This legislative session was full of highs and lows, unexpected turns, and strained by a global pandemic, climate catastrophes and more. LOPP-CA has followed multiple bills throughout this time, diligently following legislation that embodies our moral understanding of God’s commandment to run after justice and peace in all ways.
“…Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Excerpts from the Beatitudes
Now is the end of the legislative year 2020, and there are five bills we have tracked that have made it past the legislature and currently sit on the Governor’s Desk. The bills and a brief summary of each are below:
Food Access: extending God’s table to the most vulnerable
- AB 826: Emergency food assistance: COVID-19 – This measure creates an one-time fund for emergency food assistance that will help millions of people throughout California find food security during this COVID Crisis; This bill specifically uplifts immigrant communities that have been left out of many pandemic relief efforts. See a bill fact sheet made by California Association of Food Banks here.
- AB 3073: CalFresh: pre-enrollment – California is the largest food producing state in the U.S, but still faces the tragic truth that 1 in 8 Californians are food insecure. Bill AB 3073 expands the CalFresh program to those disenfranchised through the carceral system, giving guidelines to both pre-enroll the currently incarcerated as well as enroll formerly incarcerated people. This bill is designed to extend the basic human need of food towards some of our most vulnerable.
Racial Reconciliation: repairing harm, embracing the full Body of Christ
- AB 2542: Criminal Procedure: discrimination (California Racial Justice act) – This bill creates a legal pathway to the sin of racism within legal prosecution. Specifically, it disallows criminal prosecution on the base of Race, Ethnicity, or National Origin and paves a way to legally challenge racial bias within any criminal case. This is a monumental bill toward gaining racial equality in California. A fact sheet for the bill is found here.
- AB 3070: Juries: Peremptory Challenges – LOPP-CA supports this bill as another attempt for California to address systemic racial injustice. This Bill bolsters the legal framework of identifying and rectifying racial bias in the jury selection process. There are many key changes to the current legal process made, all of which can be found by viewing the bill analysis here.
Worker Protection: guarding those that serve others
- AB 2043: Occupational Safety and Health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 -Introduced by Representative Robert Rivas in District 30, the bill, “Ensures enforcement by Cal/OSHA of its COVID-19 guidance, funds a targeted bilingual outreach campaign to educate agricultural workers on Cal/OSHA guidance, as well as COVID-19-related paid sick leave and workers compensation benefits, and directs Cal/OSHA to track and report workplace investigations related to the agricultural industry.” This bill was introduced as a package to support California’s vulnerable and necessary farm workers, neighbors that provide food for our entire nation. More on the bill here.
This is powerful news, and we are uplifted to see that some change-making bills have the chance to move our state closer to God’s vision of love. We need to fight for change, in all ways possible. We need leadership from Governor Newsom in signing these measure into law. Advocate by calling or emailing here the Governor before September 30th!