First 5 LA’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved support on April 9 for a number of state bills that could greatly improve the lives of young children and their families in California.
Bills included in First 5 LA's 2015 Legislative Agenda were selected based on criteria approved by the Commission in March 2015.
“Through collaboration with local experts, grantees, funding partners and the leadership of Commissioners, First 5 LA seeks to build a foundation for improvements in the public policy realm.” - Ruel Nolledo
Included on the list are:
- AB 74 (Calderon, D-Whittier): This legislation would increase the number of required inspections of family child care homes and centers. Currently, five years or more may elapse between site visits from the licensing program, which is hardly frequent enough to ensure quality of care and safety for children in these settings. AB 74, to be phased in over the next three years, would require the state Department of Social Services to conduct annual unannounced inspections of all community care facilities by July 1, 2018.
- AB 648 (Low, D-Campbell): The bill would provide a means of expanding the Virtual Dental Home (VDH) model by authorizing a one-time, $4 million General Fund appropriation to establish a VDH grant program. AB 648 would also authorize the allocation of grant funds for activities that support VDH implementation. First 5 LA recognized the value of this innovative model and funded a VDH clinic in Los Angeles County.
- AB 1321 (Ting, D-San Francisco): This bill would create the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program, which would award grants to certified farmers markets that double the amount of nutrition benefits available to low-income consumers when purchasing fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables. In 2014, First 5 LA provided a $2.5 million grant for the Market Match program to help increase access to healthy foods for young children and their families.
In addition to these bills, First 5 LA is monitoring a number of other bills for potential action in the coming months.
“First 5 LA will work with stakeholders to educate elected officials and the general public on the importance of these items to the health, well-being and school readiness of young children and their families, both in Los Angeles County and throughout California,” said First 5 LA Government Affairs Officer Ruel Nolledo. “Through collaboration with local experts, grantees, funding partners and the leadership of Commissioners, First 5 LA seeks to build a foundation for improvements in the public policy realm.”
For more information, please contact Ruel Nolledo at [email protected].