Children's Bill Watch

We support statewide legislation that helps ensure a level playing field for all children. We focus our efforts on bills that increase children’s access to health coverage, reduce child poverty, promote equity in public education and ensure justice for youth.

You can make a difference in the lives of children and youth in California.

This year, we are supporting a wide spectrum of legislation that will help children and youth access the health care, education, and resources that they need to succeed. Click on the headers below to learn more about our 2016 legislative priorities, and check back for updates.

SB 1143 - End Long-Term Isolation of Youth

We all have a responsibility to make sure youth detained in the custody of the juvenile justice system have the chance to learn from past missteps and develop the education and pro-social skills they need to make it back to their families – where they belong. Senate Bill 1143, by Senator Leno, takes California a step in the right direction by placing strict limitations on the use of solitary confinement in juvenile justice facilities and encouraging facilities to explore more positive and developmentally appropriate methods for working with youth.

Status: Governor Brown signed SB 1143 into law! The law will take effect January 1, 2017.

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SB 882 - End the Criminalization of Youth for Riding Transit Without Fare

California must stop criminalizing children and youth for riding transit without fare. No child should be charged with a criminal offense because they could not pay a couple of dollars to ride a train or bus. Senate Bill 882, by Senator Robert Hertzberg, prevents children and youth under 18 from being charged with a penal code infraction for riding transit without fare.

Status: Governor Brown signed SB 882 into law on August 22! The law will take effect January 1, 2017.

Learn more about SB 882

AB 1567 - Afterschool Access for Success Act

Afterschool programs can increase the likelihood of success in school and high school graduation. However, some of the poorest and most vulnerable children have lacked access to the afterschool programs because they are unable to secure a spot on the waiting list or to pay the minimal fee required by some programs. Assembly Bill 1567, by Assemblymember Campos, would make these services available to the neediest of children by giving them priority access to state funded after school programs and waiving their program fees.

Status: Governor Brown signed AB 1567 into law! The law will take effect January 1, 2017.

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SB 1052 – Protect Youth’s Constitutional Rights Against Coercive Interrogation

Currently in California, children—no matter how young— can waive their Miranda rights. Studies have demonstrated youth often do not fully comprehend the meaning and consequences of waiving their Miranda rights. They are also much more likely than adults to waive their rights and to confess to crimes they did not commit. Senate Bill 1052, by Senator Ricardo Lara, will help to preserve youth’s constitutional rights and protect the integrity of our criminal justice system by requiring youth under the age of 18 to consult with legal counsel before they waive their Miranda rights.

Status: Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 1052. Read his veto message.

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AB 1572 - Student Transportation for Success Act

Education has the potential to level the playing field for children, but we need to provide the supports to help low-income children attend and succeed in school. Assembly Bill 1572 by Assemblymember Nora Campos would close the school achievement gap and increase opportunity for California’s poorest youth by offering free transportation to school.

Status: AB 1572 was held in the Assembly Appropriations and will not move forward this year.

Learn more about AB 1572

Priority Support Legislation
ACA 7 Gonzalez Authorizes youth 16 of age or older to vote in school board elections Priority Support
SB 1052 Lara Requires minors to consult with counsel before waiving their Miranda rights. Priority Support
SB 1418 Lara Expands access to health coverage to immigrant adults. Priority Support
SB 586 Hernandez Protects the CCS program for children with special health care needs. Priority Support
AB 1644 Bonta Increases access to trauma-informed and mental health services in schools Priority Support
SB 23 Mitchell Repeals the Maximum Family Grant rule in CalWORKs Priority Support
SB 10 Lara Allows undocumented immigrants to buy health plans through Covered California Priority Support