After a very intense end of session that took us well past 1:00 a.m., the 2015-2016 Legislative Session finally came to a close on Wednesday, August 31st. As we had expected, the last day of session brought an avalanche of bills and passionate debates; it also brought a few sad goodbyes as we bid farewell to colleagues who fulfilled their terms in the Senate. Now, the fate of the more than 700 bills we voted on lies in the hands of the Governor who has until the end of the month to sign, approve without signing or veto the bills.
For me, this end of session carried special significance because it marked the conclusion of the first Legislative Session since I was elected to the Senate. As the session progressed, I became more familiar with the ins and outs of the Legislature and in the process, learned great lessons and had four of my bills signed into law; with three more awaiting the Governor’s decision.
As we close the chapter on the 2015-2016 Legislative Session, I am proud of what I have achieved on behalf of the residents of the Thirty-Fourth District and I am committed to continuing to support policies that benefit you.
As we work to achieve this goal and to further strengthen our channels of communication, below is the final overview of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session, including bills I authored that were signed into law, bills I authored that are pending the Governor’s signature, and bills of importance that were considered during the last week of session. If you have any questions regarding these bills, please feel free to contact my office at (714) 741-1034.
Again, it is an honor to represent the residents of the Thirty-Fourth District, and I look forward to seeing you in the District!
Senator Janet Nguyen
California State Legislature, Thirty-Fourth District
Bills I Authored That Were Signed into Law During 2015-2016 session
- SB 150 (Nguyen) Assists former Corinthian College students by eliminating tax liability on forgiven student loan debt.
- SB 366 (Nguyen) Expands the pool of qualified and certified translators who can translate ballot and voting materials.
- SB 969 (Nguyen) Allows the legal sale of traditional Vietnamese Rice Cakes (Banh Tet/Banh Chung) at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
- SB 1044 (Nguyen) Gives the regulating board authority discretion to avoid applying double fines for the same violation to both nail technicians and nail salon business owners. Additionally, SB 1044 allows salon owners and technicians to pay any fine over $500 using a reasonable and affordable payment plan.
Bills I Authored Pending the Governor’s Signature
- SB 1012 (Nguyen) Requires that United States or California flags used for public use by the State, a County or a municipality be made in America.
- SB 1088 (Nguyen) Increases the statute of limitations for the crime of concealing a body due to an accidental death by allowing a criminal complaint to be filed within one year after the person is initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect of a crime rather than one year from the time the body is found.
- SB 898 (Nguyen) Allows nonprofit animal blood banks to be tax free like human blood banks.
Important Legislation Considered During the Last Week of Session
SB 907 (Galgiani/Nguyen) Seeks to provide mortgage debt forgiveness by extending California’s modified conformity to federal tax law, allowing taxpayers to exclude from income mortgage debt that is cancelled between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2017 on a primary residence. This bill will help people with mortgage modifications or short sales avoid hefty tax penalties. VOTED: YES
AB 517 (Gallagher) Requires a school district to allow parents to inspect any written or audiovisual educational material used in comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education. Allows the parents to make copies of any written material that will be presented to students if it is not copyrighted and has been or will be presented by an outside consultant or guest speaker. Directs a school district to disclose the training of each outside consultant that will be used by the school to present sexual health or HIV/AIDS prevention education. VOTED: YES
- Note: AB 517 was defeated in the Senate by a 14 to 23 vote.
SB 1227 (Lara) Requires the California Conservation Corps to collaborate with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Employment Development Department to assist any Veteran corps member in obtaining permanent employment after participation in the corps program. VOTED: YES
SJR 29 (Hernandez) Urges the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider its denial of approval for generic alternatives to the epinephrine auto-injector EpiPen, and urges the Congress of the United States to investigate the impact that Mylan NVA's monopoly has had on price increases for EpiPen. VOTED: YES
SR 88 (Moorlach) Urges the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address inequities that occurred during the 1976 Olympic Games as a result of the East German doping scandal. Furthermore it urges the IOC to recognize the competitors who played by the rules in the 1976 Olympic Games by providing them with their rightful medals and places in the record books. VOTED: YES
ACR 200 (Lopez) Proclaims September 28, 2016, as Parent Advocacy Day in recognition of the role of parental involvement in pupils' success. VOTED: YES
SB 443 (Mitchell) Makes a number of changes to California’s asset forfeiture law. Most importantly, it requires an individual to be convicted of a crime before cash assets of less than $40,000 can be forfeited to law enforcement. VOTED: YES
SB 813 (Leyva) Provides that prosecution for various forms of rape may be commenced at any time, removing the statute of limitations on these cases. The measure limits this to crimes that were committed on or after January 1, 2017, and to crimes for which the statute of limitations that was in effect prior to January 1, 2017, has not been fulfilled as of January 1, 2017. VOTED: YES
SB 1234 (De Leon) Implements the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program and requires private sector employers, with at least five or more employees, to enroll non-union employees into a state sponsored individual style retirement savings program run by the newly created Secure Choice Retirement Program Investment Board. Additionally, SB 1234 also requires employees to contribute at least 3% of their annual salary (the Board has authority to increase contribution percentages), and penalize employers up to $500 per employee who fails to enroll in the program, or who fails to offer the savings plan to employees. VOTED: NO
SB 1387 (De Leon) Adds three additional members to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) governing board, thereby substantially eroding local authority and increasing state influence on local permitting decisions. VOTED: NO
- Note: SB 1387 was defeated in the Assembly.
SB 1146 (Lara) Requires colleges or universities that have a faith-based exemption to the federal Title IX anti-discrimination law or to the state Equity in Higher Education Act to disclose the basis for having the exemption to prospective students, faculty members, and employees, and to include the disclosure in admissions materials and as part of student orientation. These religious institutions would have to submit all materials related to claiming an exemption to the California Student Aid Commission, which must post on its website a list of the institutions and their reasons for having an exemption. VOTED: NO
SB 955 (Beall) Allows inmates and patients found not guilty by reason of insanity, or mentally disordered offenders being treated by the Department of State Hospitals for forensic commitments, to petition for compassionate release and to re-enter the general public. VOTED: NO