2015 Bills Authored by Senator Ben Allen

Senate Bill 277 – Vaccines (Pan/Allen)

High rates of unvaccinated students in many schools has led to outbreaks of communicable diseases that were eradicated decades ago, such as measles.  SB 277 will reduce the number of unvaccinated students by eliminating the “Personal Belief Exemption” from current law, which has allowed children to attend school without the required immunizations.  This change will protect students from exposure to potentially deadly diseases.

Senate Bill 254 – State highways 

This bill simplifies and streamlines the process by which state highways are transferred to local communities.

Senate Bill 380 – Topline Teacher Recruitment Act

To encourage California’s best and brightest to enter the teaching profession, SB 380 creates a program to recruit top high school seniors by offering them a full merit scholarship to a public college or university, in return for a five-year commitment to teach in a public high school.

Senate Bill 386 – Veterans pension scams

Veterans of the United Stated armed forces face many challenges when they return to civilian life, and some have been preyed upon by unscrupulous persons who promise a lump sum of money in exchange for signing over their future monthly benefits.  These schemes are illegal, but advertisements for them continue to appear in publications targeting veterans.  SB 386 makes it illegal to advertise this type of financial scam.

Senate Bill 434 – Property tax fairness 

Mobile homes purchased prior to 1980 are taxed as vehicles at a low rate of $19 to $80 a year. If these mobile homes are completely rebuilt on a foundation system, SB 434 requires them to be taxed in the same manner as other permanent homes.

Senate Bill 439 – Election modernization 

California’s statewide voter turnout in the November 2014 election was just 42%, a record low.  Los Angeles County’s turnout was the lowest in the state at 31%.  This legislation will modernize how elections are conducted, making it more convenient for voters.  SB 439 authorizes county elections officials to mail every voter a ballot and expand early voting a minimum of eight hours per day for 10 days before Election Day, including weekends.  Voters will be able to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county, instead of being tied to a single polling location.  Based on similar landmark reforms implemented in Colorado, these changes are expected to revolutionize California’s voting systems, and vastly increase turnout.

Senate Bill 447  – Community clinic reimbursements

Community clinics provide an affordable, convenient way for low-income and uninsured persons to obtain medical care, including prescription medications.  But a complicated billing methodology required by the state has prevented clinics from receiving reimbursement for medications they dispense.  SB 447 simplifies the drug reimbursement process by specifying clinics are entitled to the Medi-Cal reimbursement rate, and will result in clinics receiving crucial funding to which they are entitled.

Senate Bill 454 – Groundwater protection

This bill establishes criteria to protect California’s precious groundwater aquifers from the waste pollution resulting from oil and gas extraction operations.

Senate Bill 460 – English language learners

This bill enables school districts to continue to receive supplemental funding for English language learners for two years after they are redesignated as no longer English language learners, or until statewide redesignation standards are implemented.

Senate Bill 613 – Alzheimer’s and dementia care 

This legislation requires the state Department of Health Care Services to develop evidence-based guidelines for the care of persons with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, in consultation with nurses, social workers, primary care physicians, advocates for people with dementia, health plans and insurers.

Senate Bill 637 – Rivers and stream protection

Suction dredging is a form of mining that can cause severe environmental damage to rivers and streams.  SB 637 will give the State Water Resources Control Board the authority it needs to ensure water quality is protected during suction dredging, or to deny a permit to do so if it cannot be done in a manner that maintains water quality standards.

Senate Bill 652 – Common Core science curriculum

The new Next Generation Science Standards will revolutionize the way students learn and align with new Common Core standards.  SB 652 will help to ensure the success of the science curriculum by allowing an additional year for the curriculum framework and instructional materials criteria to be adopted.

Senate Bill 687  Climate change; renewable gas standard

Natural gas is responsible for one-quarter of all California’s greenhouse gas emissions.  SB 687 requires gas sellers to reduce the carbon intensity of their gas by increasing the percentage of renewable gas they use, and sets a goal of 10% renewable sources by 2030.  Eligible renewable sources would include gas made from organic waste.

Senate Bill 773 – Air pollution; unregistered vehicles

Unregistered vehicles are a major source of air pollution because a disproportionate number of these cars are gross-emitting vehicles that have not passed smog tests.  This bill requests the University of California to issue a report on the prevalence of unregistered vehicles, and recommend strategies to increase compliance with registration laws.

Senate Bill 778 – Clean motor oils

As part of the state Senate’s legislative package addressing climate change, this bill will require motor oil sold in the state to meet quality standards that protect engines, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lessen oil pollution in waterways and the ocean, and make improvements to gas mileage equivalent to taking a half a million cars off the road.

Senate Bill 786 – Career technical education

This legislation will provide funding stability to regional occupational centers, such as the Southern California Regional Occupational Center, by authorizing them to participate in newly formed Adult Education consortiums.