The California Legislative Black Caucus Announces Legislative and Budgetary Priorities for 2017

April 25, 2017

Sacramento (CA) – The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) announced their 2017 legislative and budgetary priorities for the 2017 legislation session to pursue Social, Economic, and Educational Justice.

“The California Legislative Black Caucus looks forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature and Governor Brown to further Californian’s leadership role on a number of issues that affect all Californians but particularly the Black Community,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.

The CLBC’s legislative priorities include the Sickle Cell Treatment Act, AB-1488, by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (AD-15) and the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act of 2017, AB-1520, by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (AD-62).

Diseases that primarily affect the Black community are often significantly under financed. Disparities in health care treatment are a social justice issue that must be addressed through legislation and budgetary measures. Assembly Bill 1488 provides funding for care of those with Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited chronic condition that primarily affects African Americans (1 in 365 births; 8-10% of African Americans). In California, there are approximately 7,000 individuals who have sickle cell disease, but there are fewer than 6 specialists to care for all the adult sickle cell patients within the State. AB 1488 would create four sickle cell treatment centers providing Best Practice Guidelines to be used by all sickle cell disease health care providers. AB1488 is also requesting an allocation of $80 Million to fund these treatment facilities, provide resources, and training to the sickle cell heath care providers.

Assembly Bill 1520 commits the Legislature to a goal of reducing child poverty by 50 percent by 2037. This bill proposes expenditures on safety net programs that will impact fair pay and job opportunities, provide access to childcare, support family-friendly workplaces, and protect vulnerable communities. Among the list of targeted safety net programs are childcare and early childhood education, after school and summer school programs, Medi-Cal, affordable housing, CalWORKS, and workforce development.

The California Legislative Black Caucus budgetary priorities include $90 Million in the first year with a $4.5 Million annual commitment thereafter for the following initiatives:

  • Peace Officer Standard and Training Commission ($3 Million)
  • Umoja Community Higher Education Program ($2.5 Million, annually)
  • California Department of Education Equity Performance and Improvement Team ($2.5 Million)
  • Child Death Review Teams ($2 Million, annually)

The California Legislative Black Caucus has endorsed nineteen bills authored by members of the caucus that address social, economic, and educational justice for Black Californians.

  • AB-23 Ridley-Thomas: Girls in STEM
  • AB-43 Thurmond: Tax Private Prisons for Preschool Slots
  • AB-46 Cooper: Wage Discrimination Prohibition
  • AB-90 Weber: CalGang Database
  • AB-454 Ridley-Thomas: No Taxation on Wrongly Convicted Settlements
  • AB-535 Jones-Sawyer: Restoration of Jury Duty Rights
  • AB-566 Ridley-Thomas: Community Development Investments
  • AB-620 Holden: Trauma Therapy for Parole
  • AB-1008 McCarty: Ban the Box
  • AB-1115 Jones-Sawyer: Court Granted Expungement
  • AB-1299 Gipson: Compton Community College Accreditation
  • AB-1344 Weber: Voting Rights of Previously Convicted Felons
  • AB-1347 Ridley-Thomas: Tax Credits and Supplier Diversity Goals
  • HR-29 Weber: Ethnic Studies
  • SB-163 Bradford: Defining Domiciles for Elected Officials
  • SB-180 Mitchell: Decrease Jail Time for Drug Offenders
  • SB-190 Mitchell: Elimination of Juvenile Offender Fees
  • SB-439 Mitchell: Jurisdiction of Juvenile Courts
  • SB-488 Bradford: Insurance Diversity Initiatives