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6 Bills Head to Senate Floor

For immediate release:

Following a hearing by the Senate Appropriations Committee, six of Assemblymember Alex Lee’s legislation are headed to the Senate Floor.

“I’m proud to see that our bills are progressing through the legislature,” Lee said. “These bills will bring meaningful impacts to California’s housing development, traffic safety, environmental justice and beyond.” 

AB 309 will spur social housing developments in California. Social housing is publicly backed, self-sustaining housing that accommodates a mix of household income ranges. The bill will authorize up to 3 social housing to be developed on suitable excess state land for housing.

“Universal benefits like roads and schools are seen as a human right, but housing isn’t treated the same way,” Lee said. “Social housing can change that. This is how we provide and realize housing as a human right.”

AB 413 will make our roads safer for everyone, whether it be drivers, pedestrians or cyclists. The bill aims to reduce traffic collisions by keeping 20 feet of an intersection or crosswalk’s approach side clear of stopped vehicles—a safety measure known as daylighting. 

“Daylighting makes it easier for everyone on the street to see oncoming traffic — a practice that’s been implemented in 43 other states to improve traffic safety,” Lee said. “California’s pedestrian fatality rate is nearly 25% higher than the national average. AB 413 will improve road safety and reduce the pedestrian death rate in California.” 

AB 652 will enable communities disproportionately impacted by pesticide exposure the opportunity to meaningfully participate in decision-making processes about pesticide use. 

The bill will establish the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee in the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). The committee will recommend ways for DPR to integrate environmental justice into its policies and programs.

“Historically, people of color and those in low-income communities have not had the opportunity to provide meaningful input into laws and policies regulating pesticide,” Lee said. “AB 652 will be an avenue for their voices to be heard by the Department of Pesticide Regulation.”

AB 664 will ensure that renters served solely by their wells have access to potable water in California. The bill will require well owners who turn down consolidation — the joining of two or more water systems when they fail or are at risk of failing — to assume responsibility for ensuring that tenants have access to safe drinking water. 

“Every resident deserves clean drinking water,” Lee said. “In 2012, California became the first state in the nation to recognize by law that every person has the right to clean, safe, and affordable water. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that every Californian has this right. AB 664 is one step to ensuring renters who rely on wells have access to safe drinking water.” 

AB 1490 will help increase the supply of affordable housing by providing incentives, such as expedited reviews, to qualified affordable housing developments that repurpose an existing building for housing. These developments are known as adaptive reuse projects. 

“AB 1490 will remove barriers to pursuing adaptive reuse projects,” Lee said. “Adaptive reuse is a faster and less expensive method of creating housing units, and this approach will help address our housing crisis in California.” 

AB 1503 aims to recognize California’s rich diversity by providing students a full-day of excused absence for religious retreats per semester, up from 4 hours. 

“California has a diverse range of religious traditions and faiths, and our schools should better accommodate excused absences for religious reasons,” Lee said. “Every student, regardless of their background, should be able to spend quality time with their families, engage in their religious practices, and celebrate long-lasting traditions.”