ASSEMBLYMEMBER ROBERT RIVAS MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2019-2021
AB 73 – Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protections Act: Protects California’s agricultural sector and food supply by securing adequate PPE and educational resources for farmworkers during toxic wildfire smoke events. (Chapter 322, Statutes of 2021)
AB 271 – Timely, Safe, Expert Construction for the Anderson Dam Project: Authorizes the use of the “best value” method to select the construction contractor for the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project, instead of mandated selection of the lowest bidder, and requires use of a skilled and trained workforce. (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2021)
AB 361 – Remote Meetings During Emergencies: Allows state agencies and local legislative bodies to temporarily meet remotely during a Governor-declared state of emergency, such as a pandemic or major wildfire, while preserving public access and transparency by requiring that residents be able to participate via phone or video connections. (Chapter 165, Statutes of 2021)
AB 1140 – Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Protections Act: Clarifies that unaccompanied immigrant children in foster care enjoy the same protections as U.S. citizen foster youth. (Chapter 297, Statutes of 2021)
AB 1144 – Cottage Food Operations: Strengthens the state’s cottage food operations by modernizing relevant laws, including raising sales limits and allowing for sales via third-party delivery services. (Chapter 178, Statutes of 2021)
Multibenefit Agricultural Land Repurposing Program: The State Budget created and funded a new grant program for farmers to create new habitats, groundwater recharge sites, and other beneficial uses where agricultural land was set to be fallowed due to implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, as was originally proposed in AB 252 (R. Rivas).
Funding for Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Resilience: Following budget requests advanced by Asm. Rivas, the State Budget allocated over a billion dollars to sustainable agriculture and related climate resilience priorities – including the Healthy Soils program, livestock methane reduction, sustainable pest management, the Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) program, the State Water Efficiency & Enhancement Program (SWEEP), technical assistance programs for underserved farmers, and more.
Funding for Affordable Farmworker Housing: Following a related budget request championed by Mr. Rivas, the State Budget allocated $130 million for the Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program to fund new, affordable farmworker housing projects.
Funding for Local Parks and Vital Agricultural Research: Following related budget requests championed by Mr. Rivas, the State Budget allocated $16.9 million for Central Coast projects -- including the Salinas Hebbron Family Center, Watsonville Ramsay Park Regional Sports Complex, San Benito Riverview Regional Park, and research on crop diseases in Monterey County.
Farmworker COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization: After formal requests by Asm. Rivas in December 2020 and January 2021, Governor Newsom’s administration included farmworkers in high-priority tiers for COVID-19 vaccinations and created an equity metric to allocate adequate numbers of doses to agricultural communities.
Drought State of Emergency: After bipartisan requests to declare a statewide drought emergency led by Asm. Rivas and Senator Andreas Borgeas, Governor Newsom issued executive orders declaring drought states of emergency covering 50 counties.
AB 2043 – Agricultural Employee COVID-19 Health & Safety Act: Protects California’s agricultural employees and keeps the food supply chain healthy and functional by promulgating health and safety best practices in the workplace. This legislation also funds an outreach and informational campaign for farmworkers and improves tracking complaints among agricultural workers. (Chapter 212, Statutes of 2020)
AB 2165 – Rural Access to Justice Act: Increases access to justice for rural communities by removing a financial disincentive for courts to offer electronic filing services and expands availability of electronic court services throughout the State. (Chapter 215, Statutes of 2020)
Housing for the Harvest – Temporary COVID-19 Housing for Agricultural Workers: After formal requests in March and April, followed by a $25M Budget Request in May, to expand the Administration’s Project Roomkey and Homekey programs, Governor Newsom announced the “Housing for the Harvest” program in July to provide safe, temporary isolation spaces for sick or at risk agricultural workers.
Prioritization of Agricultural Workers for PPE and COVID-19 Testing: After formal requests in March and April, Governor Newsom announced in May that his Administration would be ramping-up testing availability for rural and other under-served communities and again in July that both testing and PPE access would be improved for agricultural workers.
EO N-82-20 – Nature Based Solutions Climate & Biodiversity: As part of his pledge to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and waters by 2030, Governor Newsom enacted the purpose of Asm. Rivas’s AB 2954 to set an overall climate goal for the state’s natural and working lands to leverage them as tools in the fight against climate change.
AB 936 – OIL SPILL RESPONSE AND PLANNING: Enhances oil transportation safety in California by defining non-floating oil in statute and ensuring that safety standards are regularly updated to incorporate the best possible tools for clean-up. (Chapter 770, Statutes of 2019)
AB 1255 – SURPLUS PUBLIC LAND: Identifies new affordable housing opportunities at the local level by requiring cities and counties to identify their surplus sites on their annual housing element progress reports to HCD. (Chapter 661, Statutes of 2019)
AB 1266 – BICYCLIST SAFETY: Promotes cyclists safety by allowing bikers, when indicated, to disobey a turn lane when the bike lane is embedded in that vehicular turn lane. This legislation also encourages controlling agencies to instill these lanes within a turn lane to protect the safety for both cyclists and motorists. (Chapter 221, Statutes of 2019)
AB 1628 – ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Elevates the voices of vulnerable communities most impacted by pollution and public health hazards by adding “meaningful involvement” to the definition of environmental justice. (Chapter 360, Statutes of 2019)
AB 1783 – FARMWORKER HOUSING ACT: Creates an opt-in, streamlined process to build farmworker housing on surplus agricultural land, sets quality standards to ensure that the new housing is dignified and family friendly, and puts safeguards in place to protect the environment. (Chapter 866, Statutes of 2019)
2019-20 BUDGET – Appropriated $89 million for the Golden State Teacher Grant to provide $20,000 in scholarships for students who commit to teach in a high-need area – which includes Special Education, Bilingual and STEM certifications.