Seneca submitted letters of support for the following bills in California during the 2023 legislative session.
- Assembly Bill (AB) 81 (Ramos), a bill that would establish a wholly independent state-law framework for ensuring that custody decisions involving Indian decisions properly account for the child’s tribal relationship and the interest in maintaining those ties.
- AB 373 (Gipson), a bill that would give youth in foster care and youth experiencing homelessness priority access to summer and winter school sessions. (Signed into law)
- AB 599 (Ward), a bill that would prohibit a student from being suspended or expelled for having or using tobacco products on school campuses.
- AB 665 (Carrillo), a bill that would align Medi-Cal standards of minor consent with private insurance regarding mental health services, making it easier for youth to access Medi-Cal mental health services. (Signed into law)
- AB 723 (Quirk-Silva), a bill that would expand the definition of “school of origin” for youth in foster care to include nonpublic schools so that they may continue to attend the nonpublic school they were in prior to their removal from their families. (Signed into law)
- AB 954 (Bryan), a bill that would prevent child welfare agencies from using a parent’s inability to pay for court-ordered services as a reason to deny reunification. (Signed into law)
- AB 1470 (Quirk-Silva), a bill that would align Medi-Cal documentation standards across all California counties.
- AB 1479 (Garcia), a bill that would establish the Pupil Social-Emotional, Behavioral Mental Health Program and provide Model Tier 1 support to all students enrolled in California public schools.
- Senate Bill (SB) 274 (Skinner), a bill that would eliminate the suspension or expulsion of a student for willful defiance. (Signed into law)
- SB 407 (Wiener), a bill that would strengthen the existing resource family approval process to provide protections for youth of all sexual orientations. (Signed into law)
- SB 824 (Ashby), a bill that would grant criminal record exemptions to non-relative family members and extended family members and, therefore extend the benefits of kinship care to more youth in foster care.
Seneca and Current LGBTQ+ Legislation
Seneca is continuing to monitor current legislative efforts that seek to impact the LGBTQ+ community negatively.
In recent months, several California school districts have adopted Parental Notification policies that will require staff to notify parents and caregivers when their student is exploring their gender identity, ask to use a name or pronoun different than what was assigned at birth, and/or engage in activities or use spaces designed for the opposite sex.
While some school districts have made their Parental Notification policy explicitly about gender and gender identity, other school districts have made Parental Notification about mental health along with the argument that Gender Dysphoria is a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition and therefore a student’s gender identity and exploration can be disclosed under Parental Notification policies centered on mental health.
As a result, Seneca has ramped up their local advocacy efforts and is advocating for Parental Notification policies to contain explicit protections for LGBTQ+ students.
Check out our advocacy tool kit to learn more about how you can get involved in this issue.
To learn more about California’s legislative and budget cycle, check out the CA Alliance Legislative and Budget Training and California Budget and Policy Center. You can also look up your state representatives here. Learn more about how to do that in California in the Advocacy Quick Reference Guide. In Washington, you can submit a comment of support or opposition for a bill by searching the bill number or your state representative on Washington’s State Legislature site.