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2017 Policy Agenda
SB62 (Jackson) Expanding Definition of “Family Member” to allow employees of companies with 50 or more employees to take time off up to 12 weeks to care for sick family members without fear of losing their jobs. California’s Paid Family Leave Program is an employee-funded program which already provides this protection, and SB62 will allow employees to utilize this job protection when taking time off to care for sick family members including child, parent, spouse/domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, parent-in-law, or adult child. Status: suspended until further notice.
SB63 (Jackson) New Parent Leave Act Including Employees of Smaller Businesses which employ 20 or more individuals in the eligibility afforded by California’s PFL Program for 12 weeks of job-protected leave after the birth or adoption of a child. This would expand this benefit to a significant number of Californians who were previously ineligible simply because they worked for a small business. These protections help families make the adjustments required to build health and relationships before resuming work outside the home after the birth or adoption of a baby or child. Status: passed California Senate on 5/30/17; pending Assembly vote.
2016 Policy Agenda
BABES Act (Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act) Critical legislation for traveling families has been passed unanimously through both houses of Congress and is on its way to the President to be signed into law! The bill would require the TSA to provide ongoing training to ensure its officers consistently enforce TSA Special Procedures related to breast milk, formula, and infant feeding equipment across all airport security checkpoints. Status: Signed into law by President Obama, Dec 16, 2016.
AB 908 (Gomez) Paid Family Leave. Provides greater economic security and equity in California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) programs by raising the current wage replacement rates to 60-70% on a sliding scale for both programs, extending PFL from six to eight weeks, and eliminating the current waiting period when applying for PFL benefits. Status: passed 4/11/16.
AB 2589 (Gomez) Bringing Breastfeeding Home Act. The bill Requires the State Departments of Public Health and Health Care Services to coordinate, through a stakeholder engagement process, to do the following:
– Improve the process for WIC eligibility and application enrollment via Medi-Cal and Covered California enrollment.
– Establish measures and outcomes for breastfeeding, including initiation, duration, exclusivity and ethnic disparities.
– Develop minimum breast pump and accessory equipment standards for the provision of appropriate and effective breast pumps and accessories in all health plans, and review the current reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment related to breastfeeding including any potential need to modify the reimbursement rates. Status: pending, 6/27 referred to Committee on Appropriations.
SB 654 (Jackson, amended) New Parent Leave Act. SB 654 would provide job protection to new parents taking time to bond with a child – birth, adoption, or foster. Studies show that parental bonding is key to the health, development, and well-being of children. All parents should have the right to take this time without fear of losing their job but over 40% of workers are not covered by laws that protect their jobs while on bonding leave. And too many parents are forced to go back to work and find child care too soon after a birth or adoption. SB 654 would allow most California parents to take up to 6 weeks of job protected leave to bond with a new child. Status: 8/30 passed Assembly; vetoed by Gov. Brown.
SB 1316 (Wolk), a recently introduced bill that establishes clear and ethical standards for an emerging biotech industry that utilizes human milk. This bill would require for-profit human milk banks to fully disclose information to mothers they recruit regarding the purposes for which their milk will be used, and to avoid using the terms “donor” and “community benefit” to characterize their transactions with participating mothers. Status: pending senate approval.
Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act: Introduced by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, FAM act is an aviation bill that requires major airports to provide lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers, a provision pushed by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Requirements include providing a breastfeeding/pumping mother: a space other than a bathroom with a chair, table and electrical outlet. Status: passed Senate 4/19/16, pending House for consideration as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act.
2015 Policy Achievements
AB 302 (Garcia) Pupil Services – lactation accommodations, respects and upholds the rights and educational opportunities of pregnant and parenting pupils, including providing lactation accommodations. Status: approved 10/2015.
2014 Policy Achievements
California State Legislation
AB 1787 – Lactation Accommodations in Airports – This first-in-the nation law mandates appropriate space in airports for women to express breastmilk.
2013 Policy Achievements
Gov. Brown has signed SB 252, which allows CalWORKS participants who voluntarily participate in Maternal Child Home Visitation programs to satisfy their Welfare-to-Work requirements, as well as reinforces a women’s right to breastfeed publically in all County welfare offices. Press Release
2012 Policy Achievements
AB 2386 has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown! (See Breastfeeding Laws!) Breastfeeding is a Civil Right in California!
SB 502: Hospital Infant Feeding Protection Act – (De León and Pavley)
Effective January 1, 2014, requires all hospitals with perinatal units to have an infant feeding policy that promotes breastfeeding. This policy is to be based on the Baby-Friendly USA policy or the Department of Public Health’s Model Policies. Both policies encourage breastfeeding in hospital settings. The policy must be routinely communicated to staff working on a perinatal unit.