2015 Priority Legislation

2015 Priority Legislation

Additional bills may be considered. For more information on submitting bills for consideration, contact Political Director Van Tamom at legislation@lacdp.org.

Updated 6/10/2015



Minimum Wage Increase: SUPPORT
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party supports a living wage for everyone in Los Angeles. When low-income workers receive higher wages, those increased dollars are directly invested back into the communities they live in.

S. 1709 (Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) [MA]: 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2015: SUPPORT

This bill rebuilds the wall between commercial banks and investment banks; separating traditional banks that offer savings and checking accounts and that are insured by the FDIC from their riskier counterparts on Wall Street.  It also fills in the holes the regulators punched in the original Glass-Steagall, and it recognizes that the financial markets have become more complicated since the 1930’s so it covers products that did not exist when Glass-Steagall was originally passed.



H.R. 1111 (Rep. Barbara Lee (D) [CA-13]): Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2015: SUPPORT

This bill establishes a Department of Peacebuilding in the executive branch, to be headed by a Secretary of Peacebuilding, dedicated to peacebuilding, peacemaking, and the study and promotion of conditions conducive to both domestic and international peace and a culture of peace, with at least 85 percent to be used for domestic peace programs.  Domestic peace priorities include: development of policies that increase awareness about intervention; community-based strategies for celebrating diversity; community policing strategies and peaceful settlement skills for police and other public safety officers; assisting in the re-entry into the community by individuals who have been incarcerated; promoting tolerance; and assisting in creating strong and healthy families, including supporting mental health services, domestic violence prevention, gang prevention, anti-bullying programs, substance abuse prevention, and parenting skills.  International peace priorities include: developing new programs and promoting existing proven programs to provide for the training and deployment of graduates of the Peace Academy; supporting country and regional conflict prevention and dispute resolution initiatives in countries experiencing social, political, or economic strife; providing training for the administration of post-conflict reconstruction and demobilization in war-torn societies; eradicating extreme hunger and poverty; achieving universal primary education; and empowering women and girls around the globe.


S. 1381 (Sen. Elizabeth Warren [MA]): Trade Transparency Act of 2015: SUPPORT
This bill requires the President of the United States to make the text of any trade agreements (such as the TPP) available to the public at least 60 days before Congress grants fast track authority to the those trade agreements.

H.R. 1314 (Rep. Patrick Meehan [PA-07]): Trade Promotion Authority for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): OPPOSE
Fast track negotiating authority (aka – Trade Promotion Authority) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This bill gives the President of the United States the authority to negotiate trade agreements for the TPP that Congress can only approve or disapprove. Limits Congress so that they cannot amend or filibuster the TPP (either in committee or from either floor of the House or Senate).

H.R. 1890 (Rep. Paul Ryan [WI-01]) / S. 995 (Sen. Orrin G. Hatch [UT]): Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): OPPOSE
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (aka – Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015). This bill is a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty. As of 2014, twelve countries throughout the Asia Pacific region have participated in negotiations on the TPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

Armenian Genocide

H.Res. 154 (Rep. Bob Dold [IL-10]): Armenian Genocide: SUPPORT
Calls on the President to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey’s full acknowledgement of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.

Climate Change

H.R. 1971 (Rep. Ted Lieu [CA-33]): Climate Solutions Act of 2015: SUPPORT
This bill takes California’s leadership on climate change nationwide, by expanding California’s landmark greenhouse-gas emissions law, which is already in effect (the former AB 32: The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006), to a national scale. It tackles climate change by focusing on three areas: reducing carbon pollution, implementing renewable portfolio standards and setting energy efficiency standards. It empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set targets and implement policies for reducing carbon pollution: a 40 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2035 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. It sets renewable energy goals: 40 percent of all electric energy to come from renewable sources by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050. It empowers the Department of Energy to increase energy efficiency savings targets, starting in 2018 and increasing each year until 2028.


H.R. 2450 (Rep. Ted Lieu [CA-33]): Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act: SUPPORT
This bill would prohibit any therapist from charging for conversion therapy (what are sometimes called “sexual orientation change efforts”), and would allow private citizens to file federal lawsuits against any practitioners engaging in the practice and charging money for their services.

H.R. 2393 (Rep. Michael Conaway (R) [TX-11]): Country Of Origin Labeling Amendments Act Of 2015: OPPOSE

This bill amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken.  Country of origin labeling requirements are administered by the Department of Agriculture and require the retailer to inform consumers of the country of origin of a covered commodity.


H.R. 2867 (Rep. Terri Sewell (D) [AL-07]) / S. 1659 (Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) [VT]): Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (VRAA): SUPPORT

This bill is an important first step toward restoring the Voting Rights Act protections the US Supreme Court struck down in 2013 in Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder. The VRAA contains several components which respond directly to the Court’s directive that preclearance be linked to recent acts of discrimination while seeking to provide victims of voting discrimination, and the courts that hear their claims, the tools to detect and prevent voting discrimination before it takes effect.


Elections & Voting

AB 44 (Asm. Kevin Mullin [AD-22]): Elections: Statewide Recounts: SUPPORT
This bill, until Jan. 1, 2023, establishes a state-funded recount process for elections involving statewide elective offices, state ballot measures and President of the United States. Specifically, it permits any voter, within five days after the Secretary of State (SOS) files a statement of the vote, to request a state-funded manual recount of all votes cast for a statewide constitutional officer or state ballot measure or for the office of President of the United States, if the difference in votes received is less than or equal to the lesser of 1,000 votes or 0.015 of one percent of the number of all votes cast for a state ballot measure or: for the second and third place candidates for a statewide office in a statewide primary election, or for the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for a statewide office in a statewide general election. Stipulates the state shall expeditiously reimburse counties for costs and requires SOS to adopt regulations, by Jan. 1, 2018. Requires county elections officials, while conducting a recount, to also review ballots previously rejected during the initial canvas and to complete the recounts: following a primary election, by three days before the ballot-printing deadline; and following a general election, within 60 days of the voter’s request for a recount.

AB 1461 (Asm. Lorena Gonzalez [AD-80]): Voter Registration: SUPPORT
This bill provides for every person who has a driver’s license or state identification card and who is eligible to register to vote to be automatically registered to vote by the California Secretary of State (SOS), unless that person opts out.

SB 163 (Sen. Robert Hertzberg [SD-18]): Elections: Vote-By-Mail Ballot: SUPPORT
This bill establishes a two-year pilot project in Los Angeles County that requires county elections officials to issue a vote by mail (VBM) ballot to every registered voter in the county for statewide primary, special, and general elections.

Health & Dignity


SB 128 (Sen. Lois Wolk [SD-03]): End of Life: SUPPORT
“End of Life Option Act” in California, modeled after Oregon’s “Death With Dignity Act,” which was enacted in 1997. This bill permits a qualified adult with capacity to make medical decisions, who has been diagnosed with a terminal disease to receive a prescription for an aid in dying drug if certain conditions are met: such as two oral requests (a minimum of 15 days apart) and a signed written request (witnessed by two individuals) is provided to his or her attending physician. The attending physician refers the patient to an independent, consulting physician to confirm diagnosis and capacity of the patient to make medical decisions, and the attending physician refers the patient for a mental health specialist assessment, if there are indications of a mental disorder. This bill protects a person from civil, criminal, administrative, employment, or contractual liability, or professional disciplinary action, for participating in good faith compliance with this bill. This bill permits a person or entity that elects, for reasons of conscience, morality, or ethics, not to engage in activities authorized pursuant to this bill. This bill makes it a felony to knowingly alter or forge a request for a drug to end an individual’s life without his or her authorization or concealing or destroying a withdrawal or a rescission of a request for an aid in dying drug if the act is done with the intent or effect of causing the individual’s death. This bill makes it a felony to knowingly coerce or exert undue influence on an individual to request an aid in dying drug for the purpose of ending his or her life.

SB 277 (Sen. Richard Pan [SD-06] / Sen. Ben Allen [ SD-26]): Public Health: Vaccinations: SUPPORT
This bill, eliminates the personal belief exemption from the requirement that children receive specified vaccines for certain infectious diseases prior to being admitted to any public or private elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery schools, family day care home, or developmental centers, and would make other conforming changes, leaving the option of medical exemption available. Does not apply to a home-based private school or a student enrolled in an independent study program.


SB 664 (Sen. Robert Hertzberg [SD-18]): Water: Urban Water Management Planning: SUPPORT
This bill would require Urban Water Management Plans (UWMPs) to include a seismic risk assessment and mitigation plan, which would assesses the vulnerability of each the various facilities of a water system and a capital improvement plan to mitigate those vulnerabilities. The bill would allow, but not require, an agency to comply with this requirement by submitting a copy of an adopted local hazard mitigation plan or multi-hazard mitigation plan as specified in the federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (P. L. 106-390) provided the local hazard mitigation plan or multi-hazard mitigation plan addresses seismic risk. For the UWMP update due on July 1, 2016, the seismic risk assessment and mitigation plan would be due to Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) by July 1, 2017. The seismic risk assessment and mitigation plan would be a part of the UWMP for all subsequent updates of UWMPs.

SB 32 (Sen. Pavley (D)):California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: Emissions Limit: SUPPORT

This bill is to ensure that the state accomplishes our 2050 target through the most cost-effective pathway; SB 32 incorporates the Governor’s midterm target of reducing climate pollution to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.  By simply amending the existing AB 32 framework without any major mechanical changes to the regulatory implementation process, SB 32 ensures that the policy tools currently being utilized to achieve the existing 2020 greenhouse gas target remain available for the achievement of targets beyond 2020 – including, but not limited to, energy efficiency requirements for buildings and appliances, tailpipe emissions standards for mobile sources, power sector renewable portfolio and emissions performance standards, sustainable land use policies, fuel-related emissions standards, and market based mechanisms – to maximize the                  effectiveness of our climate policies overall.

SB 350 (Sen. DeLeon (D):Clean Energy And Pollution Reduction Act of 2015: SUPPORT

This bill would implement new Golden State Standards “50-50-50” benchmarks by raising California’s renewable portfolio standard from 33% to 50%, striving for a 50% reduction in petroleum use, and increasing energy efficiency in buildings by 50% by the year 2030.  SB 350 makes these standards permanent, trackable, and enforceable by enacting them into law and building on the accountability mechanisms already in existence to ensure they are fully implemented.  Each of these standards is added to existing clean air, clean energy, and climate related statutes that have been implemented for years.  The 50% renewable energy standard will be implemented by the CA Public Utilities Commission for the private utilities and by the CA Energy Commission for municipal utilities, as per current law.  The 50% reduction in petroleum use also will be implemented using existing laws and financial resources.  Under current law, the state air board must reduce pollution in order to achieve state and federal ambient air standards.  Current law (Health and Safety Code Section 42013) requires the board to adopt standards for vehicles and fuels to achieve clean air.  This measure simply ensures those actions will achieve a 50% reduction in petroleum by 2030.  The 50% increase in energy efficiency in buildings will be done through the use of existing energy efficiency retrofit funding and regulatory tools already available to state energy agencies under existing law.  The addition made by this measure requires state energy agencies to plan for, and implement those programs in a manner that achieves the energy efficiency target.


Public Safety

AB 1352 (Asm. Eggman (D)):Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ): Withdrawal Of Plea: SUPPORT 

This bill provides that in any case in which a defendant was granted deferred entry of judgment (DEJ), on or after January 1, 1997, after pleading guilty or nolo contendere to the charged offense, the defendant shall be permitted by the court to withdraw the plea of guilty or nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty             if the defendant attests to and both of the following occur: 1) The charges were dismissed after the defendant performed satisfactorily during the DEJ period; and 2) The plea may result in the denial or loss to the defendant of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate, including, but not limited to, causing a noncitizen defendant to potentially be found inadmissible, deportable, or subject to any other kind of adverse immigration consequence.  The proposed expungement does not retroactively change DEJ’s effect under California law. Under Penal Code Section 1000.4, a person who successfully completes DEJ already has no conviction or arrest record. Withdrawing the guilty plea will provide no more and no less protection under California law than what already exists. Instead, this is a technical plea withdrawal specifically made to meet federal requirements.

SB 707 (Sen. Lois Wolk [SD-03]): Firearms: Gun-Free School Zone: SUPPORT
This bill prohibits individuals with a concealed weapons permit from bringing a firearm onto any public or private school (K-12), college, or university campus without permission of campus officials. It amends the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995, by narrowing the exemption that allows specified persons to carry a firearm in a “school zone” (as defined) without the written permission of the school district official; and also, deletes the exemption that allows specified persons to possess a firearm on the campus of a university or college without the written permission of the university or college president.

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