Each year DRC develops bill ideas to fix issues affecting people with disabilities. Based on priority, political climate and the approval of our Board of Directors, we decide which bills, if any, we will sponsor. Then we work to persuade the right legislator to take on the bill.
DRC is sponsoring the following bills.
AB 1663 (Maienschein): The Probate Conservatorship Reform and Supported Decision-Making Act
Disabled people and older adults are often forced into conservatorships, a system that takes away their basic civil rights and ability to make decisions for themselves. AB 1663 helps people keep choice and control over their lives. It would create laws so people with disabilities and older adults can get support from people they trust, and not be forced into unnecessary conservatorships.
AB 1663 would also change the laws about probate code conservatorships to make sure that people under conservatorship have a voice in the decisions made for them. It would also make it easier for people to get out of conservatorships when the conservatorship is no longer necessary.
For more information visit the website Support Without Courts for People with Disabilities
AB 1900 (Arambula): Medi-Cal Income Level Maintenance
The Medi-Cal share of cost program extends Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income older adults and people with disabilities who have significant health care needs but are just above the free Medi-Cal income limit. The problem is that right now California’s share of cost program only allows an individual to maintain $600 a month to meet their monthly expenses. They must pay the rest of their income towards their health care to become eligible for Medi-Cal. This $600 amount is called the “maintenance need income level” and hasn’t changed since 1989. AB 1900 would raise the maintenance need income level to 138% of the federal poverty level even with the current income eligibility limit for free Medi-Cal.
AB 1990 (Arambula): Department of Fair Employment and Housing: Californians with disabilities: workgroup
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into federal law in 1990. The ADA has been monumental for many living with disabilities; however, it should be viewed as the floor for the rights of the disability community. AB 1990 is an opportunity to form a workgroup with people who can help give the Legislature and Administration ideas to create a Californians with Disabilities Act. California will continue to strive to be the best state in the country for people living with disabilities.
AB 2475 (Quirk-Silva): School of Origin
Current law offers a foster child the right to remain in their “school of origin.” This is the school that a foster child previously attended when permanently housed or the school in which the foster child was last enrolled. AB 2475 clarifies that “school of origin” also includes non-public schools where required by a student’s Individualized Education Program plan. This ensures foster youth can return to their non-public school after they are released from court custody.
AB 2598 (Weber): Restorative Justice
This bill requires CDE to develop a standard model for restorative justice practices to be utilized by school districts as part of their efforts to improve campus culture and climate. Restorative practices and restorative justice methods allow for greater understanding and community healing in addressing youth incidents. These practices also emphasize repairing the harm done to people and relationships, rather than focusing on punishing offenders. Instead, these practices emphasize the importance of ensuring those responsible for the harm receive the help and support they need to heal and stop the cycle of harm.
AB 2632 (Holden): California Mandela Act on Solitary Confinement
Solitary confinement is considered torture by the United Nations and a growing body of legal and medical experts. Disability Rights California is part of a coalition that is looking to limit the use of solitary confinement. People with disabilities, especially mental health disabilities, are particularly at risk for long term damage from any amount of time in solitary confinement. This bill will help to establish limits on the amount of time people can spend in solitary confinement in jails, prisons and immigration detention centers, especially for vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, younger people, older people and those who are pregnant.
AB 2823 (Levine): Home Upkeep Allowance
This bill aims to help prevent homelessness for long-term care Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are temporarily residing in a skilled nursing facility and are no longer able to pay their housing expenses due to diverting their income towards share of cost. The home upkeep allowance, also recognized as an allowance for home maintenance, shall be available to long-term care facility residents who are Medi-Cal recipients.
SB 281 (Dodd): California Community Transitions Program
SB 281 would assure continuation of the successful California Community Transitions Program. As of December 31, 2019, the CCT Program has assisted more than 4,300 individuals in moving out of a nursing home and into their own home or other community setting.
SB 387 (Portantino): Pupil Health: School Employee and Pupil Training: Youth Mental and Behavioral Health
During the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase number of young people have had feelings of isolation and loneliness, which have contributed to a mental health crisis. SB 387 will require the California Department of Education to have 75% of classified and certified employees on school campuses complete an evidence-based behavioral health training program.
SB 1092 (Hurtado): Equitable Access to Services
When a person with I/DD and their regional center disagree about the type or amount of a service they should get, the law provides a process for resolving that disagreement called a “fair hearing.” In fair hearings, disputes are supposed to be heard and decided by a hearing officer who is fair and knowledgeable about the system and the law. The hearing officer is also supposed to conduct the hearing in a manner that is informal and accessible to those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer to represent them.
However, that has not been the experience of many people served by regional centers, especially people of color. Even the Department of Developmental Services has described the current fair hearing system as “cumbersome, difficult to navigate, and intimidating,” particularly for Latinx communities. SB 1092 aims to ensure that people served by regional centers can meaningfully participate in decisions about the services they receive, and in hearings about those services - regardless of their race, ethnicity, English proficiency, or ability to afford legal counsel.
SB 1273 (Bradford): School Safety, Mandatory Notifications
This bill will eliminate some of the overreaching statutory mandates that require school staff to notify law enforcement about common school-related behavior. Currently school administrators are mandatory reporters to law enforcement for many offenses including possession, bringing a boxcutter or other considered weapon, and behavioral outbursts. The changes made by SB 1273 will protect students from unnecessary contact with the justice system and help keep students in school.
SB 1480 (Glazer): Electronic Ballot Return
All California voters receive ballots in the mail that they can return in three ways in a signed envelope. However, returning a ballot for someone with a print disability privately and independently can be difficult and in some cases almost impossible. A print disability is not a new disability classification, but refers to a disability that impacts one’s ability to interact with printed materials. Print disabilities include blindness, visual impairments, learning disabilities and other physical disabilities that make it more difficult to hold, read or write on printed materials. This bill would allow for people with print disabilities to return their ballots electronically without reading or handling printed material.