Press Releases

Sacramento – Californians incarcerated due to criminal penalty enhancements that are no longer in state law may soon have those enhancements retroactively removed from their record. Governor Newsom’s signature of Senate Bill 483 last week, authored by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica), applies the repeal of these demonstrably ineffective enhancements to people currently in jails and prisons, subject to court review and approval. As California’s Committee on Revision of the Penal Code argues, “it is difficult to justify a sentence that is longer than someone else’s merely because it was imposed at a slightly different date.”

The legislature’s Joint Committee on the Arts, chaired by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica), today reviewed the findings of a new report on the $217 billion impact of creative industries on the California economy.  The hearing coincided with the release of the “2015 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California,” an annual report by the Otis College of Art and Design, which for the first time contained a regional analysis of creative industries within eight geographic areas of the state.

Sacramento – The Creative Workforce Development Act of 2021 was signed into law by Governor Newsom this week. Inspired in part by the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration, Senate Bill 628 by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) will provide employment and job training for artists and creative sector workers. The new law focuses on uplifting people from disadvantaged communities who may not otherwise have opportunities to pursue careers in the arts.

Sacramento – Following fallout from the Orange County oil spill, Senate Bill 433 by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) was signed by Governor Newsom which will give the Coastal Commission the ability to assess penalties for natural resources impacts for responsible parties.

Sacramento – Environmentally friendly mass transit projects will soon be eligible for an expedited approval process in Los Angeles County. Senate Bill 44, by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica), will allow zero-emission mass transit projects to be considered for expedited California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. Governor Newsom signed the measure into law on Thursday.

Sacramento – The State Auditor will investigate the hospice care industry, thanks to Governor Newsom’s signature of Senate Bill 664 on Monday. The law will prevent new hospice licenses for the duration of a statewide, investigative audit of the hospice industry. Senator Ben Allen (D- Santa Monica) authored the new law following media coverage of troubling practices like financial kickbacks to doctors, aggressive recruitment of prospective patients, and exorbitant Medicare spending.

Sacramento, CA – The California Legislature today approved Senate Bills 155 and 170, budget measures that will dedicate substantial funding for the state to address the climate crisis in meaningful ways that protect Californians, our environment, and our economy. Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica), chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Co-Chair of the Environmental Caucus issued the following statement:

Sacramento, CA – In the wake of potential abuse cases (including that of Britney Spears), California’s conservatorship framework is just one step away from being significantly reformed. Assembly Bill 1194 by Assemblymember Low (D – Silicon Valley) and Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) cleared its final hurdles in the California Legislature today. The bill now heads to the Governor, who has until October 10 to sign it into law or veto.