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Legislative Session Update

Now that we’ve made it to July, here’s a brief recap of some of our recent successes this legislative session: 

CPR in Schools (AB 1719):

I am pleased to share that we are only a one step away from ensuring that a large percentage of California students will graduate from high school with Hands-Only CPR skills.  With Missouri passing CPR in Schools legislation back in June, 2 million students nationwide will be taught CPR skills prior to graduation, and if signed into law, AB 1719 will train over 200,000 students on Hands-Only CPR prior to graduation every year.  Teaching this skill in high school will empower our youth and profoundly improve the chain of survival in California. 

We need your help to get AB 1719 past the final hurdle! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Josh Brown for the call-in details.  

Safe, Clean Water Investment:

On June 16th, Governor Brown signed a state budget which included key priorities that invest in improving access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water for Californians.  This budget investment includes a $9.5 million budget allocation for school filtration systems to ensure California students have access to safe drinking water and $500,000 for nonprofits to provide support for outreach and technical assistance.

Providing free, clean, drinking water in schools is an important strategy to increase consumption of water and decrease consumption of sugary drinks. Overconsumption of sugary drinks can contribute to heart disease, tooth decay, and diabetes, and increased access to water can play a huge role in steering youth away from unhealthy beverages.

Furthermore, this appropriation is important as it helps to ensure that more than 100,000 California students, particularly those living in low-income communities or areas of acute water shortage or contamination, have access to safe drinking water. For many students who live in communities impacted by unsafe drinking water, school is one of the only options for access to free, fresh drinking water. 

Tobacco Control Legislation:

Dating back to October of 2015, we worked with Legislative Leadership to prioritize passing strong tobacco control legislation during the Governor’s Special Session on Health.  Thanks to the timely actions from advocates across the state like yourself, Governor Brown signed a package of 5 tobacco control bills that will increase the age of sale for tobacco products to 21, add electronic cigarettes to state tobacco regulations, close loopholes in the smoke-free workplace law, require all schools to be tobacco-free, and update the state’s tobacco licensing fee program. This package of historic legislation paves the way for California to start reestablishing itself as a public health leader in regards to tobacco control.  For more information, please visit here

Keeping it moving, we are still continuing to actively support the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 which officially qualified for the November Ballot on June 30th. This Tobacco Tax Act, Proposition 56, will increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes sold in California from 87 cents a pack to $2.87 and place equivalent taxes on all other tobacco products. 

If passed in November, Prop 56 will fund healthcare programs through the CA Department of Health Care Services, smoking prevention programs administered by the CA Department of Public Health Tobacco Control Program and the Department of Education, and medical research on tobacco-related disease through the University of California. This initiative will shift some of the enormous healthcare costs that tobacco use creates for the users of these products, defraying some of the costs to taxpayers. Only those who use tobacco products will be the ones to pay.

Please start sharing the word of “Yes on 56” in the coming months with your friends, family, and community!  If you would like to get involved, please email Josh Brown or join the supporter list on Yeson56.org.

Thank you for all you do! You Are the Cure!

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