by Julia Baum / Pleasanton Weekly
Freshman legislator receives signatures on her first 3 bills on the Governor’s desk, which address deadly food allergens, gun safety and criminal justice reform
Sacramento, CA — Governor Newsom has signed three pieces of legislation authored by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (AD16 D-Orinda) – marking her first legislative victories since joining the legislature earlier this year.
AB 1532 – The Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Act. This bill was introduced in honor of Natalie Giorgi, a 13-year-old who tragically passed away due to a severe reaction to a peanut allergy while at a summer camp in Sacramento. Natalie’s parents, Louis and Joanne Giorgi who reside in AD16 (Danville), created the Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation and played a critical part in its passage. AB 1532 will protect individuals with severe food allergies, requiring all food handlers to have a simple certification in safe food handling practices for major food allergens. This bill also would add “Organized Camps” to the definition of “Food Facility” for the basis of requiring training for individuals who handle food at camp.
In the United States, as many as 15 million people have a food allergy, including 6 million children. According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies result in more than 200,000 ambulatory care visits a year involving children under the age of 18. This bill received broad bipartisan support in both houses.
AB 1292 – Firearm Transfer Safety Protections. The law governing how the transfer of a firearm is handled in the case of a will or trust hasn’t been updated in nearly 3 decades. AB 1292 modernizes the law to create clear guidelines on how these transfers are handled so these firearms don’t fall through the cracks or into dangerous hands – it also ensures that good actors are not penalized due to out of date laws. This common-sense gun safety measure received broad bipartisan support.
AB 1421 – Smart Justice & Fiscal Savings Reforms. AB 1421 would prohibit re-arresting and incarcerating an individual on probation, solely on the basis of their inability to pay court-ordered fines, fees, or assessments, and who are otherwise abiding by the terms of their supervision. When an individual is convicted of a crime, the court may issue penalties such as jail time, fines, fees, assessments, or restitution. At the time of sentencing, the ability for a defendant to pay monetary penalties is not always considered.
According to the Board of State and Community Corrections, in 2018 the average cost to house an individual in county jail was $58,268 a year or $160 a day. In comparison, a 2015 report by the Public Policy Institute of California stated that the average cost for an individual on probation was $4,438 or $12.15 a day. The difference between jail and probation equates to $53,830 a year. AB 1421 fixes inequities in the law by clarifying that an individual, who is on probation and lacks the ability to pay court ordered fines, fees, and assessments, will not have his/her probation revoked, while providing the state with significant savings. This bill will ensure that the safety of the public is balanced correctly with smart fiscal responsibility. This bill also received broad bipartisan support.
“I am absolutely thrilled to see these pieces of legislation signed into law, and I would like to thank all my colleagues in the legislature and Governor Newsom for their support of these badly needed legislative remedies. These laws will keep our kids safe from gun violence, give the poor a little more justice in the criminal justice system, while at the same time saving our state hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and take another critical step to keep kids and adults alike safe from deadly food allergens. I am especially proud of the broad consensus and support for these bills – these common sense reforms show our commitment to working across the aisle for the good of all Californians,” stated Bauer-Kahan.