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Assemblymember James C. Ramos, thefirst and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature, on Friday announced his 2024 bill package that deals with issues ranging from public safety to youth homelessness to education to mental health services. 

Ramos' bill package contains a strong emphasis on inclusion of Native American issues, including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People issue.

“My legislative bill package tackles a range of issues important to the state as well as my constituents. As I enter my sixth year in the Assembly, I plan to continue the fight to address youth homelessness, mental health issues, retail theft, as well as the continuing crisis and tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get these bills to the Governor, and I look forward to a productive session this year," Ramos stated.

Ramos’s bill package includes:

  • AB 1772 would tackle retail theft and would require jail time from one year to three years for perpetrators convicted of a third misdemeanor for petty theft under the state’s $950 limit. San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus and San Diego District Attorney Sumer Stephan are co-sponsors of the bill.

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  • AB 1821 would require California public schools to teach the true history of the Spanish Mission and Gold Rush Eras and the impact of those periods on California Native Americans. The bill is co-sponsored by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.
  • AB 1863 would make changes to the year-old Feather Alert based on suggestions from California’s tribes and law enforcement. The Feather Alert was created in 2022 through Ramos’s bill, AB 1314. 
  • AB 2108, The Luke Madrigal Act would require notification to family members, court appointed counsel, tribes and tribal representatives and the court of jurisdiction when a child or non-minor dependent is missing from foster care. The bill is co-sponsored by the Alliance for Children’s Rights, California Tribal Families Coalition and Yurok Tribe.
  • AB 2138 would grant tribal police officers peace officer status, authorizing them to enforce state law outside of the tribal lands in certain circumstances. This bill bridges the divide between local law enforcement and tribal police in many parts of the state, while promoting public safety in many tribal communities. AB 2138 is sponsored by the Yurok Tribe.

 

  • AB 2478 mandates all state local and state correctional facilities to share mental health records amongst each other when incarcerated individuals are transferred between facilities. This bill ensures that there is a continuation of care established during a transition and allows correctional facilities to be accurately informed about an incarcerated individual’s mental health. San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus is sponsoring the bill. 
  • AB 2520 would require Continuums of Care to include youth-specific entry points, assessment, and prioritization scores, and youth appropriate housing and services. The bill is sponsored by the California Coalition for Youth.
  • AB 2601 would require appliances being replaced by the Energy Saving Assistant Program to be electric-efficient. 
  • AB 2614 would amend the state water law section that requires that the state’s water resources be put to the greatest beneficial use to include tribal cultural water uses. This bill would also require local state water agencies to include tribal beneficial uses of water for their enforcement of the law. AB 2614 is sponsored by the Shingle Spring Band of Miwok Indians.
  • AB 2711 would revise school suspension and expulsion policies for drug-related infractions by requiring Local Education Agencies to develop public health approaches to support students in lieu of suspensions and expulsions to address underlying needs to prevent substance abuse among students.  The California Alliance of Child and Family Services, California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, California Youth Empowerment Network and Children Now are sponsoring the bill.
  • AB 3008 would revise the “government salary exception” to include salary and benefits received from a Native American tribal government employer. The bill is sponsored by the Fair Political Practices Commission.
  • AB 2948 would allow tribal children adopted through tribal court to continue receiving Adoption Assistance Program payments.
  • AB 3015 would allow Native American students who are members of multi-state, border-straddling tribes and who reside in the bordering states to be eligible for in-state, resident tuition at the University of California, California State University and California community colleges. The bill is sponsored by the University of California

 

  • AB 3028 would ratify the gaming compact between the Tule River tribe and the State of California. This bill is sponsored by the Tule River Tribe.

Ramos is a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe and former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

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