2023-2024 Legislation

Legislative Update 2023



Cortese's Authored Bills Signed Into Law In 2023:


  • SB 10 "Melanie's Law" - Opioid & Fentanyl Overdose Prevention Among Youth
  • SB 41 – Commercial Airline Meal and Rest Breaks
  • SB 69 – CEQA Notification Transparency
  • SB 150 – Infrastructure Workforce Development (Joint-Author)
  • SB 309 Protecting Inmate Religious Practices
  • SB 332 – Minor League Baseball Players
  • SB 335 – County of Santa Clara Critical Services
  • SB 406 – Eliminating Duplicative Review for Affordable Housing
  • SB 432 – Relief for Retired Teachers
  • SB 553 – Protecting Against Workplace Violence
  • SB 642Hazardous Waste Enforcement
  • SB 669 – Pets and Veterinary Service
  • SB 735 – Safety on Theatrical Productions (Signed Into Law Through SB 132)
  • SB 740 – Workforce Development in Green Industries
  • SB 745 – Drought Resistant and Water Efficient Buildings


Cortese's Requests Secured In The 2023-2024 State Budget:

  • Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program for Unhoused High School StudentsThe state budget provides $3 million to launch a guaranteed income program in Santa Clara County for 50 homeless students exiting high school. This program will help recipients transition into college or a good-paying job by providing a monthly stipend of $1,200 and various lines of support including financial mentors and peer mentors. The program is modeled after a successful 2020 guaranteed income program spearheaded by Senator Cortese that provided a monthly stipends for young people leaving foster care to help them transition into college or career. 
  • The Tech Interactive Field Trip Program Incorporating the Silicon Valley Kid’s Climate Club: The state budget provides $3 million to fund field trips to The Tech Interactive, a Silicon Valley museum promoting hands-on STEM education with exhibits in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, digital art, and environmental science. Around 100,000 students visit The Tech on field trips each year, and over half of them come through the Title I Field Trip Scholarship Fund for students in under-resourced communities. The Field Trip program will also include teachings from the "Silicon Valley Kids Climate Club," lessons and resources for teaching climate change created by Senator Cortese and scientific experts.
  • College of Adaptive Arts - Investing in Higher Education OpportunitiesThe budget provides $2 million to College of Adaptive Arts (CAA), which offers college-level education for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, to expand its model to more college campuses. CAA's goal is to provide an equal college experience for individuals with disabilities that include autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, by teaching arts, wellness, and vocational skills.
  • Silicon Valley African American Cultural Center: The budget provides $3 million for the African American Cultural Center, a Silicon Valley community initiative to build the Silicon Valley African American Signature Project, a mixed-use development that includes affordable housing, a health clinic, a performing arts theater, a museum, athletic facilities, and retail spaces. 


Summaries For Cortese's Authored Bills In 2023-2024


Environmental Leadership

  • SB 66 (Joint Author) - The State Water Accountability Act: 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) - Signed into Law
  • 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) - Signed into Law
  • 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. (Contact: Tara Sreekrishnan) Signed into Law 

Criminal Justice Reform

  • 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 25 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) - Signed into Law
  • SB 554 – Informal Discovery Conferences: This bill would enable trial courts to require civil litigants to participate in informal discovery conferences with the court prior to filing motions to compel further responses to discovery. Informal discovery conferences have been successful in many cases, saving time and money for everyone involved. (Contact: Hla Elkhatib)

Sexual Assault Prevention

  • 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

  • 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) - Signed into Law


Government Accountability & Transparency

  • 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) Signed into Law
  • SB 335 - County of Santa Clara Critical Services: SB 335 would grant the County of Santa Clara temporary authority to put an initiative on the ballot asking the voters whether they should raise local taxes to support vital County services. (Contact: Michael Haleva) - Signed into Law

Educational Opportunity

  • 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) - Signed into Law
  • 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 Community College: SB 629 would provide community college districts in California the autonomy to use their existing local revenues to provide students assistance in paying for the total cost of attendance - including tuition, books, transportation, and technology, and other related costs. (Steve Dorsey) 

Public Health

Animal Welfare

  • 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) Signed into Law


Economic Opportunity & Workplace Fairness


  • 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) - Signed into Law
  • SB 150 (Joint Author) - Infrastructure Workforce Development: SB 150 is part of a greater infrastructure streamlining package initiated by Governor Newsom to address climate change and modernize California’s transportation system. SB 150 will embed workforce and community benefit incentives into state and federal infrastructure programs including the federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act. (Contact: Sunshine Borelli) - Signed into Law
  • SB 332 - Minor League Baseball Players: SB 332 would codify the first ever nationwide collective bargaining agreement for minor league baseball players (Contact: Sunshine Borelli) - Signed into Law
  • 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 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) - Signed into Law
  • 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) - Signed into Law through the State Budget (SB 132, 2023)

Youth Services & Safety


  • 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) - Signed into Law
  • 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)