2018 Bills Authored by Senator Ben Allen

SB 720 – Environmental Education

This bill will increase access to environmental education through outdoor learning and other non-classroom based learning experiences by directing the Superintendent of Public Instruction and school district governing boards to promote environmental literacy. The bill also ensures that environmental principles and concepts are incorporated into core curriculum.

SB 933 – Arts for Every Student Act

This bill establishes an incentive grant program for school districts to expand access to visual and performing arts instruction, including music, dance, theatre, media arts and visual arts.  Only 39% of students currently receive arts instruction.  Arts education improves critical thinking and problem-solving skills, facilitates cross-cultural understanding, and supports civic engagement.

SB 961 – Public Transit

This bill provides a voluntary tool for local governments to help expedite transit improvements and incentivize affordable housing near transit by enabling them to bond against future sales and property tax increments without voter approval.  The bill specifies that proceeds can be used for urban forestry, landscaping, and greening improvements, first and last mile access to transit for pedestrians and bicyclists, older adults, people with disabilities, and other priorities.

SB 964 – Public Pension Funds; Climate Risk

Climate change will have profound consequences for long-term financial investments held by institutional investors. SB 964 affirms the commitment of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System to address the material financial risks posed by climate change and asks the funds to report on that risk beginning in 2020.

SB 1015 – Climate Resiliency

SB 1015 will help California reach its climate goals while assisting local communities in adapting to, and withstanding, the impacts that climate change will have on public health and the environment.  The bill establishes the Climate Resiliency Program at the Wildlife Conservation Board and will enlist the state’s 10 Conservancies to fund local projects that will help the state become more resilient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SB 1016 – Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

SB 1016 will make electric vehicle ownership more widely available to condominium owners by prohibiting Home Owner Associations from unreasonably restricting an owner's ability to install a separate electric meter and accompanying infrastructure in the common area dedicated to electric vehicle charging.

SB 1017 – Sustainable Swordfish and Marine Life Protection Act

California is the last state that allows fishermen to use harmful drift gillnets in the swordfish fishery.  SB 1017 will transition the industry away from one of the most destructive fishing practices on the West Coast by reducing the number of  drift gillnets used to catch swordfish off the coast. The bill establishes a transition program that will incentivize fisherman to move away from drift gillnets to more sustainable fishing practices.  Large scale drift gillnets have been banned on the high seas, in all other states, and in many countries worldwide because of the unavoidable impacts on marine wildlife, including whales, dolphins, sharks, pinnipeds, and sea turtles. Many of the species harmed by these nets are protected under state and federal law or covered under international protective agreements, such as the sperm whale, leatherback sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, common thresher shark, bigeye thresher shark, smooth hammerhead shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, shortfin mako shark and longfin mako shark.

SB 1018 – Redistricting Reform

This bill would allow school boards, community college boards and special district boards to establish independent, hybrid or advisory redistricting commissions, thereby bringing more transparency and nonpartisan redistricting to local districts.

SB 1335 – Sustainable Packaging in State Facilities Act

SB 1335 will reduce the amount of toxic waste that pollutes state parks, beaches, and oceans; chokes landfills; and litters communities by phasing out nonrecyclable take-out food packaging from state facilities, such as state beaches, parks and buildings.

SCA 22 – School Funding

This bill would place a constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot to lower the vote threshold needed for local communities to pass school bond measures from 2/3 vote to 55%.