2016 Sponsored Legislation Enacted
During the 2016 legislative session, CWDA sponsored or jointly sponsored several pieces of legislation that successfully made it to the Governor’s desk and received his signature. Generally, legislation passed in 2016 will take effect as of January 1, 2017. For various reasons, some of the bills CWDA sponsored included a delayed implementation date, as noted in the following descriptions.
Child Welfare Services for CSEC Youth (AB 1702, Stone/Maienschein)
Adds to the list of circumstances under which a court shall forego reunification efforts for a child brought into foster care. Specifically, states that reunification will not be attempted for a parent or guardian whose child has been commercially sexually exploited or trafficked when the court finds that the parent consented to or participated in the exploitation or human trafficking. There is an exception if the parent or guardian was also a victim of commercial sexual exploitation or human trafficking and was coerced into consenting to the child’s participation in those activities.
CalWORKs Telephonic Interviews (SB 947, Pan)
Previously, state law required a face-to-face interview to be conducted when a family applied for cash assistance under the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. However, the CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) and Medi-Cal health coverage programs do not require face-to-face interviews. Staff and customer time and expense is used on these face-to-face interviews, which could be more easily conducted by phone. This bill allows counties to conduct required interviews for CalWORKs by phone, freeing staff time to assist families in re-entering the workforce rather than scheduling and conducting time-consuming eligibility interviews. Co-Sponsored with the California Coalition of Welfare Rights Organizations and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
Commercial Sex Acts: Minors (SB 1322, Mitchell)
This bill prohibits authorities from treating children who are victims of sex trafficking as criminals and decriminalize the crimes of prostitution and loitering with intent to commit prostitution (crimes listed in 647 and 653.22 of the Penal Code) for minors. The bill further provide that a peace officer who encounters a child involved in a commercial sex act pursuant shall report suspected abuse or neglect of the minor to the county child welfare agency.