SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) presented four key bills in both the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Housing Committee where they passed, respectively, with solid support. “I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their tremendous support of these bills today,” said Assemblymember Bloom, “these bills, each in their own way, embody the spirit of California: from increasing access to farm fresh food to addressing our affordability housing crisis. I am thankful for the support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both the Assembly and Senate and look forward to their continued support.”
California Farm to School Bill – AB 1009
AB 1009 establishes the Farm to School Food Hub Program and proposes funding for a regional pilot program to establish three farm to school food hubs in northern, central, and southern California. The food hubs created under AB 1009 will prioritize aggregation and distribution from small to mid-scale farms and ranches that are cooperatively owned, or owned by socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, veteran, minority, or disabled farmers and ranchers to school districts and other public institutions. AB 1009 serves as an opportunity to support disadvantaged communities as they recover from the drastic economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and is set to be heard next in to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act – AB 1282
AB 1282 authorizes California licensed veterinarians to operate humane community blood banks to produce and sell or transfer animal blood and blood products. Currently, voluntary community-based blood banking isn’t allowed in California and ours is the only state in the country that requires animal blood to come from so-called “closed colony blood banks.” The “closed colony” model sources blood from animals that are kept in inhumane conditions for the sole purpose of having their blood collected over and over again. AB 1282 allows for a more humane, voluntary solution for sourcing animal blood while also establishing conditions to eventually phase out the captive close colony canine blood banks. AB 1282 passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and will soon be heard in the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development.
Addressing Vestiges of Racist and Exclusionary Language in Housing Covenants – AB 721
AB 721 will clarify that these density restrictions in private covenants cannot be used to curtail an affordable or supportive housing development that is otherwise consistent with local zoning. While court decisions and the California Legislature have made racially restrictive covenants unenforceable, these covenants often contain other vestiges of discrimination – such as limits on the number and size of units that can be built. Despite their discriminatory origin and clear conflict with local zoning, these restrictions remain enforceable against an affordable housing developer. As a result, threats of lawsuits over the restrictive covenants make it difficult for affordable housing developers to get title insurance coverage and funding from lenders. This is a necessary measure to promote the equitable development of affordable and supportive housing in the state. AB 721 passed Senate Housing Committee today and is now headed to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Ensuring We Meet Our Affordable Housing Needs – AB 1398
AB 1398 will require local agencies that fail to adopt a legally compliant housing element to properly rezone within one year. AB 1398 will ensure cities and counties are adequately re-zoning to meet their housing needs. Jurisdictions that fail to adopt a HCD-compliant housing element within 120 days of the statutory deadline will have one year to complete the required rezoning, instead of the current three years and 120 days. This bill helps ensure that all cities and counties are doing their part in helping address the housing crisis and spurring production. AB 1398 passed Senate Housing Committee today and is now on its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.