Legislature Taking Up Climate Change and Social Change

Katy Grimes
FlashReport Senior Correspondent

The Legislature is back in session after a summer recess. On the agenda, according to sources inside the Capitol, nobody seems to have any new issues circulating at this point. Some think that Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will still try to move for something on low income housing or homeless housing, but there are no specifics yet.

Transportation funding is till on the table during this Second Extraordinary Session. And sources say it’s likely there will be something in the First Extraordinary Session to fund developmental services.

There’s still talk of new taxes and fees, and possibly some water bills.  But Capitol sources say “none of the talk has been very loud or shocking.”

What is still on the table, front and center, is Legislative leadership and the governor have very publicly made climate change their primary focus this year. Privately, sweeping social change is being served in public schools.

Climate Change

In February, almost immediately following a hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency on upping authoritarian smog regulations, Democratic Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leòn announced plans for “historic” climate change legislation, adding more regulations to force Californians to cut gas consumption — notably, rather than legislation to help improve the state’s economy.

SB 350 would require a 50 percent reduction in petroleum, 50 percent increase in renewables for electricity generation from the current 33 percent mandate passed in 2011, and a 50 percent increase in the energy efficiency of buildings, by 2030. The 50 percent gasoline and diesel reduction provisions will allow the California Air Resources Board significant more authority to adopt regulations to achieve the 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in cars and trucks by 2030.

“Do we have the courage to press forward,” asked De Leon, to legislative committee members at an Assembly committee hearing in July.

The Sacramento Bee editorial board thinks the bill is unrealistic: “Before they approve this far-reaching legislation, lawmakers need to get answers to basic questions, and let the rest of us in on the details,” the Editorial Board, said in April.

These are astoundingly irrational and aggressive mandates. “We need to break the stranglehold the profit-driven oil companies have on our economy and give consumers better options to power their homes and cars in cleaner, healthier and more sustainable ways,” De Leon told media in July.

While the bill only sets goals, the authority for implementation falls once again under the purview of the California Air Resources Board broad to achieve the fluid goals. This Legislature has allowed the CARB to operate without accountability or legislative oversight.

Oil companies fear they would be subjected to a cap and trade system similar to what other California businesses are beholden to, leaving oil producers to bid for a limited number of credits after petroleum use is capped. This would create a limited amount of pricey gasoline in California, as well as a hefty new tax on gasoline serving to hurt small business, working families, and lower income families the most.

The other high-profile climate change bill is SB 32 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, which would extend the existing greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets much higher to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, instead of at 1990 levels by 2020.

Sexuality Education in California Public Schools

There are numerous bills masquerading as sexual education legislation, and are sponsored by Planned Parenthood.

AB 329 by assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, referred to as a “Comprehensive Sex Education Bill,” would establish the “California Healthy Youth Act” which: (1) requires all students to receive comprehensive sexual health education at least twice between grades 7 through 12; and (2) modifies and expands the existing HIV/AIDS prevention instruction mandate, according to the analysis. The California Healthy Youth Act is in alignment with the National Sexual Education Standards, the International Education Standards, and the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics.

The federal government has come out with shocking new National Sex Education Standards that are the new threshold of comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through 12th Grade.

Sex Education has taken on a different meaning from what was taught in previous generations. Girls were taught about their menstrual cycle, and boys were taught about puberty. In later years, students were taught about sexually transmitted diseases.

Sex education has become sexuality education, teaching even very young students that everyone is sexual, including children. Public schools now teach students to find sexual fulfillment including the use of sexual toys, stimulating behaviors, and especially exploration.

AB 775, by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, titled the “Reproductive FACT Act,” actually challenges the freedom of choice for certain businesses and groups by requiring pro life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion services at other facilities.

SB695, Kevin De Leon, called “School Health Education: Sexual Harassment Training,” is another Planned Parenthood-sponsored bill. Mandates inclusion of sexual harassment and violence training in the next health education framework.

Many concerned about the sexualizing of children warn that this bill is the fifth segment of health education that has been designed to encompass Planned Parenthood’s measurements: Sexual involvement, contraception, HIV instructions, gender identity instruction.

AB 766, by Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Culver City, expands school based health centers. This is another Planned Parenthood sponsored bill.

This bill exposes one of the reasons for getting so many kids onto Medi-Cal — they can then call for funding to provide special assistance and services in schools to “under represented” children from lower-income families who are on the free lunch programs or receiving insurance coverage through Medi-Cal.

A related bill, SB 118, by Sen. Carol Liu, renames these centers the “School-Based Health and Education Partnership Program,” and creates new funding by claiming to prevent obesity, asthma, alcohol and substance abuse, and mental health.

SB1025, Tony Thurmond, D-Oakland, establishes a 3 year pilot program to support all of the above bills, and “encourage inclusive practices that integrate mental health, special education, and school climate interventions following a multi-tiered framework.”

AB 101, by Assemblyman Louis Alejo, D-Salinas, falls under Ethnic Studies. AB 101 creates three levels of educational oversight committees “to improve educational results” with an elective type course in Social Studies starting with preschoolers, to increase awareness of ethnic groupings while reducing studies of American government and history.

AB1133, by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, would set up more mental health centers in public schools to establish the School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention and Prevention Services Support Program, to provide mental health services at school sites. The bill would expand the definition of an eligible pupil.

Annual Attack on Prop. 13

And, what legislative session would be complete without the requisite attack on Proposition 13, the 1978 homeowner protection measure?

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4 by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano County, would lower the threshold for the imposition, extension or increase of local transportation special taxes from the Proposition 13-mandated two-thirds vote of the Legislature to 55 percent, rather than the current two-thirds.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Sen. Holly Mitchell, D—Los Angeles, will reassess the property taxes of practically all commercial property, including small business, up to fair market value by 2018. According to a recent study conducted by Pepperdine University, if approved SCA 5 will result in over 400,000 lost jobs in the first five years it is in place.

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