2019 Bills Authored by Senator Ben Allen

SB 3 – Higher Education Coordinating Office

The 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education provided a plan for the California Community Colleges (CCCs), California State University (CSU), the University of California (UC) and other California institutions of higher education, to meet the needs of the State during the next 10 years and thereafter. The California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC), the body created for this last purpose, was tasked with providing fiscal and policy advice to the Governor and the Legislature regarding postsecondary education issues. In the January 2012 report, Improving Higher Education Oversight, the LAO warned that in the wake of CPEC’s closure, the future of higher education oversight was unclear.

SB 3 would have established the Office of Higher Education Coordination, Accountability and Performance, to serve as the statewide postsecondary coordination and planning agency to steward the state’s higher education agenda. The office would have provided independent policy recommendations to the Legislature and Governor and provide a vision to ensure academic and workforce success for current and future California students.

SB 43 – Revenue Neutral Carbon Pricing

SB 43 would have required the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the State’s Department of Tax and Fee Administration to investigate and make recommendations for how California can replace the current Sales and Use tax with a revenue neutral tax based on carbon intensity, encouraging manufacturers and consumers to consider the climate impacts of products and reward those companies helping to meet the state’s emissions goals.

SB 47 – Petition DISCLOSE Act

SB 47 helps voters make informed decisions by requiring initiative signature gatherers to disclose the top three funders of the committee organizing the campaign to voters before they sign to qualify the initiative for the ballot.

SB 139 – County Independent Redistricting Commissions

SB 139 requires counties with more than 400,000 residents to establish an independent redistricting commission, ensuring a more fair, nonpartisan system for drawing the lines of county supervisorial districts.

SB 212 – Local Options for Elections

SB 212 authorizes general law cities, counties, and school districts to utilize two majority-winner voting methods for local elections: top-two primary and ranked choice voting (RCV). RCV can be used in single-seat or multi-seat elections. This gives local jurisdictions the same flexibility that charter cities already have to conduct their elections.

SB 296 – College Assistance for Asylum Seekers

SB 296 would have enabled students residing in California who apply for asylum to escape persecution from their home country to be eligible for state financial aid through the Cal Grant program while their asylum application was being reviewed.

SB 638 – Reducing Cost Barriers to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

SB 638 reformed previous insurance requirements for California’s renters so they became free to install and operate an EV charging station without insurance, providing it is certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory and installed by a licensed electrician. Absent such certification and licensed installation, the bill permitted landlords to require tenants who install an EV charging station to maintain personal liability insurance coverage for property damage and personal injury proximately caused by installation or operation of the station.

SB 641 – Special Elections Consolidation

SB 641 gave the governor more flexibility to work with local counties to determine the best election date for special elections. The bill extended the timeline for special election consolidation from 180 to 200 days.

SB 652 – Freedom of Religious Expression

SB 652 prohibited a property owner, landlord, or a homeowner association from adopting and enforcing a policy that would prevent a resident from displaying religious items on an entry door or doorframe of their home.

SB 677 – Latex Glove Safety

SB 677 helps protect latex-allergic people by requiring restaurants workers that use gloves to only use nonlatex alternatives such as nitrile, vinyl, or polyethylene options. These options cost the same or less than latex while providing the same level of protection for workers.

SB 682 – Climate Stabilization

SB 682 would have required California’s Air Resources Board to adopt Radiative Forcing (RF) protocols to evaluate climate mitigation and restoration actions to measure their effectiveness for reducing radiative forcing and excess heat. RF protocols are additive and complementary to existing Global Warming Protocols (GWP), which are critical for the state achieving its long-term GHG emissions reduction goals. Evaluating climate mitigation efforts using both RF and GWP will enable California to better assess not just the climate challenges facing the state but also the necessary, innovative solutions.

SB 742 – Passenger Rail Thruway Buses

SB 742 removed prohibitions in California law which hamstring an important network of publicly subsidized intercity buses. These restrictions, modeled after federal regulations, previously banned taxpayer-subsidized rail thruway buses from selling tickets to any passenger unless he or she either rode on a train before catching that bus or is riding on that bus to catch a train.