by Kathi Harper, State Public Policy Chair
The State Public Policy Committee, in conjunction with our Public Policy Advocate Kathy Von Osten (KVO), has completed their selection of the 30 bills that the committee and KVO will be working on this year. This year our bills fall into the following categories from the 3 pillars of our Public Policy Priorities:
- 8 “Economic Security” bills
- 11 “Public Education” bills
- 21 “Social Justice” bills
- 8 “reproductive justice”
- 5 “healthcare”
- 5 “freedom from violence” including sex exploitation, DV, stalking
- 1 “gender-identity protection”
- 2 “voting rights”
The committee then selected our top 3 priority bills, including at least 1 bill which we will co-sponsor (“A” bills). KVO will spend most of her time working on these bills, including working with the authors’ offices, attending committing hearings, and writing letters of support. These are also the 3 bills members will advocate for in their Lobby Days visits. We then selected 3 next-level bills (“B” bills), which are important but not as resource intensive. The remaining 24 bills will be handled as “C” level bills. Here is a look at our top 3 bills:
AB1394 – This is our co-sponsored bill. It would allow victims of child sexual exploitation and trafficking to sue a social media platform for between $1 million and $5 million if the victim can prove the platform design knowingly, recklessly or negligently facilitated the use of code words for sexual predators to describe the type of child and the type of sexual activity that resulted in the act of exploitation.
SB287 – Would prohibit a social media platform from using a design, algorithm, or feature that the platform knows, or should know, causes child users to: purchase fentanyl; inflict harm on themselves or others; develop an eating disorder or engage in dangerous dieting; purposely take their own lives; and/or experience addiction to the social media platform. A victim of any of these consequences can sue the platform for up to $250,000 for each violation.
AB549 – Requires all state agencies to conduct an evaluation of all their departments to ensure the state does not discriminate against women, and report their findings every 2 years.