Bills Further Climate Action, Social Justice, Reproductive Health Data Privacy and More
SACRAMENTO, CA – Yesterday, fourteen of Senator Becker’s key bills cleared the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. They now head to the Senate Floor for consideration by the full Senate.
The fourteen bills represent Senator Josh Becker’s legislative priorities to act on climate, advance social justice, protect reproductive health data, build affordable housing, and more.
“I am proud of my team,” said Senator Becker, D-Menlo Park. “This year we had a very substantive group of bills addressing critical issues such as homelessness, energy, data privacy, and housing. Appropriations is an important and difficult step in our process, especially in a year with a budget deficit. As such, I was happy to see fourteen of my bills advance. I know some of them will have tough roads ahead and I’m excited to work on those bills. For those that were made two year bills today, like our police radio two-year bill, we will have a chance to continue to build the coalition, and we’ll keep looking at the ones that didn’t make it through so we can continue to address these issues.”
The fourteen bills advancing to the full Senate include:
SB 48 - Building Energy Savings Act: Aims to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in large buildings (both residential and commercial) in order to lower utility bills, improve grid reliability, and achieve the state’s climate targets. It directs the Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a strategy that can leverage existing data to reduce energy use, including the potential use of building performance standards.
SB 49 - Space for Solar: Supports solar and transmission lines that avoid construction on undeveloped or agricultural land by directing the Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to develop a strategic plan for making unused land within highway rights-of-way available for renewable energy generation, energy storage, and transmission lines.
SB 308 - Carbon Dioxide Removal Market Development Act: In 2022, California passed landmark legislation committing the state to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045, with a reduction in emissions of at least 85% from 1990 levels. To achieve the net zero target, the state will need carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to balance those remaining 15% of emissions, but today the state has no plan for scaling up that CDR capacity.
SB 308 creates a framework for developing the state’s CDR capacity so that we can achieve net zero by counterbalancing the hardest-to-eliminate emissions that will still exist in 2045. SB 308 establishes rules to ensure that CDR solutions will provide scientifically valid carbon removal and that CDR providers will partner with neighboring communities to provide local benefits and avoid harms. It also creates early market demand for CDR solutions so that they can start to scale up and mature.
SB 410 - Powering Up California: Requires the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to decrease the time in which electrical utilities connect and upgrade customers to electricity service. To ensure shorter target interconnection times, SB 410 requires the PUC to set a target timeline for utilities to connect different types of resources, report necessary data, and encourage workforce development considerations to meet that timeline.
SB 420 - The California Transmission Prioritization Act: Simplifies the approval process for priority transmission projects needed to meet grid reliability and clean energy targets. This bill shortens the approval process for necessary transmission projects by requiring California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) legal challenges be resolved within 270 days for qualifying transmission projects and eliminates duplicative economic analysis required by the Public Utilities Commission.
SB 485 - Climate Opportunities for California Cattle: Requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create an incentive program for farmers to reduce enteric methane emissions from cattle and ruminant livestock, once commercially available, demonstrated to be safe and scientifically proven.
SB 755 - California’s Layered Energy Application for Residents (CLEAR): This program requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to create a single online application to apply for California’s residential energy programs. This one-stop-shop application — California’s Layered Energy Application for Residents (CLEAR) — will make applying for current and future programs simpler and faster, particularly for low-income families, and will support the climate transition.
SB 474 - Basic, Affordable Supplies for Incarcerated Californians (BASIC) Act: The BASIC Act alleviates cost pressures for incarcerated people and their families by limiting price markups on items purchased in California’s prison canteen stores.
SB 322 - Union Neutrality Battery Manufacturing: Prioritizes large state grants for battery manufacturers who agree to remain union neutral and who agree to demonstrate other high road job characteristics, such as hiring displaced workers and complying with state and federal safety laws.
SB 803 - Clearing the Path for Affordable Housing Development: Requires the Department of General Services to annually verify a sample of agency-submitted data from the State Property Inventory that is viable for affordable housing development.
SB 362 - Delete Act: Creates a webpage within the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) that enables consumers to request the deletion of their personal information, including reproductive healthcare and geolocation data, from each registered data brokers' records. The Act also requires data brokers to report what information they collect on consumers and imposes civil penalties and fines on data brokers who fail to comply with the deletion requirements.
SB 570 - Access to Provider Recommended Prenatal Care: Prohibits the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) from establishing a rule or regulation, or imposing contractual requirements, that would interfere with a pregnant individual’s ability to access genetic screening as recommended by their prenatal care provider.
SB 582 - Fair Pricing from Electronic Health Record Vendors: Authorizes the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Data Exchange Framework to prevent electronic health records (EHR) vendors from charging unreasonable fees to doctor’s offices to use their legally-mandated health record keeping service.
SB 721 - The California Interagency AI Working Group: Creates the California Interagency Artificial Intelligence (AI) Working Group to produce a biannual report on the implications and safeguards for AI technology.
First elected in 2020, Senator Becker represents the 13th Senate District covering portions of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and includes the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside