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. View our priority legislation from previous years.

SB 607 - Keeping Kids in School with a Positive School Climate

The California Education Code permits school districts to suspend and expel students based on 24 different categories, including a minor misbehavior known as defiance/disruption. Studies have shown that students who receive just one suspension are five times more likely to drop out of school -- and three times more likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system within one year when compared to similar students. SB 607, by Senator Nancy Skinner, will drastically improve the school environment by eliminating defiance/disruption as grounds for suspension and expulsion, and encouraging schools and districts to utilize alternatives to suspension, expulsion, and other classroom removals.

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AB 992 - CalWORKs Baby Wellness and Family Support Home Visiting Program

AB 992, by Assemblymember Arambula, would create the CalWORKs Baby Wellness and Family Support Home Visiting Program to provide CalWORKs recipients who are pregnant or parenting a child under age 2 with voluntary home visiting services from trained professionals. The program would strengthen health outcomes for pregnant women and infants, improve educational and economic opportunities, and increase the opportunities for families to move out of poverty.

Current Status: AB 992 is a two-year bill and will be considered by the Legislature in 2018.

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AB 1974 - Public Education Fair Debt Collection Act

Assembly Bill 1974 will prevent children from being brought into the debt payment arrangements between a school and their parent. It does so by banning schools from taking action against a student to collect debt. It also prohibits schools from using private debt collectors. In California, children have the right to a free public school education. Despite this, every year students are being punished because their families are unable to pay the increasing fees associated with attending school.

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AB 1992 - Supporting Immunizations for CalWORKs Children

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SB 439 - Setting a Minimum Age for Juvenile Court Prosecution

Senate Bill 439, by Sen. Mitchell, would exclude those 11 years of age or younger from prosecution in juvenile court in order to protect young children from the negative impacts of justice system involvement, and promote their rights, health and well-being through more effective alternatives to court involvement.  

Current Status: SB 439 is a two-year bill and will be considered by the Legislature in 2018.

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AB 2066 - Fighting Poverty with an Inclusive CalEITC

AB 2066, by Assemblymembers Stone and Reyes, extends eligibility for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) to low-income working Californians who file taxes yet are currently excluded from the federal and state EITCs. The CalEITC tackles California’s poverty crisis and provides much-needed assistance to working families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. 

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SB 982 - End Deep Child Poverty

SB 982 by Senator Holly Mitchell will eliminate deep poverty in the CalWORKs program by placing a minimum grant level to ensure no CalWORKs grant falls below 50 percent of the federal poverty level. By doing so, this bill will protect children from the worst harms of chronically unmet basic needs.

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