Stronger California Advocates Network Celebrates Seven Legislative Wins in 2017
In a stunning win for advocates, Governor Brown signed seven Stronger California 2017 priority bills focused on fair pay, affordable child care, family-friendly workplaces, and poverty reduction. Together, this package of bills takes a comprehensive approach to ensuring the economic security of women, families, and entire communities across the state.
“When we invest in an economic agenda that puts women first, our communities and our state thrive,” said Noreen Farrell, Chair of the Stronger California Advocates Network and Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates. “We are proud that once again, California’s legislature and Governor Brown have stepped up to support a comprehensive agenda that addresses the real needs of millions of women. The bills signed today are more important than ever – they will ensure our families’ economic futures are not threatened by federal actions.”
The bills signed into law include:
Assembly Bill 168 (Eggman): prohibits employer inquiry into applicants’ prior salary.
Senate Bill 63 (Jackson): expands job-protection for employees taking paid parental leave.
Assembly Bill 273 (Aguiar-Curry): allows parents in ESL and GED classes to qualify for childcare assistance.
Assembly Bill 557 (Rubio): ensures the safety of domestic violence victims accessing CalWORKS services.
Assembly Bill 10 (Garcia): requires middle and high schools to provide free menstrual hygiene products.
Assembly Bill 480 (Gonzalez Fletcher): provides financial assistance to CalWORKS recipients to purchase diapers.
Senate Bill 54 (De León): blocks state funds for being used to fuel mass deportations and separate families. (signed by Governor Brown on Friday, October 6)
“Today, California took another important step to lead the nation in the fight for fair pay and to close the gender wage gap. Setting pay based on prior salary can perpetuate past pay discrimination – by making AB 168 law, California will disrupt this cycle and help ensure all Californians achieve equal pay. We applaud Governor Brown for once again recognizing the importance of equal pay to California women, families, and entire communities,” said Noreen Farrell.
“Today’s signing of Assembly Bill 557 will benefit the thousands of domestic violence survivors and their children across California. No one should have to remain in a violent situation because they are too poor to leave. With the signature of AB 557, fewer Californians will be forced to do so,” said Jessica Bartholow, Policy Advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
“We applaud Governor Brown for signing Senate Bill 63 today, which extends job protection to more new parents taking leave to bond with a new child and allows more workers to access the state’s paid family leave program. Without job protection, too many parents are forced to choose between their jobs and the health and well-being of their children. This is important to women, who are often the primary caregivers and breadwinners,” said Jenya Cassidy, Director of the California Work & Family Coalition.
“We thank Governor Brown for unlocking opportunities for families by signing AB273 into law. Parents like Amanda from San Diego can now advance their educational goals and receive child care for their children while they do it. The Woman’s Foundation of California, WPI Child Care Team would like to thank Stronger CA members for all they did to get AB 273 across the finish line. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our community,” said Jennifer Greppi, Organizer with Parent Voices California.
The Stronger California Advocates Network is a collaboration of advocate coalitions with deep experience working with communities affected by the four pillars of the Stronger California Agenda. We seek to promote policy reform in order to 1) meet basic needs and provide better income support, 2) achieve fair pay and working conditions, 3) support workforce development, encourage asset building, and 4) ensure work-family flexibility and access to quality child care. For more information visit strongercalifornia.org.
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