2017 Legislative Priority Updates, SEIU Local 2015

1| Worker & Economic Justice 2| Environmental Justice 3| Restorative Justice 4| Housing Justice 5| Immigrant Justice

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About Local 2015:

As a union of over 325,000 long term care workers across California, we are taking advantage of every opportunity available to us to move our Justice Agenda. We unite other care givers and our communities to support our issues through organizing non-union caregivers, using our contract bargaining to raise standards, electing politicians that will demonstrate our values and act on our issues and through the legislative and state budget process where decisions get made on how the state will spend its resources. Below is a summary of the Legislative victories, organized by the pillars of our Justice Agenda, which Local 2015 members worked to achieve in the 2017 Legislative Session.

Worker and Economic Justice:

Assembly Bill 432 (Thurmond): Personal Care Services

This proposal brings parity to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) providers by establishing an employer of record (EOR) for WPCS providers. Similar to IHSS, WPCS providers help Medi-Cal recipients with significant disabilities remain safely in their homes by providing bathing, meal preparation, and other personal care services. However, workers who only provide WPCS services are not afforded the same rights and benefits as their brothers and sisters who provide IHSS services – benefits like resolution of grievances and entitlement to workers’ compensation. WPCS providers do the same work as IHSS providers, but IHSS providers have a clear EOR and the right to join a union, WPCS providers have neither. Nothing in this bill would diminish or undermine the rights of consumers to continue hiring, firing, and supervising their providers of choice. What this bill does do is empower WPCS providers to unite their voices as part of a union and fight for both themselves and their consumers.

Status: This bill went through the entire Legislative process with unanimous and bipartisan support and is now pending signature or veto by Governor Brown no later than October 15th, 2017.

Assembly Bill 1513 (Kalra): Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act Registry

This bill would allow the California Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide the union with a public record of all registered private pay home care aides, who agree to make their contact information available. California’s senior population (adults age 65 years or older) is projected to increase from 5 million in 2015 to nearly 12 million by 2060. California will experience unique challenges and opportunities due to this drastic shift in the population of people who will require long-term services and supports (LTSS) to remain active in their homes and communities. Without a real way for labor organizations to outreach to private home care aides to offer professional development services and worker protections, the growth of a trained and adequate long term care workforce could be stunted and the growing population of seniors and people with disabilities could in turn be negatively impacted. This bill would allow labor organizations that provide representation concerning access to training, grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work to home care aides to better serve the growing aging population in our state.

Status: This bill is pending signature or veto by Governor Brown no later than October 15th, 2017.

Restorative Justice:

Senate Bill 180 (Mitchell): Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancement (RISE) Act

This bill removes sentencing enhancements that add additional three-year terms of incarceration for each prior conviction of nonviolent drug offenses. Sentence enhancements are ineffective in reducing or deterring the ability to get or use drugs. Instead families, low-income communities, and communities of color have been disproportionately incarcerated and affected by sentence enhancements. Individuals suffer from prolonged incarceration and a lifetime of barriers to employment, education, and housing benefits due to minor crimes. Research shows that community based programming such as community-based drug treatment, employment, and housing for persons with prior convictions, among others reduce involvement with drugs.

Status: This bill is pending signature or veto by Governor Brown no later than October 15th, 2017.

Housing Justice:

Senate Bill 2 (Atkins): Building Homes and Jobs Act.

This bill establishes a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents. California is facial a housing affordability crisis. Moderate-income and low-income Californians struggle to pay for housing in their local community and our state loses hundreds of billions of dollars a year due to the housing shortage. The fee is capped at $225 per parcel, per transaction basis and does not include commercial and residential real-estate. This bill would generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for affordable housing, raising approximately $1.2 billion in the first five years with an additional $4.6 billion from federal, local, and private institutions. These funds would provide more than 20,000 new and rehabilitated housing units, almost $10 billion in overall economic activity in the state, 57,000 new construction jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in local and state tax dollars, among others.

Status: This bill is pending signature or veto by Governor Brown no later than October 15th, 2017.

Immigrant Justice:

Assembly Bill 450 (Chiu): Immigrant Worker Protection Act

This bill prevents Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) from violating the due process, labor, and privacy rights of California workers during a worksite raid. Over 2.6 million undocumented immigrants reside in California – that means almost 1 in every 10 workers in California is undocumented. Immigration worksite raids decrease the likelihood of undocumented workers reporting labor violations or exercising workplace rights. More significantly, when ICE acts on information provided by corrupt employers seeking to intimidate workers, the government becomes complicit in the violation of workers’ labor rights. This bill safeguards workers at the worksite by 1) establishing that employers may only allow access to the worksite when they have a judicial warrant; 2) preventing employers from sharing confidential employee information without a judicial warrant or subpoena; 3) requiring employers to notify their employees of an I-9 audit before the inspection and after with the results of the audit, and 4) prohibits employers from re-verifying work authorization unless directed by federal law.

Status: This bill is pending signature or veto by Governor Brown no later than October 15th, 2017.

Senate Bill 54 (De Leon):

This bill, the California Values Act also known as the “Sanctuary State” bill – will provide essential safeguards to ensure that police, schools, health facilities, and courts remain accessible to all Californians and that our state’s limited resources are not diverted to practices that undermine public safety. Currently, at least 65-75% of all deportations nationwide are the result of collaboration between law enforcement agencies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This partnership invokes widespread fear in immigrant communities and threatens the trust between state and local law enforcement and the citizens they have sworn to protect. This bill finds a balance in protecting vulnerable immigrant communities and the greater public safety of all Californians by 1) prohibiting law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes; 2) law enforcement agencies are required to report the number of transfers and type of offenses for which transfer occurred to the Attorney General; 3) allows law enforcement to notify immigration authorities about individuals with certain offenses on their criminal records and prohibits “holds” detaining a person beyond their release date; 4) local law enforcement will continue to be able to participate in multi-agency taskforces, for the purposes of investigating human trafficking, cybersecurity, and drug trafficking, so long as immigration enforcement is not the primary purpose of the task force; and 5) this bill creates “safe zones” in which the Attorney General will be required to publish model policies that limit immigration enforcement in public schools, health facilities, courthouses, and other service providers. This bill establishes the strongest state policy in the nation for regulating Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds and transfers.

Status: This bill is pending signature or veto by Governor Brown no later than October 15th, 2017

Posted

September 29th, 2017
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