Proposed Bills to Take Action on for Health and Environment

20140501policyAh, spring in Sacramento: an abundance of Assembly Bills and Senate Bills, young pieces of policy that could become important state laws. This is the time of year that proposed bills make their way through various committees, each committee holding a vote before the bill can go to the next step. As a bill comes before a new committee, there’s often a call to action to weigh in, especially to voters who live in the districts of key committee members. Among the proposed bills moving forward this spring, there are a few key ones that the Ecology Center has been engaged on, because they would have a big impact on the future health and environment in California. We’ve summarized what these bills would do, and how you can join us in taking action. Lend your voice to shape the future we want.

SB 1000 – YES for Soda Warning Label

SB 1000 (Monning) would put a safety warning label on sodas and other sugary beverages sold in California. This bill would support the health of Californian consumers, helping them identify proven risks and make informed decisions about what they purchase. This bill is among a range of strategies moving forward to slow obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics by drawing awareness to what causes these diseases. Take Action: Latino Coalition for a Healthy California has a page for you to sign your support.

AB 2385 – YES for State Fund for Market Match

AB 2385 (Ting) would create a fund to support food assistance recipients’ access to healthy, fresh food from California farmers. The fund would support the existing Market Match program, and would be matched by funds approved in the federal Farm Bill. Market Match doubles customers federal nutrition benefits (CalFresh, WIC and SSI/SSDI) when they shop at participating farmers’ markets. The bill would support the health and nutrition of low-income Californians, and it puts more money in the pocket of California’s small farmers. Take Action: Head to Roots of Change’s page on AB 2385 for updates and to show your support.

AB 2145 – NO for CCA Killer

AB 2145 (Bradford) would cripple future Community Choice Energy (CCA) programs. CCAs create alternatives to the big utility monopolies, allowing for greater mix of renewable and local energy sources. AB 2145 includes a provision that would make these programs “opt-in,” an unprecedented requirement. Under current law, when a new CCA program is established, all residents are enrolled in the program but are given many opportunities to opt out and return to their previous utility. Take Action: Click here to sign a petition opposing the bill.

SB 270 – YES for Statewide Bag Bill

SB 270 (Padilla, De Léon, and Lara) would reduce bag pollution and waste by restricting single-use plastic grocery bags and placing a ten cent minimum charge on paper and reusable bags. This bill would grandfather in existing local bag ordinances, so places like Alameda County, San Francisco and Los Angeles would be able to keep the policies that they already have in place. This bill would reduce plastic bag pollution and save money for California’s waste water treatment plants. Take Action: Californians Against Waste has a page with updates and action for this bill.

AB 1594 – YES to Close Landfilled Yard Trimmings Loophole

AB 1594 (Williams) would eliminate a loophole in state law that allows yard trimmings and prunings that are used as daily landfill cover to count as being “diverted” from landfills. Ending this loophole would help boost the composting and recovery of these green waste materials. Take Action: Californians Against Waste is co-sponsoring this bill and has a page with updates and action.

AB 1826 – YES to Increase Organic Waste Recovery & Composting

AB 1826 (Chesbro) would increase the recycling of yard trimming and food scraps into compost. It would require businesses that generate over a certain amount of yard debris or food scraps to sign up for green waste recycling. This type of waste in the landfill is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but when it’s composted, it helps create local jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports agriculture and gardening. Take Action: Californians Against Waste is co-sponsoring this bill and has a page with updates and action.

[Photo by heacphotos on Flickr]

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