News From Sacramento » Laura Friedman

Update from Sacramento

Since session resumed in January of this year, my office and I have been working relentlessly on our 2018 bill package. This year’s set of bills seeks to address a wide range of issues affecting our state and district. Fortunately, that hard work paid off. We made tremendous progress by the end of the June 1 deadline to pass bills out of their house of origin; so far we have had two bills already signed into law by Gov. Brown and 24 bills have passed the Assembly and are now in the State Senate. Because we had so much legislation this year, I would like to take a brief moment to highlight some of work we have been able to do that impacts your community.

As many of you know, one of my main areas of focus as a legislator is protecting our environment and creating a more sustainable future for our state. For this reason, environmentally-focused legislation has been at the forefront of my bill package for the last two years. I am happy to report this year we’ve already taken significant steps towards accomplishing these goals.

My AB 1668 passed both houses and has already been signed into law by Gov. Brown. This bill will work with Senator Hertzberg’s SB 606, and marks the first time in our history when the state will work collaboratively with local governments and urban water suppliers to put in place new water efficiency standards that will ensure every community has sustainable access to water resources. The next drought is inevitable, but we can change the way we prepare across California. These bills focus on efficiency first and give water agencies the flexibility to embrace innovation and tailor their approach to meet the unique needs of their community.

Since first convening in light of the string of controversies involving sexual harassment in the Capitol, the Joint Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response that I have the privilege to chair has been hard at work putting what we have learned into action with solutions that are real, effective and lasting. AB 403 (Melendez), which implements new whistleblower protections for legislative employees, an effort that has failed passage for nearly a decade, finally passed both houses and has been signed into law by the governor. Other bills that will change the way we prevent and respond to harassment in the workplace include: our AB 1870 (Reyes, Friedman & Waldron), which will extend the statute of limitations for employees to report harassment from one to three years, and AB 3080 (Gonzalez-Fletcher), which ensures that employees are not forced to waive their civil rights when signing a contract. Both have passed the Assembly and are awaiting votes in the Senate. With these measures, we are taking steps to address the legislature’s role as an employer as well as make sure all employees, in every workplace, have protections.

Like many of you, another of my top concerns is traffic safety. Across our district, there has been an alarming rise in the number of traffic-related fatalities. These statistics are troubling, and yet for decades, cities have been powerless when it comes to combating the problem. For this reason, I put forward AB 2363. The bill would create a Vision Zero Task Force to review the methodology currently used to create speed limits. From their findings they will report and recommend to the legislature how fatalities as a result of vehicle related collisions can be reduced to zero. This legislation passed the Assembly and is in the Senate.

In the Crescenta Valley, we also all know too well the serious threat posed by the increasing severity of our fire seasons. Because of this, I introduced AB 2911, which will update existing policies using the hard-learned lessons of the past few fire seasons to help make our communities more resilient to fire.

Finally, I have proposed a bill that would address some of the regulatory concerns with residential treatment facilities, known as “sober living homes.” State licensed sober living homes with capacities of six or fewer persons are an important treatment model that is integrated into communities throughout the state. However, due to the high profit margins from economies of scale, six-bed facilities can often expand into adjacent neighboring residences, which create multi-structure, campus-style facilities that detract from the benefits to the patients of being integrated into a low-density neighborhood. My AB 3162 would update our regulations of these facilities and provide consistency with most other state licensed group homes to benefit all categories of protected individuals using them for recovery treatments. This bill passed the Assembly floor and is waiting for a vote in the Senate.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Sacramento. I always welcome your input. Please feel free to contact me through my district office with your thoughts, concerns, or ideas at (818) 558-3043.

Laura Friedman represents Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake.