s rape statutes by requiring the same standards for “spousal rape” that is currently in the penal code for rape. The bill eliminates the “spousal rape exception” in the California Penal Code (Section 262) to ensure that “spousal rape” is treated and punished, as seriously as the rape of a non-spouse. Learn more about AB 1171 at this link.

“I am proud that our bill to end the archaic distinction of spousal rape is moving to the Governor’s desk having overcome numerous legislative hurdles, and I would like to thank all of the activists, survivors, and community organizations that worked so hard to push this forward,” said AB 1171 principal co-author Senator Cortese.

This bill is a historic victory for our grassroots movement of survivors and advocates across the state, thousands of whom demanded the repeal of the spousal rape exception. There is still more to do, and Enough is Enough will continue to fight until every survivor is protected,” said Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber, who leads the Enough is Enough Voter Project.

  • SB 564 – “Santa Clara County Hospitals”: SB 564 will ensure that two critical public hospitals in Senate District 15 – the O’Connor Hospital (OCH) and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (VMC) – can maintain access to health services for County residents while continuing their progress to meet seismic safety standards by extending the hospital seismic compliance deadline from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024, given the impact of COVID-19 on the County’s hospital system, paired with the County’s only recent acquisition of the O’Connor Hospital.

SB 564 will ensure that we keep Santa Clara County hospitals O’Connor and Valley Medical Center open and serving our community to the fullest extent possible,” says Senator Cortese.

Maintaining hospital operations and capacity is a critical issue for our community and this has been particularly important as demonstrated by the County of Santa Clara’s response to the COVID pandemic,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “We deeply appreciate Senator Cortese authoring SB 564 on our behalf and are pleased that the Legislature has sent the bill to the Governor as it will help the County’s health system maintain its ability to serve our community while we continue retrofitting facilities to meet seismic requirements.”

  • SB 780 – “Economic Development; Improvements to EIFD and CRIA Tax Increment Laws”: SB 780 will provide helpful clarifications to improve the functioning and usefulness of Special Tax Districts that are used by local governments to fund community infrastructure projects, local economic development, and affordable housing.
  • SB 791 – “Affordable Housing; Surplus Land Unit”: SB 791 will expedite the construction of affordable housing on local government surplus land through the creation of the California Surplus Land Unit within the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The pandemic has underscored the importance of safe and sustainable housing,” said Senator Cortese. “SB 780 and SB 791 will alleviate our incredibly high housing burdens in California by spurring the production of affordable housing to meet the incredibly high need that is currently going unmet.”

The California Association for Local Economic Development said the following about SB 780: “On behalf of hundreds of economic developers across our state, the California Association for Local Economic Development thank Senator Cortese for his thoughtful leadership in listening to practitioner solutions for growing local economies and authoring SB 780. This legislation, which improves Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts and Community Revitalization Investment Authorities, gives California communities more effective tax increment financing tools for economic development, infrastructure, and affordable housing projects – critical investments needed in order to create a better future for our residents.”

Already Signed into Law

Earlier in this Legislative session Governor Newsom signed the following bills from Senator Cortese centered around workers’ rights and consumer protection:

  • SB 411– “The Working After Retirement Act”: SB 411 would simply grant the CalPERS Board the authority to reach a fair resolution with retirees who inadvertently go over the 960-hour limit, based on the circumstances and conditions of that particular violation, without having to force a retiree to reinstate back into the system or forcing a retiree to repay their hard-earned retirement income. Learn more at this link.
  • SB 461– “Unfair Competition Law Enforcement”: SB 461 will allow County Counsels, of a county within which a city has a population in excess of 750,000 people, to enforce the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) that prohibits false advertising and unfair business practices.
  • SCR 18 “Compassionate California”: SCR 18 declares California to be the first Compassionate State in the United States of America. The Resolution unanimously passed both the State Senate (32-0) and Assembly (73-0) and will become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.


SB 411 – The Work After Retirement Act

Our retirees deserve respect, peace of mind, and a sense of security for their future as they continue to contribute to our state schools and public agencies, especially during a time of such socioeconomic turmoil,” says Senator Cortese. “I’d like to thank Governor Newsom for his leadership and for passing this important measure to protect our retirees.”

This measure will put an end to what, in some cases, can amount to an egregious encumbrance on retirees and, instead, allow for more swift and effective resolutions to these unintentional violations.

On behalf of CalPERS school retirees, I would like to thank Senator Cortese for authoring Senate Bill 411 and Governor Newsom for signing this important legislation,” said California School Employees Association President Ben Valdepeña. “SB 411 will allow retired annuitants to do important work for students when their help is needed without fear of being unfairly punished and losing all of their hard-earned retirement benefits. This new law will allow CalPERS to consider the unique circumstances of each case and negotiate reasonable settlements instead of asking every retiree who exceeds the 960-hour limit to pay back every penny of their earned benefits.”

Learn more about SB 411 at this link.


SB 461 – “Unfair Competition Law Enforcement”

SB 461 is a landmark consumer protection law that will allow us to better fight back against unethical and deceptive business practices across California,” says Senator Cortese.

Under SB 461, the county counsels of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Clara Counties will have authority to prosecute UCL violations.

This bill provides the state’s three largest county counsel offices—Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and San Diego—with a critical tool to protect Californians from illegal business practices,” said James R. Williams, Santa Clara County Counsel.  “Senator Cortese has long championed the groundbreaking work of the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office to protect our community, and by authoring this bill, he has built on that legacy to enhance consumer protection and fair competition in California.”

Learn more about SB 461 at this link.


SCR 18 Compassionate California

“Our State is home to many industries, organizations, and individuals who seek to serve the needs of our communities through compassion, and it is through them that we have risen to be a model of compassion within the Union,” said Senator Cortese. “When we lead with compassion, especially during times of increasing uncertainty, we generate positive benefits that ripple through every sector of our civic and community life.”

“Declaring California as a Compassionate State helps us change the narrative for how we relate to each other and create community,” says Laura Hansen of Compassionate Capital Region and Compassionate California, adding, “Public health, safety and community design that serve everyone equitably are central to that narrative.”

Learn more about SCR 18 at this link.


Senator Dave Cortese represents State Senate District 15 which encompasses most of Santa Clara County, including the cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and much of San Jose, stretching from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and Mountain Hamilton Range to the east.

Information released as Press Release by Senator Dave Cortese

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Bryan Winn Sep 13, 2021 - 3:25 pm

Someone should have reminded Dave Cortese that California is not an “affordable housing” state — and never was. If people want affordable housing, they should move to a state which has a much lower cost-of-living. I see people, without a pot to piss in, moving here and going into shock when they realize what it costs to live here! They start to panic!

– – – –

They get on the NextDoor site and start begging for money, furniture, food, etc. Some woman who said she moved from Arizona because California has very generous give-away programs. Maybe we should stop being so generous!

Lola Saavedra Sep 13, 2021 - 7:03 pm

This Cortese guy is trying to attract people here who really can’t afford to be here. He should do whatever it takes to get them to move to states with more realistic cost of living. We taxpayers end up supporting them and that’s just not right. Many have to work 3-4 jobs to make ends meet and that’s just no life at all and they don’t “make ends meet.” They eventually wind up homeless creating even more problems for everyone.

Steve White Sep 14, 2021 - 6:02 am

First, I would say, as it says at the bottom of the article – this is a press release by Senator Cortese -it is OK to issue press releases, in fact informing the public is part of the Senator’s job, but I think the article should say “Press Release by Senator Cortese” right at the top.

Ending the exemption for Spousal Rape is not bringing California law into the 21st century – it’s opening up the divorce courts to a huge wave of false accusations – false accusations of violence and sexual abuse are already common – but when there is no evidence of trauma – they could be ignored by prosecutors, when believed false- and as for “he raped me” they had an out with the spousal exemption – now, you will have large numbers of men falsely accused so the wife gets the house and kids – hard to fight your divorce while in prison, or fighting criminal charges – especially when the criminal charges go away if you agree to her divorce terms

So, Senator Cortese is enabling extortion on a massive scale with this new law. He should not be proud of this, he should be ashamed.

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