Inland Empire Caucus Announces Priority Legislation

Inland Empire Caucus

Today, members of the California Inland Empire Caucus announced a package of priority legislation that seeks to improve the lives of families and business owners as well as help alleviate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the region.

“We are working together to support and promote legislation that invigorates the region and uplifts residents by providing the tools needed to succeed,” said Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Chair of the Inland Empire Caucus. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused socio-economic devastation throughout the area. We must respond innovatively and collaboratively to promote growth and revitalization, helping our local communities thrive. Our priority bills are bipartisan solutions that will directly benefit residents of the Inland Empire. I’m excited and optimistic about the potential impact we can have as a united front.”

“The Inland Empire delegation has forged a bipartisan, bicameral working group to serve our constituents,” said Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland), Vice Chair of the Inland Empire Caucus. “Our priorities range from housing to ensuring family mental health services to higher education, to assisting veterans and providing relief to hard-strapped homeowners and low income earners. More than ever, we must focus on assistance that aids the vulnerable and leads to a quick and full recovery from the pandemic.”

Nine issues areas represent the Inland Empire Caucus’ priority legislation package for 2021: Behavioral Health, Economic Development, Education, Environmental, Housing, Homelessness, Transportation, Water, Wildfire.

Priority Legislation by Number:

AB 226 (Ramos) – This bill would clarify licensing issues and ensure much-needed federal funding for Children’s Crisis Residential Programs for urgent mental health services to children in crisis. Only 11 of California’s 58 counties have child/adolescent psychiatric hospital beds for children under age 12 with fewer than 70 beds statewide. The bill clarifies that the residential programs must be approved as Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities to maximize federal funding and ensure availability of these critical services for youth.

AB 687 (Seyarto) – This bill will allow the formation of the Western Riverside County Housing Trust, which will facilitate the funding of housing projects to help address homelessness in Western Riverside County. Supported by City of Menifee, City of Murrieta, and Southern California Association of Governments.

AB 1456 (Medina) – This bill enacts the Cal Grant Reform Act to be operative for financial aid awarded during the 2022-23 academic year. The act makes vast reforms to the Cal Grant program, the state’s largest post-secondary financial aid program.

SB 276 (Ochoa Bogh) – This bill will support low-to-moderate income working families who qualify for CalEITC by authorizing taxpayers to choose between their 2019, 2020, and 2021 incomes when filing for the credit.

SB 309 (Leyva) – This bill establishes a $200 million dollar grant program to ensure that more students successfully complete the University of California/California State University A-G course requirements, helping ensure that more students from the Inland Empire are eligible to attend a UC or CSU directly from high school.

SB 601 (Ochoa Bogh) – This bill incentivizes homeowners to sell their homes to first-time buyers by increasing the capital gains exclusion on homes sold to first-time buyers from $250,000 to $300,000 for single filers and from $500,000 to $600,000 for married couples filing jointly.

SB 658 (Grove) – Authorizes county assessors to offer a property tax deduction to disabled veterans proportional to the veterans’ percentage disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).