Momentum Builds for Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s Legislative Package

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 April 7, 2017 (SACRAMENTO) “I’m very grateful to my colleagues for the strong support they’ve shown for these ideas. We are addressing a number of important issues, from making sure kids are drinking lead-free water at school to ensuring that rape kits are retained until justice can be served.” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “These bills will make a positive difference in the lives of women, students, military veterans, parents and immigrants.”

Three of Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s bills received committee approval in the last ten days. The Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee unanimously approved Assembly Bill 746, which requires schools to test drinking water for lead after multiple schools in the 80th Assembly District announced lead contamination problems in their drinking water. Another bill introduced by the Assemblywoman—AB 1312, the Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights—won a unanimous vote in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. This legislation will require law enforcement to retain unprocessed rape kits until justice can be served, while also ensuring that sexual assault survivors are informed of their rights and the resources available to them. The Assembly Labor Committee also approved Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s legislation to outlaw employer interference in a woman’s reproductive healthcare decisions on a vote of 4-2. AB 569, the Reproductive Health Non Discrimination Act, was introduced after an unmarried San Diego-area college employee was fired for becoming pregnant in contravention of the college’s code of conduct. AB 569 prohibits employers from grossly violating the privacy rights of their employees through such codes.

Several other bills in Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s bill package won crucial support this week. The California Latino Legislative Caucus made three of her bills 2017 Priority Legislation. AB 206 extends workers compensation protections to day laborers. AB 386 establishes a legal aid fund for veterans who were wrongly deported by the federal government. AB 60, which the Assemblywoman is joint-authoring with Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), revises eligibility and reporting guidelines for childcare programs to make it easier for parents to enroll and keep their kids in quality childcare.

The Legislative Women’s Caucus also announced their priority bills this week, and two of Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s measures received the endorsement of the bipartisan group. AB 480 makes diapers reimbursable for CalWORKs parents. The prohibitive cost of diapers makes it difficult for parents to enroll their kids in childcare (as virtually every childcare facility requires parents provide a full supply of diapers for their children), impeding the effectiveness of California’s welfare-to-work program. The Women’s Caucus also endorsed AB 1312, the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights. Additionally, the women’s advocacy coalition Stronger California named Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s Gender Pay Gap Transparency Act, AB 1209, as one of its priority bills. AB 1209 will require large companies disclose their salary data by gender to the Secretary of State, where it will be posted on a public website so consumers can see how well or poorly a given company compensates it’s female employees.

“The strong support these bills are generating shows that California believes in compassion and opportunity. We should be looking out for women who aren’t earning equal pay for equal work, just like we should be concerned with the health of day laborers who do some of the hardest jobs in our economy. And we should all be outraged that the federal government isn’t keeping its promise of citizenship to undocumented veterans.” added Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher.

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