Policy Priorities

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Children's Bill Watch

The Children's Defense Fund - California supports state legislation that helps ensure a level playing field for all children. We focus in particular on bills that increase children's access to health coverage, strengthen the social safety net, promote equity in public education, and improve the treatment of youth in the juvenile justice systems.

2014 Legislative Priorities

Help us make a difference in the lives of California's children and youth this year. Learn about our 2014 Legislative priorities below and call on lawmakers to support efforts around child poverty, child health, juvenile justice, and equity in education.

Child Poverty

AB 2382 (Bradford) CalWORKs Truancy Double Penalty.
Ends the truancy double penalty for poor school children and their families that are receiving CalWORKs benefits. Learn more and take action»

AB 1654 (Bonilla) CalWORKs: assignment of child support.
Increases child support disregard from $50 a month to $100 a month for a family with one child and $200 or more, if allowed by federal law, for families with more than 1 child. Learn more »

SB 899 (Mitchell) CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant.
Repeals the Maximum Family Grant rule of the CalWORKs program and prohibits the state from inserting itself into the private reproductive and medical decisions of poor families seeking basic needs assistance for their newborn children. Learn more »

SB 1029 (Hancock) CalWORKS & CalFresh: eligibility.
Permits individuals previously convicted of a drug felony who meet all other eligibility rules to receive basic needs services, employment training and work supports through the CalWORKs and CalFresh programs. Learn more »

SB 935 (Leno) Minimum wage: annual adjustment.
Increases the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2017 and tie it to cost of living increases annually. Learn more »

AB 1654 (Bonilla) CalWORKs: assignment of child support.
Increases child support disregard from $50 a month to $100 a month for a family with one child and $200 or more for families with more than 1 child. Learn more »

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Child Health

SB 1055 (Liu) Public School Health Center Support Program.
Changes the amount of the sustainability grants that are available pursuant to the Public School Health Center Support Program and makes those grants available on a one-time basis. Learn more »

AB 2706 (Hernandez) Schools: health care coverage.
Reduces the number of uninsured children by requiring parents or legal guardians upon first enrollment of a child into kindergarten to disclose whether the child has health care coverage. Learn more »

SB 1002 (DeLeon) Medi-Cal: redetermination.
Requires County Human Services Agencies to align certification periods for Medi-Cal when applicants and recipients for CalFresh are eligible for both programs. Learn more »

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Juvenile Justice

SB 1038 (Leno) Mentally ill offender crime reduction grants.
Requires the Board of State and Community Corrections to award mentally ill offender crime reduction grants on a competitive basis to counties that expand or establish responses to reduce crime and criminal justice costs related to mentally ill offenders. Learn more »

SB 1391 (Hancock) Community colleges: inmate education programs: computation of apportionments.
Requires the open course provisions in statute or regulations of the board of governors to be waived for any governing board of a community college district that provides those classes for inmates, including inmates of state correctional facilities, and would authorize the board of governors to include the units of full-time equivalent students generated in those classes for purposes of state apportionments. Learn more »

SB 1198 (Hancock) Criminal statistics: countywide statistics: Internet Web site.
Expands data collection requirements for DOJ on transfers to adult court and direct files. Learn more »

SB 1296 (Leno) Juveniles: contemptuous habitual truants.
Prohibits a court from imprisoning, or otherwise taking into custody persistently or habitually truant minors for contempt of court if the contempt consists of the minor’s failure to comply with a court order to attend school. Learn more »

AB 1756 (Skinner) Court records: sealing and destruction.
Removes the filing fee for juveniles attempting to seal their records. Learn more »

SB 1310 (Lara) Misdemeanors: maximum sentence.
Reduces the maximum possible misdemeanor sentence from 365 days to 364 days to keep families together. Learn more »

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Education Equity

AB 2384 (Bradford) School plans: schoolsite councils.
Maximize community engagement in the school site council process by increasing school site council representation, promoting transparency, and ensuring alignment with LCFF priorities. Learn more »

AB 420 (Dickinson) Pupil discipline: suspensions: willful defiance.
Limits the grounds on which a superintendent or a principal can suspend students for "willful defiance.” Learn more »

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