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Tampons, Teachers, and Teddy Bears, Oh, My!
Last year, Common Sense Kids Action launched our legislative ratings tool to cut through the noise in Sacramento and give parents, educators, and other advocates the information they need to advocate for policies that help our children thrive.
In the first year of our Common Sense Legislative Ratings initiative, we analyzed 22 bills on issues that matter to kids and families and rated them as "For Kids" or "Against Kids." Thanks to passionate advocates like you, Governor Jerry Brown signed 12 "For Kids" bills into law, and California took positive steps forward on supporting high-quality early education, 21st-century schools, a positive media and technology world, and commonsense supports for families.
This year we are excited to announce the release of the 2017 Kids Action California legislative ratings, covering 41 bills currently moving through the California State Legislature. Our list not only includes well-known bills on child care and paid family leave but also highlights bills we believe would have a significant positive impact on kids, from addressing the teacher shortage to ensuring that students won't miss class because they can't afford feminine hygiene products.
Our ratings also include the bills we are sponsoring to outline a Bill of Rights for Children and Youth, to help ensure that more California students have access to digital citizenship and media-literacy instruction, and to ensure that internet-connected toys and devices come with basic security and privacy protections and disclosures (through the Teddy Bear and Toaster Act). We also continue to include a victory we previously announced after rating a bill "Against Kids" and subsequently seeing it die for the year.
The full list includes important "For Kids" bills:
- Assembly Bill 15: This bill would address the chronic underfunding of critical oral health services for California children by increasing Denti-Cal reimbursement rates for the most common dental services.
- Assembly Bill 60: This bill would eliminate burdensome reporting rules and allow families to qualify for child care assistance for 12 months at a time, helping to keep parents working and ensuring that children can stay in the child care they love for as long as their families need it.
- Assembly Bill 340: This bill would expand California's infant and child early screening program to identify children who are victims of trauma, ensuring that they can access mental health care services to help them thrive.
- Senate Bill 63: This bill would help families by guaranteeing 12 weeks of job-protected parental leave for more California employees.
For years, parents and educators have turned to Common Sense to help them make informed decisions about media and technology. In the same way, we hope that this resource will empower parents, teachers, and advocates like you to be a voice for children in the hallways of power. Thank you for fighting to hold legislators accountable and make kids California's top priority.