Notable Pro-Kid Bills for Children’s Movement Members to be Aware of

June 25, 2024

Throughout the spring, Assembly and Senate bills journeyed through a process in their “house of origin” involving committee debates, public testimonies, advances out of committee, and floor votes. Between now and the end of the summer, these bills will repeat the same process in the opposite house. Bills that make it past the floor vote of the opposite house will land on the Governor’s desk for final signature (or veto) around September. Continue reading to learn more about a few of the Pro-Kid bills that help improve outcomes for California’s children. These bills range across issue areas such as education, health, child welfare, and early childhood.  

We will continue to monitor these Pro-Kid bills as they progress through the opposite house. As a Movement member, we encourage you to stay aware of these issues and be prepared to mobilize should any of these bills require Movement support to get over the finish line this fall.   


  • AB 1955 (Ward): Support Academic Futures and Educators for Today’s Youth (SAFETY) ActAssemblymember Chris Ward and the California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus have introduced AB 1955, known as the SAFETY Act, which would strengthen state protections against any local educational agency’s policy, rule, or regulation that would require the disclosure of information that relates to a student’s sexual orientation, gender identify, or gender expression without the student’s consent. The bill would require the California State Department of Education to develop resources and update existing resources to better support the parents and guardians of LGBTQ+ youth. A 2020 study by The Trevor Project’s researchers, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that transgender and non-binary youth were 2 to 2.5 times as likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide compared to their cisgender LGBTQ+ peers. In the face of discriminatory rhetoric and actions taking place in many communities, AB 1955 would ensure that teachers, schools, and students have clear protections that foster safe, healthy environments at school and home.    
  • AB 694 (Gipson): Teacher residency apprenticeship programs – Authored by Assemblymember Gipson, AB 694 seeks to strengthen the teacher pipeline by improving teacher preparation programs, increasing diversity in candidate recruitment, and reducing preparation costs for candidates. The bill aims to accomplish this through the creation an additional, well-supported pathway into the profession that addresses a key systemic barrier teachers of color face when entering the profession by offering a paid preparation program in the form of an educator apprenticeship program. The bill builds on the work of the Teacher Apprenticeship Working Group which convened stakeholders from across the teacher preparation pipeline including the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, universities, and teacher unions.  
  • AB 2458 (Berman): Student parents and public postsecondary education AB 2458 requires each systemwide office of the California Community Colleges (CCC) and California State University (CSU), and requests the systemwide office of the University of California (UC), by July 31, 2025, to develop and disseminate a model policy to estimate and adjust postsecondary cost of attendance information for student parents. This bill requires each campus of CCC and CSU, and requests each campus of UC, to take various steps to adjust cost of attendance for student parents. The bill also requires certain information related to benefits for student parents to be included on college and university webpages. Specifically, this bill requires each campus of CCC and CSU, and requests each campus of UC, beginning in the 2026-27 academic year, among other requirements, to: implement a policy for estimating and adjusting postsecondary cost of attendance information for student parents; establish a data field in the campus’s data management information system to identify student parents; and update its campus net price calculator to include a baseline student parent cost estimate. 
  • SB 1244 (Newman): College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP), dual enrollment, and pupil instruction – Authored by Senator Newman, SB 1244 seeks to provide authority for a community college district to enter into a CCAP partnership with a local educational agency (LEA) within the service area of another community college district (CCD) if that district declines a request or fails to take action within 60 days of a request from an LEA to either enter into a CCAP partnership or to approve another CCD to enter into a CCAP partnership to offer dual enrollment courses. This bill ensures that LEAs can offer their students, particularly students of color or from low-income families, greater access to college-level courses earlier through initiatives such as dual enrollment. The CCAP program has proven to be a successful pathway for high school students to take college courses and earn college credit. However, we recognize there is room for improvement as these programs are still not readily available in economically disadvantaged communities. 


  • SB 294 (Wiener): Ensuring youth access to mental health services Health plans are denying lifesaving mental health care to youth. The current process for appealing these denials puts the burden on the consumer to initiate an appeal. Language barriers, health literacy and work demands make appealing a care denial challenging for some families, worsening mental health care access inequities. Similar to a process available to Medicare enrollees, under SB 294 these denials will be filed automatically as grievances with health plans. Life-threatening/urgent denials and unresolved grievances will then be referred to the independent medical review (IMR) process, without burdening consumers to fight for care. This bill will also strengthen SB 855 (Wiener, 2020), a mental health parity law that requires plans to provide medically necessary mental health treatment. Check out this website created by the Children Now health policy team learn more about SB 294. 
  • SB 1290 (Roth) and AB 2914 (Bonta): Essential Health Benefits (EHB) and hearing aids for children – More than 20,000 children and youth in California need hearing aids and services, but their private health insurance does not cover them. California lawmakers can solve this problem, and we can join over 30 other states in closing the coverage gap for hearing aids through two bills currently working through the legislative process. Both SB 1290 (Roth) and AB 2914 (Bonta) could, if amended, be the legislative vehicles that update the state’s health insurance benefit requirements to include hearing aids and services, and/or other benefits/services, beginning as soon as 2027. We expect stakeholder meetings and committee hearings to take place during the summer to inform decisions by the authors to amend the bill and how to move forward in updating the decade-old EHB standard.   
  • AB 2340 (Bonta): Medi-Cal early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment (EPSDT) informational materials – Too few kids in Medi-Cal are getting the preventive care, check-ups, shots, and screenings that are so critical for their health and development. AB 2340 (Bonta) aims to improve rates of preventive care for kids by ensuring that informational materials are regularly updated and are more readily available so that parents, caregivers, and youth understand the benefits and rights available to them through Medi-Cal for Kids and Teens. The bill author notes that “this alone will not address the crisis in children’s preventive care, but it will set the long-term foundation for greater success by ensuring the informational materials are meaningful, culturally concordant, and provided timely, and include materials that speak directly to the needs of youth and encourage them to seek preventive health care and other health care they need.”  
  • AB 1864 (Connolly & Addis): Notifying and reporting on agricultural pesticide use near school sitesAB 1864 would strengthen existing protections for children from exposure to agricultural pesticides at school. A report by the California Department of Public Health analyzed use of pesticides of public health concern in the 15 highest pesticide-use counties and found that 36% of schools in these counties had pesticide use within a quarter mile, in amounts up to 28,979 pounds. Latine children were 46% more likely than their white peers to attend schools with pesticide use nearby and 91% more likely to attend schools in the highest quartile of use. Exposure to pesticides is linked to acute poisoning and chronic diseases, such as cancer, respiratory disease, and developmental disorders in children. Compared with adults, children are more susceptible to the health effects of pesticides because of their behavior, physiological development, and body size. Click here to find more information about AB 1864 and the California Alliance for Children’s Environmental Health (CACEH) (many members of CACEH support AB 1864).  

Child Welfare 

  • SB 1079 (Menjivar): Youth Housing Bond Act – California has the highest number of youth experiencing homelessness in the country. This is exacerbated by a lack of supportive housing needed to combat homelessness and housing instability amongst our most vulnerable youth. SB 1079 seeks to address the need to develop housing and supportive services for youth currently or formerly in foster care and youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness by creating a dedicated funding source, the 2024 Youth Housing Bond Fund. This fund will allow both local public agencies and nonprofit organizations to apply for the youth bond funds to acquire, renovate, and construct youth centers and youth housing.  
  • AB 2830 (Rivas): Relative foster care placement approval process – Children removed from their parents’ custody due to abuse or neglect enter foster care, where they are placed with resource families who become responsible for their care. Children and youth in foster care who can live with those they know, such as grandparents or other family members, experience familiarity, comfort, and continuity at a very traumatic time in their lives. Consequently, children and youth in foster care who are placed in the care of family members experience less trauma, greater stability, and better behavioral health outcomes. However, becoming an approved resource family can be an arduous process. AB 2830 seeks to reduce barriers for family members to care for their relatives in foster care through a streamlined approval process for relative caregivers. This will increase the ability of family members to care for their kin in foster care and improve the well-being of children and youth in foster care. 

Early Childhood 

  • SB 1396 (Alvarado-Gil): CalWORKs Home Visiting Program (HVP)SB 1396 seeks to extend the CalWORKs HVP enrollment timeframe currently set at children under 24 months of age to children under 36 months of age and extend the time that families can participate in the program to align with model fidelity. This would align the CalWORKs HVP with current practices that follow a model’s fidelity and move in stride with the California HVP under the California Department of Public Health. 
  • AB 1947 (Rivas): Staff training days at California state preschool programsAB 1947 builds upon the progress made by the national landmark legislation, AB 1363 (Chapter 498, Statutes of 2021) that helps the state achieve the goals of California’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. The Master Plan stresses the importance of supporting the needs of dual language learner (DLL) children through interactions that acknowledge their cultural and linguistic backgrounds while also promoting the development of both their home language and English. Specifically, the Master Plan recommended that the state require specialized training and development to address dual language development, children with disabilities, and how to eliminate bias and inequitable practices. AB 1947 would expand the number of state training days, from up to two days to six days, for California State Preschool Program (CSPP) agencies and dedicate at least one training day specifically to supporting dual language learners if the agency enrolls at least 25 percent DLLs.