CapitolThe 2016 California state legislative session came to a close on November 30. SF Bay Area PSR supported approximately 22 bills to protect human health and environment (see list below) that ranged from “No coal in Oakland” through reduction of climate change emissions, and stronger firearms and ammunition controls to reduce gun injuries and deaths.

Senator Loni Hancock (9th—Oakland, Richmond), who did not run for reelection due to term limits, successfully authored SB 1446, one of about 20 firearm and ammunition control bills that made its way through the state legislature this year. Supported by SF Bay Area PSR, it prohibits the possession of large capacity magazines with a few exceptions, and helps to improve public safety.

The good news is that gun control was further tightened by California’s voters on November 8 with the resounding passage of Proposition 63. “The idea behind Proposition 63 was to cut gun violence by making it harder to obtain ammunition.”[i] The initiative, proposed by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom “outlaws the possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, requires background checks for people buying bullets, makes it a crime not to report lost or stolen guns, and provides a process for taking guns from people upon their conviction for a felony.”[ii]

Proposition 63 eliminates some of the exemptions provided in SB 1446: one that allows a retired police officer to retain high-capacity magazines, and another exemption that allows a person who lawfully obtained a firearm prior to January 1, 2000, to retain a high-capacity magazine (holds more than 10 rounds), if no magazine that holds 10 or fewer rounds of ammunition is compatible with that firearm and the person possesses the large-capacity magazine solely for use with that firearm. In contrast, Proposition 63 only exempts current law enforcement officers allowed to carry a gun from the high-capacity magazine prohibition. Due to the language of the SB 1446, it’s presumed that the initiative’s narrower exemption will apply.[iii]

During the first week of December, returning and newly elected assembly members and state senators will convene in the state Capitol for an organizational session, and then reconvene the first week of January 2017. SF Bay Area PSR will continue to watch for opportunities to weigh in and raise awareness about the most pressing health and environment issues facing this state.

Complete List of 2016 Bills with PSR Involvement

Gun violence

AB 1663 (Chiu) Broaden definition of assault weapons. Failed in approps.

SB 880 (Hall) Remove button loophole in assault weapon definition. Signed by Governor.

SJR 20 (Hall) State resolution calling on congress to allow CDC to research. study gun violence. Passed both houses; does not require governor signature.

SB 1006 (Wolk) Gun violence research center in the UC system. Failed in Higher Education committee

AB 2459 (McCarty) will provide transparency for all gun transactions, deter illegal activity, and improve enforcement of existing law. Among others, the bill will require dealers to videotape all firearm sales. Failed in committee.

SB 894 (Jackson) Help prevent gun trafficking. Require that every person whose firearm is lost or stolen notify local law enforcement /within 5 days of the time the person knew or reasonably should have known that their firearm had been lost or stolen. Vetoed by Governor.

AB 1674 (Santiago) Extend the purchase limit of one handgun per month to rifles and shotguns. Vetoed by Governor.

SB 877 (Pan) Calls for the collection of data regarding violent deaths. Signed by Governor.

AB 1664 (Ting, Levine) Gets rid of bullet button loophole that allows the legal use of military-style semi-automatic firearms. Signed by Governor.

SB 1446 (Hancock) Prohibit the possession of large capacity magazines and increase public safety. Signed by governor.

Climate change/Environmental Justice

AB 2722 (Burke) calls for the creation of the Transformative Climate Communities Program, which will be administered by the Strategic Growth Council. The Council will award competitive grants to disadvantaged communities for the development and implementation of neighborhood-level transformative climate community plans. Signed by Governor.

SB 1277 (Hancock) requires, before approving a project that is necessary for and directly related to the use of the terminal for the shipment of coal, a public agency with discretionary authority over the project shall prepare or cause to prepare a supplemental EIR to consider and mitigate the environmental impacts through the coal terminal pursuant to CEQA. Died in Assm approps.

SB 1278 (Hancock) This bill would require every public agency with discretionary approval of any portion of a project relating to the shipment of coal through the Port of Oakland to prepare or cause to be prepared an EIR. Died in committee.

SB 1279 (Hancock) No California Transportation Commission funds can be used to build a terminal project for the purpose of exporting or transporting coal, for any project permitted after January 2017. Signed by the Governor.

SB 1383 (Lara) calls for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a plan and implement strategies to cut super pollutant emissions, with specific targets to reduce black carbon by 50%, methane by 40% and fluorinated gases (f-gases) by 40% of 2013 levels by 2030. This bill would require the state Air Resources Board in consultation with the Department of Food and Agriculture, to adopt regulations to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure management operations and dairy manure management operations. Signed by the Governor.

SB 32 (Pavley) This bill requires the state Air Resources Board Board to ensure that statewide greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to 40% below the 1990 level by 2030. Signed by the Governor.

Toxics/Environmental Justice

AB 2125 (Chiu) Create program in CalEPA’s Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to support the spread of healthy nail salon recognition programs across the state. Signed by Governor.

SB 1247 (Jackson) Create Agricultural Innovation Zones and a voluntary incentive program to support growers interested in innovative environmental farming practices on their fields. Author withdrew bill.

AB 1882 (Williams) requires the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) or the appropriate regional water quality control board (RWQCB) to review UIC projects for water quality impacts. This review will ensure that UIC projects are not harming groundwater that could be used for public consumption or irrigation. In Assm approps suspense—held under submission. (failed)

AB 2892 (Alejo, ESTM comm.) Will extend the requirement for laboratories to electronically report pesticide applicator medical monitoring (cholinesterase blood test) results to the Department of Pesticide Regulation until January 1, 2021. This requirement would have ended on January 1, 2017 unless extended. Signed by the Governor.


SB 968 (Monning) OPPOSE This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to have an assessment by an independent 3rd party, of the adverse and beneficial economic impacts and ways the state and local jurisdictions could mitigate the adverse economic impact if the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 powerplant were to shut down before the powerplant’s current operating licenses expire. Signed by governor.

Health care and consumer rights

SB 1135 (Monning) timely access to care and consumer call center rights. Signed by Governor.

SB 1002 (Monning) end of life option act answer line. Failed in committee.


SB 1100 (Monning) calls for the partnership of the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Industrial Relations in implementing the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP). WOSHTEP will promote awareness of the need for prevention education programs, develop and provide injury and illness prevention education programs for employees and their representatives, and deliver those awareness and training programs through a network of providers throughout the state. Failed in committee.