2020 Legislative Priorities
For 2020, JPAC has focused on COVID-19 response and state support for the non-profit sector; ensuring that California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum does not contain derogatory references or biased descriptions of Jews, Judaism, Israel, and Israelis; and supporting legislation that protects our State’s needy seniors through the protection of the Multi-Service Senior Program (MSSP) in the State budget.
Protecting the Non-Profit Sector
JPAC’s membership is composed of non-profit organizations across California. Our member organizations collectively employ approximately 5,000 staff and serve over 1,000,000 people each year. JPAC member organizations provide critical aid, assistance, and legal services to our state’s most vulnerable, including individuals detained at the border, forced into homelessness, or denied essential healthcare. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our member organizations have established emergency funds to further be of assistance to their clients and the communities they serve. See our letter to Governor Newsom here.
California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum
The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) recognizes the value of Ethnic Studies and the research demonstrating its benefits on students. On July 23, 2019 JPAC submitted a letter to the IQC that included a thorough review of the model curriculum and recommendations for modifications. See our letter after the release of the first draft of the model curriculum here.
In addition, JPAC requested that the CDE, in their review of the first draft and subsequent second draft, ensure the following:
1. The final Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum must remove all derogatory references or biased descriptions of Jews, Judaism, Israel, and Israelis.
2. If the State retains the expanded coverage of ethnic groups as seen in the first draft of the model curriculum (Chapter 2), then Jewish Americans should be appropriately and respectfully included.
3. The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum should include Antisemitism in discussions of hate crimes, bias, prejudice, and stereotyping and be listed explicitly
See our letter to CDE here.
You can also read our subsequent letters following the release of the second draft and the third draft of model curriculum.
JPAC has a long history of advocating on behalf of critical social service programs that serve those members of our community most in need. Protecting and providing for our elders has always been a high priority for the Jewish community. Across the state, Jewish Family Service and Jewish Children and Family Service agencies serve more than 200,000 clients annually, many of whom were impacted by previous cuts to programs and services whose funding was never restored. Jewish human service agencies are statewide leaders in providing comprehensive services to seniors, from wellness programs, to behavioral health services, to caring for the frailest elders, including Survivors of the Holocaust.
MSSP serves almost 12,000 frail older adults (65+) in their homes, rather than in institutions. MSSP providers across the state, including Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and Jewish Family and Children’s Services in the San Francisco Bay Area, provide clients with case management and patient advocacy, professional nursing, social work, and other clinically-driven direct services to the frailest elderly so they may remain safely at home.
The majority of MSSP clients live alone, subsist on approximately $1000 per month, and have complex medical and psychosocial needs that require specialized medical and social support services. MSSP staff serve in the critical role of client advocate to make sure that clients have access to community resources and services. Without this assistance, these individuals or their families are left to navigate an increasingly complicated system of medical and social services.
MSSP was on the chopping block this year and was threatened by total elimination. Together with our partners, JPAC lobbied to ensure that this program remained funded by the State.
2019 Legislative Priorities
In 2019, JPAC is focused on continuing to ensure that the State’s safety net for California’s most needy seniors stays intact; that there is protection for non-profits at risk of a terrorist attack or hate crime; and that we as a state are considering and implementing innovative ways to reduce the number of people living in poverty.
At our 2019 Advocacy Day in Sacramento, JPAC lobbied for three legislative packages that seek to end deep poverty through the earned income tax credit; strengthen the security of nonprofits at risk of terrorist attacks and hate-motivated violence through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program; and allows our state’s aging adults to age with dignity by supporting the State’s Master Plan on Aging and the Multi-Service Support Program.
The bills we lobbied for include:
Aging With Dignity
1. The Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program (MSSP): A one-time increase of $24.9 million over three budget years to provide frail seniors with professional case management and a range of critical services, including: nursing care, social work, and other clinically-driven direct services.
Read more about the MSSP here.
2. SB 228 (Jackson): Creates the Master Plan for Aging, outlining the state’s goals and objectives relative to the growth of the aging population and their accompanying needs.
3. AB 1382 (Aguiar-Curry): Establishes, as part of the Master Plan for Aging, a comprehensive strategy for preparing and supporting California’s caregiver workforce.
Read the Master Plan For Aging Here. Read Governor Newsom’s Press Release Calling For the Master Plan For Aging in the press here.
Addressing and Preventing Hate Crimes
1. Budget Request: $15 million for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program, to improve the physical security of nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack due to ideology, beliefs, or mission.
2. AB 1548 (Gabriel): Establishes the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program to improve the physical security of nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack due to ideology, beliefs, or mission.
3. AB 300 (Chu): Improves accuracy in reporting of hate crimes and incidents.
4. AB 1052 (Chu): Requires peace officers to undergo comprehensive training on hate crimes.
Ending Childhood Poverty
1. AB 24 (Burke): Establishes the Targeted Child Tax Credit (TCTC) to support families and children living in deep poverty by taking into account the basic necessities of a family when issuing a tax credit.
2. Budget Request: California Earned Income Tax Credit: Supports Governor Gavin Newsom’s Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget proposal that doubles the existing California EITC by investing $1 billion in a new Working Families Tax Credit.
3. AB 898 (Wicks): Advances health equity and improves the children’s behavioral health system in California.
2018 Legislative Priorities
JPAC advocates lobbied a package of bills that address poverty and homelessness by increasing State funding to help impoverished families, seniors and other individuals meet their most basic needs; provide badly needed support for elderly Holocaust Survivors who are struggling to live out their days in dignity; and, a new program to make California a national leader in combating hate, safeguarding free speech, and promoting inclusive climates on its university campuses. And finally, we continue to advocate for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides funding for nonprofits that are at high risk of a hate crime or terrorist act.
1. AB 3171 (Ting): Homeless Persons Services Block Grant: This bill creates the Local Homelessness Solutions Program, which will provide matching funds to cities with programs to combat homelessness. These funds must be matched by the recipient city and may be spent on a range of homelessness activities, including shelter diversion, rapid re-housing, rental assistance, emergency shelter, navigation centers, bridge housing, and permanent supportive housing. The bill will seek up to $1.5 billion in one-time state funding for the program.
2. AB 3200 (Kalra): Public Social Services: SSI/SSP: This bill has become known as the $100 for 100% bill and would increase State Supplementary Payment (SSP) grants by $100 a month to reach nearly 100% of the Federal Poverty Level and restore the annual Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) in the program. While the FPL itself is still an insufficient income level in California to care for aged, blind and disabled members of the community, this bill would nonetheless make important progress.
3. SB 982 (Mitchell): CALWorks: SB 982 endeavors to eliminate deep poverty in the CalWORKs program by requiring a minimum grant level of 50 percent of the federal poverty line. By doing so, this bill would help protect children from the harms of chronic poverty and better enable the CalWORKs program to achieve its goals.
4. Budget ask: $1.25 million ($1,250,000) appropriation making California a national leader in combating hate, safeguarding free speech, and promoting inclusive climates on its university campuses
The California Responding to Hate on Campus Grant Program will enable the State of California to take the lead in working with colleges and universities on blunting these troubling trends and challenges on their campuses.This initial step will demonstrate that a small public investment can make a significant difference in shaping how people think and respond when confronted with hate.
5. Budget ask: $3.6 million ($3,600,000) appropriation to ensure that Holocaust survivors are able to live in dignity in their communities.
While the size of the survivor population is decreasing, the number of survivors needing and seeking assistance is increasing. The California Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program will help ensure that Holocaust survivors are able to live out their lives with dignity and prevent the very things Survivors should never have to face again — eviction, hunger, inadequate medical care, social isolation, and despair – while avoiding the financial and emotional costs of unnecessary institutionalization. This allocation will be used to fund and supplement funding for services including Home Care, culturally appropriate case management, home-delivered meals, transportation, and emergency financial assistance. At an estimated average expenditure of $6,000 per Holocaust survivor, a $3.6 million investment would serve approximately 600 frail survivors throughout California. This competitive grant program within the appropriate State of California department will be used to meet the unique and urgent needs of vulnerable Holocaust Survivors.
6. JPAC also had significant input into AJR 35, a resolution introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine regarding Poland’s disturbing legislation limiting speech about that country’s role in the Holocaust. We are awaiting it’s hearing in the Senate, though it has already passed in the Assembly. Read the Resolution here. Our Letter of Support can be read here.
2017 Legislative Priorities
1. Immigration Bill Package:
AB 3 (Bonta) will create Regional Centers and Statewide Resource Centers for public defenders to gain immigration expertise
AB 291 (Chiu) will prohibit landlords from threatening to report tenants to immigration authorities, whether in retaliation for engaging in legally-protected activities or to influence them to vacate.
AB 699 (O’Donnell) will safeguard against immigration enforcement activities on school campuses and promote a safe and equitable learning environment for all students.
SB 6 (Hueso) will provide access to qualified legal counsel to immigrants in deportation or removal proceedings
SB 29 (Lara) will prevent local governments from contracting with private companies to detain immigrants for profit
SB 31 (Lara) will prevent public agencies and their employees from assisting with or providing personal information for any federal registry based on an individual’s religious, ethnic or national origin
SB 54 (de Leon) prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from engaging in immigration enforcement.
2. AB 1520 (Burke): Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act: This bill establishes a permanent framework through the state budget process, which requires the Legislature to invest in programs that have been proven to significantly reduce child poverty. The goal of this bill is to reduce child poverty by 50% over the 20-year period starting in fiscal year 2018-19 and to use the framework proposed by this bill as recommendations for enacting future legislation to fund programs or services and future innovations to reduce child poverty. In addition, the Legislature will be required to hold hearings on California’s progress to reduce child poverty every two years. This bill passed by a unanimous (14-0) vote of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the bill on May 26th, 2017. It passed the Assembly Floor without any opposition.
3. Budget Ask: $2 million for the California Nonprofit Security Grant: SUCCESS!
The State of California has a demonstrated need for a state grant program (similar to the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program administered by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the California Office of Emergency Services) to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at risk of a violent attack. Such funding would enable eligible nonprofit organizations to obtain physical security enhancements (e.g., reinforced doors and gates, high-intensity lighting systems, alarms) and security training that would help them to prevent, mitigate, and respond to acts of terrorism and hate-motivated violence. Similar to the federal program, criteria for determining eligible applicants could include factors such as prior attacks or threats against the organization or similar organizations, findings from risk assessments, the symbolic value of the organization or site, and the role of the organization in responding to or recovering from an attack. This budget item was approved by Governor Brown
We are actively supporting the following bills during the 2017 legislative session:
SB 2 (Atkins) Building Homes and Jobs Act
SB 3 (Beall) Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018
AB 158 (Chu<) Hate crime reporting standards
AB 800 (Chiu) Hate crimes: hotline
AB 1161 (Ting) Hate crimes
AB 796 (Kalra) Public social services: SSI/SSP
AB 164 (Arambula) Food Assistance
AB 60 (Santiago & Gonzalez) Subsidized child care and development services: eligibility periods
B 569 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Discrimination: reproductive health
AB 900 (Gonzalez) Compensation for Victims of Human Trafficking
2016 Legislative Priorities
JPAC lobbied our state representatives on the following issues/bills:
AB 2844 (Bloom) Public Contracts: Discrimination
– Governor Brown signed AB 2844 (Bloom) on September 24th
. AB 2844 passed both Houses of the Legislature in August by overwhelming majorities despite strong opposition from anti-Israel groups.
SB 1053 (Leno) The Housing Opportunities Act
– This bill ensured that landlords could not deny rental applicants housing opportunities simply because they receive rental subsidies, such as Section 8 vouchers. Unfortunately, the bill died on the Senate Appropriation Suspense File.
Social Services Budget items:
- Requested that the Senate Leadership Proposal, the No Place Like Home Initiative, would maintain critical funding for current mental health services
- Requested $5.4 million increase in General Fund support for senior nutrition programs, in which we received a $2 million increase.
2015 Legislative Priorities
JPAC lobbied our state representatives on the following issues/bills:
- The Preschool for All Act of 2015: AB 47 (McCarty)
- Hunger/food insecurity bill package (AB 608, AB 1240, AB 1321)
- Reinvesting in Programs for Frail Older Adults
- The California non-profit Security Grant Program ($2 million)
2014 Legislative Priorities
JPAC advocates lobbied to prevent bullying and human trafficking and to increase funding for the social service safety net. Bills we supported include:
- The social service budget: Restoration of the SSI/SSP COLA and $5 million for the State Emergency Food Assistance Program (SEFAP) program
- SB 840 (Lara):This bill would increase school safety by improving the handling of bullying and discrimination in public schools
- SB 1165 (Mitchell, Block): This bill would add sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention education to the sexual health education for junior high and high school students
- SB 1388 (Lieu):This bill would increase penalties for sex buyers
JPAC supported a resolution authored by Senator Marty Block (SCR 121): Relative to the Memorandum of Understanding Between Israel and California.
2013 Legislative Priorities
Our 2013 priority list included gun safety, Israel/CA trade, Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS), and Anti-Semitism on campus.
- The LIFE Act: “Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement: Senate Democrats unveiled eight legislative actions to curb gun violence in California which would close loopholes in the regulation, circulation and education relating to firearms and gun ownership. Termed the “LIFE Act,” it includes eight bills all backed by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.For more information about the LIFE Act, please click here.
- Assembly Bill 518 (Yamada and Blumenfield): Community-Based Adult Services: CBAS is an outpatient service that offers critical health and social services in an integrated manner to Medi-Cal eligible patients who are at risk of placement into nursing homes at much greater expense to the State. Participants receive skilled nursing care, therapeutic activities, physical therapy, and a range of other services to assist people in avoiding costlier – and usually undesired – out-of-home placements. A.B. 518 seeks to provide statewide standards that will help provide a more uniform and reliable system of care throughout the State.
- JPAC partnered with former State Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield and former Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to circulate a letter to the University of California Regents thanking them for their stance against BDS. Read the letter here.
Other bills JPAC supported include:
- AB 978 (Blumenfield):Financial institutions: Iran sanctions
- AB 1166 (Blumenfield): International relations: trade and economic development: Israel
- AB 156 (Holden): Human trafficking: interception of electronic communications.
- AB 694 (Bloom): Admissibility of evidence: victims of human trafficking
- SB 327 (Yee): Human trafficking: recall and resentencing
- SB 516 (Steinberg): Human trafficking
- SB 612 (Leno): Residential tenancy: victims of human trafficking and elder or dependent adult abuse
- AB 276 (Hueso): CalFresh eligibility
- AB 309 (Mitchell): CalFresh: homeless youth
- AB 191 (Bocanegra) CalFresh: categorical eligibility
- AB 216 (Stone and Maienschein): High school graduation requirements: pupils in foster care
- SB 391 (DeSaulnier): California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013
- AB 16 (Perez): Domestic violence: corporal injury
- AB 65 (Achadjian, Lowenthal): Sex crimes
- SB 400 (Jackson): Employment protections: victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- AB 263 (Hernández, Roger) Employment: retaliation: immigration-related document practices
- SB 118 (Leiu) Unemployment Insurance
2012 Legislative Priorities
- AB 2160 (Blumenfield and Feuer): AB 2160 empowers the California Insurance Commissioner to disallow investments in Iran from assets that would otherwise contribute to the financial solvency of insurers as a condition for operating in California. AB 2160 would require a domestic insurer to treat any indirect investment in the Iranian energy sector as a “nonadmitted asset” on the financial statements of that insurer in filings with the California Insurance Commissioner. This bill was approved by the Governor on September 23, 2012.Articles on AB 1260 can be found here
- SB 1193 (Steinberg): This bill would require specific businesses to post a list of resources to assist victims of human trafficking. This bill was approved by Governor Brown on 9/24/12.Articles on AB 1732 can be found here.
- AB 1732 (Campos): This bill would expand under the definition of bullying the following terms “electronic act” via a post on a social network Internet Web site “burn pages,” “credible impersonations,” and “false profiles.” This bill was approved by the Governor on July 23, 2012.Articles on AB 1732 can be found here.
- Social Services Budget