Focus Areas

Current Legislation

Securing adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth is one of the purposes of California State PTA.

VIEW PTA LEGISLATIVE ACTION REPORTS

California Bans Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

We did it!

SB 793, (Hill), the bill to outlaw the sale of flavored tobacco was signed into law by the Governor on August 28th. Thanks to all of you who called, wrote letters or completed the PTA online request to email your legislators. This was a hard-fought campaign and every one of you made a difference in the outcome. Because of you, beginning January 1, 2021, it will be illegal to sell flavored tobacco in California. This is the power of PTA.

But wait — our work may not be done. On August 31, a request for a referendum on SB 793 was submitted to the Secretary of State. The Attorney General gave it a title and on September 10 and it was approved to collect signatures. The group submitting has to collect 623,212 signatures by December 10, 2020. According to the Secretary of State website, “if the required number of registered voters sign this petition and the petition is timely filed, there will be a referendum challenging the 2020 law on the next statewide ballot after the November 3, 2020 general election.” This means the challenge would prohibit the law from being enforced unless the voters vote in favor of the law when the referendum is on the ballot. The next general election will most likely be 2022.

This referendum drive is funded by the tobacco industry. Hopefully they will not succeed but if they do, we must be ready once again to fight for the health of the children and youth of California.

We will continue to follow this and keep you updated.

Read the PTA Resolution and Background Statement: E-Cigarettes/Vaping, Flavored Tobacco Products and Youth Health

STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY BILLS SUPPORTED BY PTA IN THE LAST SESSION

Many of the bills that were introduced in the past legislative session died for lack of a hearing, as bills that dealt with the coronavirus took priority and legislators were asked to pull all but the most crucial bills.

Here are a few bills that California State PTA took a support position on:

  • SB 793 (Hill) – Prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products. Click here to send a message to your state senator asking them to vote “aye” on this bill.
  • AB 1835 (Weber) – Would require unspent supplemental and concentration funds to be used in subsequent years to increase and improve services for the unduplicated pupils generating those funds.
  • AB 1837 (Smith) – Would require the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish an emergency response team to serve as a liaison and provide guidance and support to local educational agencies (LEAs) during emergencies such as a natural disaster, planned safety power shutoff, safety threats, and other declared states of emergency.
  • AB 1982 (Cunningham) – Would allow teacher credential candidates to use qualifying coursework to satisfy the State’s basic skills test requirement.
  • AB 2558 (Reyes) and SB 1140 (Caballero) – Would establish the Child Poverty Tax Credit to end deep child poverty in California by providing a credit to families living at 50% of the California poverty level.
  • AB 2581 (Reyes) – Established the Dept. of Early Child Development to put all early learning and care programs under one umbrella within the California Health & Human Services Agency to improve service coordination and delivery for children, families and providers.
  • SB 805 (Portantino) – Would prohibit a district from requiring an employee to use sick leave if the school is forced to close because of a natural disaster or evacuation or if the employee is unable to report to work because they reside in an area affected by a natural disaster. It would also ensure districts receive their ADA funding under these circumstances and the school must close.
  • SB 855 (Wiener) – Requires insurance companies to provide additional care to children and families suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues. Expands the criteria for what mental health issues are covered under health insurance policies.
  • SB 943 (Chang) – Would authorize wage replacement benefits under the Paid Family Leave Program for workers who take time off to care for a minor child whose school has been closed due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
  • SB 1383 (Jackson) – Would broaden The Family-School Partnership Act to apply to all parents of K-12 children and enable them to take time off to tend to child care responsibilities including a school-closure pursuant to a state of emergency declaration without fear of discharge or discrimination by their employer.

Status of Current Legislation

Review the complete status and calendar reports of current legislation being followed by California State PTA.

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CALIFORNIA STATE PTA APPLAUDS GOVERNOR NEWSOM’S SUPPORT FOR SB 328 – LATER SCHOOL START TIMES

Congratulations PTA – Advocacy in Action!

Senate Bill 328, sponsored by California State PTA and co-authored by State Senator Anthony Portantino, has been signed into law by Governor Newsom.

Signed on October 14, 2019, this law will prohibit middle schools from beginning their school day before 8:00 a.m., and high schools from beginning their school day before 8:30 a.m.

“The California State PTA was an early champion of this bill, which represents an enormous victory for youth across the Golden State,” said California State PTA President Celia Jaffe. “Our members believe later school start times address the very real biological changes that every teenager experiences. The research is clear that sleep deprivation is an epidemic among adolescents, and those who get sufficient sleep not only perform better academically, but are also less likely to be involved in traffic accidents, have a reduced risk of obesity and depression, and have overall better quality of life.”

“We recognize that this bill will require structural changes in the way schools operate, which is why we worked with legislators to ensure that SB 328 provides a three-year period for local districts to determine how to best implement these changes in their own communities,” she added. “Despite the challenges posed to schools, we feel the passage of this important bill puts kids’ needs first. Governor Newsom’s decision to change school start times will improve the health, safety and academic success of students, and PTA members across the state are so pleased to see that the efforts of the current and past board, as well as the outstanding advocacy efforts of our local leaders, helped this bill become law. We thank Senator Portantino for championing this worthy issue.”

Learn more:

For questions, please reach out to Director of Legislation Shereen Walter at swalter@capta.org or Executive Director Sherry Skelly Griffith at sgriffith@capta.org.

STATE BALLOT MEASURES

California State PTA supports Proposition 15 and Proposition 16.

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