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Assemblymember Robert Rivas’s Legislation Passes out of Assembly with Strong Bipartisan Support

For immediate release:

Seven Bills Address Important Agricultural, Housing, Environmental, and Public Safety Issues

SACRAMENTO, June 12, 2020Today, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) applauded the Assembly for advancing his first-in-the-nation Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package, as well as important bills relating to housing, the environment, and public safety. Each of the seven bills received strong, bipartisan support (four of them passed unanimously) and now head to the Senate. Together, they tackle a variety of health, safety, and economic needs of Californians—needs made all the more critical due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bills are AB 2043, 2164, 2165, 2954, 2957, 3005, and 3153.

In relation to the Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package, which includes AB 2043 (Agricultural Workplace Safety), AB 2164 (Telehealth), and AB 2165 (Rural Access to Justice), Rivas said, “Farmworkers are putting their health and indeed their lives on the line to help keep us fed during this pandemic. By helping farmworkers stay safe, we also prevent disruptions to California’s food supply.” Rivas’s AB 2957 (Winery Sustainability) is another agricultural bill that will specifically benefit the wine industry. “AB 2957 would assist in the economic recovery of wineries by allowing the reuse of consumer-supplied wine bottles, also known as ‘growlers,’” said Rivas. “This will contribute to California’s overall sustainability goals.”

As for the worsening housing crisis felt across the State, Rivas explained that AB 3153 (Bike & Car-share Parking) “incentivizes more units of affordable housing, particularly near transit, by easing vehicle parking requirements for residential developers in exchange for additional bicycle or car-sharing parking spaces. With the growing concerns around our environment, AB 3153 promotes bike and car-share usage, which are healthier transit options not only for our residents, but for our planet.”

With regard to public safety and water supply in District 30—needs addressed by AB 3005 (Expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valley Act)—Rivas said, “Beyond protecting thousands of Silicon Valley residents and job-creating businesses from inundation, the $576 million Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project will help create 5,400 good-paying jobs beginning in 2021, and have a multiplying effect on regional economic activity reaching far beyond the half-billion-dollar local infrastructure investment.”

Finally, with respect to the environment, Rivas said, “Passage of AB 2954 would provide for an overall climate goal for California’s natural and working lands. The Air Resource Board will also identify best practices, policy incentives, and ways to reduce barriers that would help achieve this goal. In this way, the bill will ensure that natural and working lands are a vital component of our State’s climate plan.”

Rivas concluded, “As these bills move forward to the Senate, I remain committed to fighting for the needs of District 30 and vulnerable communities across California during these challenging times. Now more than ever, Californians need affordable housing and other economic support, as well as environmental protections. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Assembly for supporting this urgently needed legislation.”

Assemblymember Robert Rivas’s 2020 Legislation

AB 2043 [formerly AB 2915]: Agricultural Workplace Health & Safety Act—with joint authors Garcia (D-Coachella) and Gonzalez (D-San Diego)passed with bipartisan 55-15 vote
 -- Directs the Cal/OSHA standards board to adopt occupational safety and health standards for
 COVID-19 infection prevention, while funding an outreach and informational campaign for farmworkers

AB 2164: Telehealth and E-Consult Services for Rural and Community Health Centers Act—with joint author Salas (D-Bakersfield)passed with unanimous, bipartisan 78-0 vote
-- Deploys telehealth services for rural and community health centers

AB 2165: E-Filing and Rural Access to Justice Actpassed with unanimous, bipartisan 76-0 vote

 -- Expands the availability of electronic filing to all state trial courts, given that access to
 courthouses is a serious problem in many farmworker and other rural communities

AB 3005: Expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valleypassed with unanimous, bipartisan 78-0 vote
-- Facilitates the expedited and expert construction of the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project in Santa Clara County, a project that is urgently needed to ensure the safety and water supply of the region

AB 2954: Natural Working Landspassed with bipartisan 43-23 vote
-- Helps the State achieve its target of carbon neutrality by 2045, as it would require the California Air Resources Board to identify an overall climate goal for California’s natural and working lands

AB 3153: Bike Parking and Care-Sharepassed with bipartisan 57-13 vote
-- Provides a secure place for individuals and families to store their bicycles, while incentivizing more affordable housing units and active and sustainable transit, including bike and car-share usage

AB 2957: Winery Sustainabilitypassed with unanimous, bipartisan 77-0 vote
-- Allows wineries to refill consumer-supplied bottles or “growlers” in their tasting rooms, providing relief to wineries across the State, as they begin to recover from major economic losses due to COVID-19

Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) represents California’s 30th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels, and Watsonville.