Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Current Advocacy

As a service to our member programs, we want to share the following information about California bills in this session. Please feel free to share this information with your staff.

If you would like to set up an alert on any of these bills, go to, search for the bill, and set up a subscription. You will get occasional updates when the bill's status has changed. If you or your staff would like to write a letter of support or opposition to your legislator, you can search for the legislator contact information here: LAAC gets a lot of our information from Around the Capitol. We highly recommend you check out the site and their daily newsletter, the Nooner, if you want to follow Sacramento politics. 
If you work at an LSC-funded program, as a reminder, staff is prohibited from speaking with legislators without a specific invitation to comment from that legislator (with some exceptions). Many legislators have requested comments from LSC-funded programs, and LAAC tracks all legislator letters requesting information--to the best of LAAC's knowledge.  If you have any questions, please contact Salena Copeland, at

LAAC-Supported Bills

  • SB 134 (Hertzberg) State Bar of California: Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts: escheated funds: public interest attorney loan repayment program
  • Status: Just passed Assembly Judiciary Committee: Hearing 7/7/15.
    This bill will divert unclaimed IOLTA accounts that currently escheat to the state to instead fund the Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Program (created, but unfunded in 2001 by AB 935). Note that this DOES NOT affect the interest that already goes to support legal services programs. This only affects the balance of the unclaimed funds that would otherwise go to the state's General Fund. LAAC has worked extensively with Senator Hertzberg's staff, and we are grateful that Sen. Hertzberg listened to our earlier concerns about the previous versions and that he continues to be a champion for public interest attorneys in the Senate, as he was in the Assembly.  LAAC supports this bill and will ask the Governor to sign if it passes the Assembly.  Read LAAC's letter here. Assembly Judiciary Committee Analysis.
  •  AB 43 (Stone) Personal income taxes: credit: earned income
Status: Bill is currently in Senate Governance and Finance Committee: hearing set 7/8/15.
Assembly Bill 43 allows a refundable earned income tax credit, upon appropriation of the Legislature. In a year when an appropriation is not made by the Legislature, the credit becomes nonrefundable. Note that this is similar to the state EITC program recently created when Governor Brown signed the budget bill.  

LAAC-Monitored Bills

LAAC watches a lot of bills that are relevant to our members' work and to the interests of our members' clients. Many of the following bills we support (or oppose) generally, but our Advocacy Committee has not made a final decision to support or oppose as we wait for amendments.
Status: Bill just passed Assembly Judiciary Committee: hearing 7/7/15.
This bill will protect more low-income earners' wages from wage garnishment through a court order. It will take longer for the worker to pay a court-ordered debt, but will allow more earnings to stay in the household.
[more bills added soon]
LAAC-Opposed Bills
None at this time.
LAAC is not taking a position on the following bills
LAAC's Advocacy Policy often guides the Advocacy Committee to not take an official position on a bill, even when we as an organization support or oppose a bill based on our work.  We have posted fact sheets and other resources if we have access to them.
Other Resources

LAAC recommends resources from the following organizations and agencies.

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) has legislative updates in its e-newsletter and on its website.

Center for Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine publishes an issue brief most years on potential legislation that would affect seniors.

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV) tracks California legislation on its website and offers fact sheets and its position on bills.

Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law will have updates for California and Federal laws.

Disability Rights California has legislative recommendations on issues affecting people with disabilities.

Judicial Branch of California, Office of Governmental Affairs, has updates on court-related legislation.

Western Center on Law and Poverty Western Center's legislative blog has great resources and updates on both California and federal legislation.