2017 CAIR California Legislative Session Update

Our Commitment to Protecting Civil Rights

The California Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) is pleased to announce momentous victories for civil rights. This legislative session, CAIR-CA co-sponsored and supported bills protecting religious freedom, immigrant rights, access to housing, bail reform, the environment, indigenous rights, and a statewide hate crimes audit.

Religious Freedom

SB 31: (Lara) California Religious Freedom Act – CAIR-CA co-sponsored

Prohibits a state or local agency from participating in a federal or local program to create a database based on a person’s religious beliefs, national origin, or ethnicity for law enforcement or immigration purposes.

Goes into effect: Immediately

Immigrant Rights

SB 54: (de León) California Values Act

Protects the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations and that public schools, state health facilities, and courthouses remain safe and accessible to all California residents, regardless of their immigration status.

Goes into effect: January 1, 2018

SB 29: (Lara) End Local Contracting with For-Profit Immigration Detention Centers

Prevents local governments from entering into new contracts with private entities for immigration purposes. Local governments also cannot issue permits to private entities to use existing buildings for immigration purposes unless they give notice to the public and allow for public comments. Existing private facilities cannot increase the number of beds in their contracts.

Goes into effect: January 1, 2018

AB 291: (Chiu) Immigrant Tenant Protection Act

Protects immigrant tenants from intimidation and retaliation by landlords. It codifies an existing defense to evictions based on immigration status and would grant tenants new protections against unfair litigation practices, including a ban on questions about immigration status in housing-related cases, and a prohibition on attorney threats to report tenants to immigration authorities.

Goes into effect: January 1, 2018

Criminal Justice

AB 42: (Bonta) & SB 10: (Hertzberg) Bail Reform

Enacts legislation to safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system. It ensures that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail.

Goes into effect: 2018 legislative session. Governor Edmund G. Brown, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Senator Bob Hertzberg, and Assemblymember Rob Bonta committed to work on bail reform in the next legislative session.

AB 3: (Bonta) Immigration Counsel for Public Defenders

Creates and funds Regional Centers and Statewide Resource Centers to provide immigration law training and advice to public defender’s offices on issues relating to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. The purpose of the proposal is to enable defense attorneys to meet the requirements of existing law.

Goes into effect: Included in the 2017-18 State Budget funding for the California Department of Social Services “One California” Immigration Services Funding.


SB 258: (Lara) Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017

Requires a manufacturer of a cleaning product to disclose ingredients contained in and health impact information related to the cleaning product on the product label. Requires an employer to make a safety data sheet readily accessible to an employee.

Goes into effect: January 1, 2018

Indigenous Rights

AB 20: (Kalra) Divestment from holdings in companies involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline

Requires the boards of administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System to make a specified report on investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Goes into effect: January 1, 2018

Statewide Hate Crimes Audit

CAIR-CA along with The Arc & United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration, Equality CA, NAACP, and others successfully advocated to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee for a statewide hate crimes audit. The audit will survey all law enforcement agencies and analyze a random sample of at least three agencies from each assembly district. It will focus on identifying best practices, compliance with existing laws, and the level of collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement. In addition, it will determine the extent of underreporting for hate crimes and potential trends in reported hate crimes.

To be completed: Fall 2018

Inactive Priority Bills

Although these bills did not make it through the legislature, we will continue fighting to protect our students and community members using other legislative and community engagement methods.


SB 21: (Hill) Surveillance Policies

Requires each law enforcement agency to submit to its governing body at a noticed hearing, open to the public, a proposed plan for the use of all surveillance technology and the information collected.

Education & School Bullying

AB 1318: (Chiu) Safe Place to Learn Act – CAIR-CA co-sponsored

Requires school employees to receive training to intervene and address intergroup conflict and promote positive student interactions.

AB 233: (Gloria) School dress code policies: graduation ceremonies

Prohibits a dress code policy from preventing a K-12 student from wearing religious, ceremonial, or cultural adornments at school graduation ceremonies.

AB 927: (Levine) Safe Schools: supplemental law enforcement services

Establishes security measures that authorize the employment of security staff at private and religious non-private schools in the State of California. Provides funding for security services.

Hate Crime Reporting Standards

AB 158: (Chu) Hate Crime Reporting Standards

Establishes uniform hate crime reporting standards for law enforcement agencies statewide by requiring the first page of a law enforcement agency’s departmental information and crime report cover sheets include a check box indicating whether or not the incident in question was bias related.