2023-2024 Legislation

Summaries For Cortese's Authored Bills In 2023-2024

Environmental Leadership
Combating Our Climate Crisis


  • SB 66 - The State Water Accountability Act (Joint Author): By moving forward recommendations from the California State Auditor’s investigation of the State’s data collection methods, SB 66 will conserve water and strengthen our state’s water infrastructure. (Contact: Tara Sreekrishnan)
  • SB 69 - CEQA Notification Transparency: SB 69 adds transparency to the CEQA notification process by requiring all notices of determination or exemption be posted to the State Clearinghouse website and by clarifying when the statute of limitations begins for CEQA projects. (Contact: Evan Fern)
  • SB 740 – Workforce Development in Green Industries: SB 740 extends workforce requirements now applied to petroleum refineries into additional industrial facilities in the green industry to ensure new, high-quality jobs for our future. (Contact: Sunshine Borelli)
  • SB 745 – Drought Resistant and Water Efficient Buildings: To address projected water shortages in California due to global climate change, SB 745 directs the California Building Standards Commission to develop mandatory building standards to reduce the designed potable water demand of new buildings by 25%. (Contact: Tara Sreekrishnan)

Criminal Justice Reform
Re-Envisioning Our Justice System


  • SB 94 – Judicial Review of Old Sentences: SB 94 would provide a ‘second look’ at Californians sentenced to death or serving life in prison without the possibility of parole by allowing these individuals to petition for judicial review on special circumstance offenses committed before June 5, 1990, after they have served at least 20 years of their sentence. (Contact: Hla Elkhatib)
  • SB 309 – Protecting Inmate Religious Practices: SB 309 would create a uniform state policy providing clear guidelines that ensure the right to religious clothing, headwear, and grooming for all individuals in custody. Studies show that this form of religious exercise reduces violence and other negative behaviors in correctional facilities and lowers recidivism. (Contact: Hla Elkhatib)
  • SB 554 – Informal Discovery Conferences: This bill is still being crafted. (Contact: Hla Elkhatib)


Sexual Assault Prevention
Fighting Sexual Assault, Exploitation And Trafficking


  • SB 646 - Invasion of privacy: distribution of sexually explicit materials: Child sex abuse material is rampant on social media. Too often, victims have no legal recourse for the online distribution of content depicting their abuse. SB 646 gives victims standing in state court by codifying a federal statute that enables legal advocates to bring cases against social media companies that profit or benefit from the distribution of child sex abuse material. (Contact: Michael Haleva)


Housing Affordability
Addressing The Root Causes Of Our Housing Crisis


  • SB 405 – Housing Element Reliability: SB 405 will help make housing elements more reliable by requiring planning agencies to do their due diligence in ensuring that the sites listed are actually viable. (Contact: Michael Haleva)
  • SB 406 – Eliminating Duplicative Review for Affordable Housing: SB 406 promotes affordable housing development without circumventing environmental review by extending to local governments an existing law that makes State financial assistance for affordable housing projects—but not the projects themselves—exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review. (Contact: Michael Haleva)


Government Accountability & Transparency
Looking Out For People And Protecting Consumers

  • SB 642 – Hazardous Waste Enforcement: SB 642 will help protect the public from pollution and deter unfair business practices by giving county counsels full civil enforcement authority over hazardous materials violations. (Contact: Evan Fern)

Educational Opportunity
Investing In The Needs Of All Children


  • SB 333 - California Success, Opportunity, and Academic Resilience (SOAR) Guaranteed Income Program: SB 333 establishes a statewide guaranteed income pilot program to provide approximately 15,000 12th grade students experiencing homelessness with direct cash assistance to support their transition out of high school and their access to employment and postsecondary education. (Contact: Tara Sreekrishnan)
  • SB 432 - Relief for Retired Teachers: This bill makes technical and clarifying changes to ensure retired teachers are not penalized for benefit overpayments errors that were not their own. (Contact: Steve Dorsey)
  • SB 433 - Extending Due Process Rights to Classified Employees: SB 433 would protect the right of classified school workers to challenge disciplinary decisions against them to an impartial third-party officer. Allowing a neutral third-party officer to review these decisions would grant classified staff the same due process rights as most other public sector employees, including teachers. (Contact: Evan Fern)
  • SB 629 - Free College for Students of West Valley Mission Community College District: SB 629 would allow the West Valley-Mission Community College District to offer major discounts on education-related expenses to some students and free college for others - including tuition, books, transportation, and technology, and other related costs. (Steve Dorsey)

Public Health
Strengthening Our Public Health Infrastructure


  • SB 636 - Preventing Medical Coverage Denials by Physicians Not Licensed in California: SB 636 would stop insurance companies from enlisting out-of-state doctors to cancel medical treatment plans proposed by California doctor for workers’ compensation claims for certain patients. (Contact: Evan Fern)


Animal Welfare
Safeguarding the Humane Treatment of Animals

  • SB 669 - Pets and Veterinary Services: The national shortage of licensed veterinarians, coupled with consolidation in the veterinary care industry and the dramatic increase in payroll and supply costs, has disproportionally affected low-income and other underserved communities. SB 669 codifies California Veterinary Medical Board regulations and makes several changes that will empower veterinarians to delegate limited and specific tasks to registered veterinarian technicians to better serve low-income, underserved, and unhoused Californians. (Contact: Michael Haleva)


Economic Opportunity & Workplace Fairness
Ensuring Equity, Parity, And Opportunity For All California Workers


  • SB 41 - Commercial Airline Meal and Rest Breaks: SB 41 reflects months of negotiations and an agreement between commercial airlines and cabin crew workers and representatives regarding meal and rest breaks to accommodate the unique work environment of commercial aircraft. (Contact: Sunshine Borelli)
  • SB 332 - Apprenticeship Outreach: SB 332 would require the Department of Industrial Relations to evaluate the effectiveness of the requirement for schools to notify each apprenticeship program in the same county of a career or college fair. (Contact: Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee)
  • SB 334 - Climate Policy Impact on Public Employment: In order to ensure that public sector climate adaption occurs in coordination with the state’s existing public labor relations framework, SB 334 authorizes the Public Employment Retirement Board to conduct employer-employee relations studies concerning the impact on public employees of net-zero carbon emissions initiatives. (Contact: Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee)
  • SB 335 - Labor Statistics: SB 335 requires the Department of Industrial Relations to submit an annual report to the Legislature and the Governor containing statistics on state work injuries and occupational diseases and fatalities by industry classification. (Contact: Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee)
  • SB 553 - Protecting Against Workplace Violence: SB 553 would take several steps to prevent workplace injury and violence, and ensure that employees have access to wellness resources. (Contact: Steve Dorsey)
  • SB 631 - Comprehensive Gender Equity Study: In collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley, this bill would require the state to conduct a comparative analysis of the differences in workers’ compensation benefits provided to employees of different genders, including differences between industries. (Contact: Steve Dorsey)
  • SB 735 – Safety on Theatrical Productions: There are currently no state regulations around the use of firearms and live ammunition on theatrical sets. SB 735 would establish a first-in-the-nation regulatory process and safety standards to protect workers in the entertainment industry. (Contact: Sunshine Borelli)

Youth Services & Safety
Providing Support to Our Youth and Young Adult Population


  • SB 9 - Raising the Age of Foster Care Act: Sponsored by the California Judges Association, The Raising the Age for Extended Foster Care Act of 2023 will give vulnerable qualifying youth the ability to remain in the foster system. (Contact: Hla Elkhatib)
  • SB 10 - "Melanie's Law" - Opioid & Fentanyl Overdose Prevention Among Youth: Named in honor of Melanie Ramos, SB 10 will expand statewide prevention and education efforts, particularly on school campuses, to combat the skyrocketing overdoses and fentanyl-related deaths that have plagued youth statewide. (Contact: Tara Sreekrishnan)
  • SB 483 – Banning Dangerous Restraint Technique Against Students: SB 483 would prohibit the use of “prone restraint”, which physically or mechanically restrains students in a face down position. The U.S. Department of Education recommends banning the use of prone restraints, and 21 states have prohibited this form of physical restraint on all students. (Contact: Tara Sreekrishnan)