BREATHE LA is actively working to ensure the implementation of local and state policies that promote emissions control and reduction, as well as educational and prevention initiatives surrounding lung disease. A major focus is currently underway to aid in the implementation of AB 32 regarding Climate Change. BREATHE LA is also actively involved in the Los Angeles 30/10 Plan to expedite public transportation plans already approved for Los Angeles County.
Current California Legislative Updates
BREATHE LA is always considering legislation to sponsor, and making determinations about policy priorities. We welcome input from our community members who often have the most innovative and useful ideas for necessary legislation and policy change.
Below you will find information on bills that we find have an important impact on our health and air quality as well as a list of our current California State Legislative priorities bills.
SB 977 – SMOKING BAN AT YOUTH SPORT EVENTS (SENATOR RICHARD PAN); Signed, effective 1/1/2017
Ban smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes within 250 feet of any little league baseball game or other youth sporting event (ages 18 and up).
AB 1696-COMPREHENSIVE CESSATION MEDI-CAL COVERAGE (ASSEMBLYMAN CHRIS HOLDEN); Signed, effective 1/1/2017
Requires that tobacco cessation medications, counseling, and assessments be covered by Medi-Cal.
SB 1333- SMOKING PROHIBITION AT STATE PARKS & BEACHES (SENATOR MARTY BLOCK)
Would have banned smoking and using of electronic cigarettes at California’s 270 state parks and beaches and apply a fine of $250.
AB 1594- SMOKING BAN ON STATE UNIVERSITY & COMMUNITY COLLEGE (ASSEMBLYMAN KEVIN MCCARTHY)
Banned smoking and use of electronic cigarettes on state university and community college campuses.
PASSED PROPOSITIONS FOR 2016 BALLOT:
PROP 56 –TOBACCO TAX (Effective April 1, 2017)
Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, will increase California’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on products containing nicotine derived from tobacco, including e-cigarettes.
On April 1, the tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase $2, from $0.87 to $2.87. This increase is a result of Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act, which was approved by voters last November.
Californians who want help to quit smoking can call the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO BUTTS. The helpline provides smokers free telephone counseling and plans to help them quit. The Helpline is staffed with trained counselors who are fluent in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese. Additional resources and materials are available at www.nobutts.org.
To read more about PROP 56, click here.
PROP 64- Adult Use of Marijuana Act
AUMA essentially allows for the legalizing possession, transport, cultivation and giving away of 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrate. It allows personal, indoor cultivation of up to 6 plants.
To read more about PROP 64, click here.
–Local Tobacco Retail Licensing measures
– Smokefree housing law updates (On September 6, 2011 Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 332 into law making it explicit that landlords have the right to make their rental properties smokefree. SB 332 was authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley); effective January 1, 2012
SB 691 (Hancock) – SUPPORT
As an organization concerned with the health and safety of communities with stationary sources of pollution nearby, we are strongly in support of SB 691 (Hancock), which would set an appropriate penalty to encourage compliance with stationary source permits and prevent violations of stationary source permits from impacting community health.
The experience from the August 6, 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond is especially troubling, because just one single-day violation caused 15,000 people to seek medical attention. This isn’t the only time a disaster like this has occurred. Similar violations have occurred in Long Beach in 2008, and in Los Angeles, Carson, Wilmington, Torrance, South Gate, Martinez, Rodeo, and additional communities across California. Major violations like these can exacerbate asthma, heart attacks, and more severe health impacts associated with particulate matter and toxic air contaminants, which is why it is critical to set appropriate penalties that encourage compliance. Click here for an update on this bill.
Assembly Bill 32: The most significant progress continues to occur at the California Air Resources Board, where the agency is implementing the provisions of AB 32 (Pavley). In 2006, the Legislature passed and Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which set the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal into law. It directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to begin developing discrete early actions to reduce greenhouse gases while also preparing a scoping plan to identify how best to reach the 2020 limit. The reduction measures to meet the 2020 target are to be adopted by the start of 2011. BREATHE California and other advocates of cleaner air worked vigorously to encourage CARB to establish ambitious regional targets for Greenhouse gas reductions. CARB took the courageous stance of moving forward with meaningful goals. For more information please go here.
Senate Bill 375: There is growing understanding that we cannot address the problems carbon emissions and other pollutants unless we rethink the way land-use shapes our communities. Under California’s landmark anti-sprawl bill, SB 375, the state’s 18 Metropolitan Planning agencies are required to establish emissions reductions targets and to develop Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS) that are then incorporated in regional transportation plans. SB 375 also provides economic incentives to cities that meet the targets and build dense, walkable and bikeable communities close to transit, also known as Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs).
BREATHE LA works on a wide variety of environmental advocacy initiatives. Additionally, BREATHE LA has a consistent focus on policies that are at the intersection of air quality and lung health In particular, there is a significant emphasis in place on youth to ensure that our children live in healthy environments, and that they have the tools to improve their communities.
PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY PRINCIPLES
PRINCIPLE 1: Advocate for the implementation of California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (known as AB 32) and educate local businesses and community groups about subsequent voluntary or required actions that will affect them.
PRINCIPLE 2: Advocate for the promotion of improved lung health through such initiatives as tobacco prevention, public education, and other and public health mitigation projects.
PRINCIPLE 3: Advocate for the adoption, implementation, and enforcement of regulations and policies governing stationary and mobile sources of harmful emissions, including diesel pollution (e.g., refineries, ships, trucks, buses and off-road diesel equipment) that will achieve the maximum feasible reductions in diesel particulate matter.
PRINCIPLE 4: Advocate for the increased use of clean energy and technologies, particularly renewable energy, through consumer education and outreach.
Here is how:
Speeding Up New Public Transportation Projects – As one of the only primary lung health advocate with direct services in Los Angeles County, we provide policymakers with a compelling case for enhancing our public transportation system. One of the best ways to improve air quality is to expand public transit in Los Angeles County.
Building the Case for Transit Oriented Development – While building out our transit network is critical, the development of this infrastructure needs to be coordinated with new land use policies that support Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), creating living environments where residents can live, work, and play near their homes.
Filtering Out Ultrafine Particles – With additional support, BREATHE LA can begin to address the problem of high levels of ultrafine particulate matter that are adjacent to our highly trafficked roadways. New approaches are needed to enhance affordable housing in ways that do not jeopardize the health of families—especially the children with developing lungs–who are dependent on living in dwellings that are exposed to pollution.