Decision Maker

California State Senate

The California State Senate is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislative body for the U.S. state of California. It consists of 40 members who serve four-year terms with term limits set at two terms. The senators represent the state's 40 districts, each of which comprises between 931,349 to 981,994 citizens. It's responsible for passing legislation on a range of issues impacting the state, from environmental policy to transportation infrastructure, and is instrumental in shaping state budgetary decisions. The California State Senate operates alongside the California State Assembly in a similar way to the United States Congress.

Start a petition to California State Senate

Does California State Senate have the power to decide or influence something you want to change? Start a petition to this decision maker.
Dear Friends, Thank you for being an advocate for worker safety and gun violence prevention. As a California State Senator and as Chair of our Senate Labor Committee, my job is to review and introduce policies to protect workers and do what’s best for them. So, like all of you, the heartbreaking death of Ms. Halyna Hutchins served to strengthen my resolve in taking steps to address the issues that caused this tragedy and prevent something like this from occurring ever again. That is why, on October 23rd, 2021, I announced that I will be introducing a bill that would ban live ammunition and firearms that are capable of firing live ammunition from movie sets and theatrical productions in California: We must do everything we can to prevent this type of senseless violence and loss of life by giving our crew members and craftspeople the adequate protections they need to feel safe on the job. Those working behind the scenes to entertain and bring joy to millions all over the world shouldn’t go to set worrying if they will return home safely to their family. Our entertainment industry can and must do a better job of ensuring safe working conditions for our hardworking crews. The fact of the matter is this tragedy wasn’t a matter of chance. There was a clear pattern of mistakes that occurred on set and created an environment of poor firearm safety. And while this bill will only affect theatrical productions in California, I know that this legislation will serve as a model for other states to follow so that we can have new safety standards and best practices for all those who work in the industry. In an age when computer generation and digitally created imagery are commonplace in entertainment, the need for live firearms has become obsolete. We have made strides in the 21st century tools that are available to us that allow for seamless visual realism. Movie sets should not be unnecessarily high-risk areas where conditions are unsafe and where live firearms are being used. And our entertainment industry cannot remain vibrant unless people’s rights at work are upheld, and until we have adequately addressed these issues that have been brought into the forefront. My bill takes into consideration the safety and well-being of entertainment workers and create standards, remedies, enforcement mechanisms, and penalties codified in law, so that no one can get around skirting these rules. I know that enforcement of this law will only be effective when workers are empowered to play an active role; that is why this bill will include provisions to ensure that workers feel protected and heard when they speak out about their rights are being violated, and the language of this bill will only be finished once workers and their representatives have given their input on what is needed to keep them safe on set. We need leaders at every level of government who will advocate for and pass laws that prioritize workers and their safety, including our behind-the-scenes entertainment workers. Thank you once again to each and every one of you for your advocacy in this regard and I look forward to working alongside you to create lasting change. To stay informed on the progress of this bill in the California State Legislature as well as ways for you to support its passage, please consider signing up at this link for updates that my office will be regularly providing: Thank you, Senator Dave Cortese California State Senate, District 15Read more

2 years ago
My condolences to the friends and family of Amie Harwick. As a domestic violence survivor, I understand the challenges victims experience -- our laws are designed to protect the abusers more than the victims. As one of Amie's friends said, victims are often let down by our system. Many people don't understand the legal barriers to getting a restraining order. As Congressman Adam Schiff said in his statement, protective orders need to be easier to obtain and renew. In my case, a judge recently extended a restraining order against my abuser for five years. Four days later, he violated it by coming to my office building. But unfortunately, he got away with just a warning. In this case, unless he kills me, there's nothing more law enforcement can do. That's why I stand with victims. I want to say to all survivors, your voices are being heard in Sacramento. This is why I advocated last year to give survivors more time to seek justice, and this year, I'm working on expanding domestic violence protections. We need to craft our laws based on how domestic violence is practiced in reality. Let's not forget Amie and the countless others who are victims of domestic violence. I will continue to push for victims' rights. Let's do this together.Read more

4 years ago
California State Senate, California State House
We’re concerned that single-use plastics are wreaking havoc on our neighborhoods and natural environments. The only solution is to shift away from single-use and move toward a thriving culture of reuse! California representatives introduced Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080 in 2019 to drastically reduce single-use product and packaging waste for generations to come. These bills, known as the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, come as widespread concerns are being raised about single-use plastic pollution and its impact on water quality, our food supply, marine ecosystem health, and our carbon footprint. Sign this petition urging the California Senate and Assembly to fast-track the approval of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act in 2020. The bills set the framework for a 75% reduction of all single-use plastic packaging and products sold in California by 2032, with the rest being effectively recyclable or compostable. An unchecked plastic waste stream is a global threat. We are now finding microplastics everywhere they shouldn’t be: our drinking water, seafood, table salt, and even in our soil. Exposure to plastics and associated toxins has been linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other serious health issues. As a trusted ocean and watershed water quality watchdog, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 35 years, our nonprofit organization has seen first-hand how plastic pollution has wreaked havoc on animals and the outdoor places we all cherish. We've hosted thousands of public beach cleanups in Los Angeles County, California with volunteers, and together we’ve removed over 4 million trash items. Nearly 70% of this waste is plastic. We’re not the only ones doing cleanups. Communities around the world are joining forces and volunteering to remove waste from the natural environment. While beach cleanups are helping to eradicate what’s on shore, there are still 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into our oceans every year. That’s equivalent to one garbage truck-full every single minute. Today, we produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year. That's equivalent to the weight of nearly the entire human population. And with an expected 20% increase in plastic production predicted over the next decade, the problem is only getting worse. Cleanups can be costly and this tactic alone can’t keep up with the production of plastics. Existing recycling infrastructure can’t keep pace either. Less than 9% of plastic is recycled, and that percentage is dropping since the implementation of new policies in India and China, which severely restrict the amount of waste from the United States that can be accepted. We need to take urgent action to stop this toxic waste stream from continuing to build up. Unlike natural materials that biodegrade, nearly every piece of plastic ever produced still exists. As these items fragment into smaller particles, known as microplastics, they concentrate toxins and become impossible to remove from the natural environment. If we continue on our current course, scientists have estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by mass. Upstream incentives that tackle plastic packaging and distribution at the source are the only solutions left. Heal the Bay and Plastic Pollution Coalition advocate for the urgent approval of the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. Tell our elected officials to implement strong, comprehensive environmental policies so California can lead the United States away from single-use plastics and disposables for good.Read more

Heal the BayLos Angeles, CA, United States
California state parks, California Coastal Commision, Oceano dunes svra, State parks ohv, California State Senate, California State House, Nancy Pelosi, Dan Canfield, Lisa Mangat, Ed Waage, Heidi H...
Share the link, spread the word, and Donate to Friends of Oceano Dunes @ Please Note: When asks for a donation after you finish signing, that money does not go towards helping keep the dunes open. Information as to where you can donate is down below ( The fight needs to be paid forward. Please donate to a non-profit who has been battling for 18+ years with multiple agencies to keep the Dunes open for everyone.  The California Costal Commission has announced that they will be meeting on July 11th, 2019 at 9am in SLO- Embassy Suites Hotel 333 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 To discuss implementing a complete closure of the Oceano Dunes SVRA (Pismo Dunes) by Oct-Dec 2019. . Myself and many supporters of keeping Oceano Dunes SVRA open; are reaching out to all our fellow riders, campers, friends, and family to try and gather as much support as possible to voice our opinions and objections on the closure of this park! This park belongs to the people of the state of California, and if we do not make our voices heard now, it will be too late! It’s time we band together and fight for what is a California Coast staple. The closure of this park will not only affect local business but, also affect many people personally. Myself like many other fellow Californians have been visiting the dunes for years. The dunes have been a huge part of my life and many other individuals. Oceano dunes SVRA has been a  place for people from all over to gather and enjoy beach camping and OHV use. As a veteran I fought for the rights to enjoy my California state parks and to have that right taken away is just not right. Help me and many other like minded individuals fight for our rights to camp and enjoy OHV use at Oceano Dunes SVRA state park and keep the memories rollin. I personally will be attending the meeting on July 11th; we ask for everyone to show your support and if you can make it out-Please do! Our voices need to be heard NOW! I know with your help we can keep our park open!   Before July 5th email your comments to the commission at to tell them they need to protect your rights for camping and OHV use via the Coastal Act.  If you want to help fund Friends of Oceano Dunes, the non-profit group fighting against the closures (currently funding several lawsuits) you can donate directly to them VIA PayPal Taking action now by writing, calling, and emailing the contacts below is also of immense help! Let them know how important Oceano Dunes SVRA is to you!   Thank you so much for your time.  Very Respectfully,  J. Titus Rivera     Read more

Titus RiveraHalf Moon Bay, CA, United States
California Governor, Nancy Pelosi, Raul Ruiz, California State Senate, California State House
On September 9, 2018 a man chose to drink and drive. In this choice he ended up speeding into an 8-month-pregnant woman who lost her life and her daughter's life in this accident.  Since Avalynn was killed prior to being born she is not considered a victim of this accident.  So now the drunk driver, whose name I am choosing not to mention because he does not deserve to be known, will only face 10 years MAXIMUM for killing Krystil and her daughter Avalynn.  A 29-year-old woman will miss the rest of her life and the lives of her 2 sons, her daughter, and step daughter, and Avalynn will miss any opportunity at life. Ten years would not be enough to bring justice to this family when the man walked away from this crash uninjured, he posted video on Facebook live after the accident where he blamed Krystil, and never once did he go to check on her or see if he could help her.  Why should the system not have a reasonable opportunity to charge this man with a sentence that would bring this family some justice since they no longer have their wife, mother, daughter, and friend?   Words from Krystil’s husband and Avalynn’s father: "A drunk driver speeding down a two lane highway at 85+mph in the wrong lane around a blind corner destroyed my family. The max sentence for killing my wife and daughter is 10 years. The state of California doesn't think there was intent, but I know driving recklessly in that manner, he didn't intend anything good.... my daughter's due date was October 9th, a 36-week-old fully developed baby isn't considered a person in the state of California. How do I explain to my children this injustice. My children and I have never felt so disposable... Look at the devastation left behind that is my family and tell me it isn't time for change....imagine if this was your family... Who will fight with me for change? Who will spread this like wild fire? Who will write their representatives and demand change?? We cannot as a society look the other way any longer. Driving drunk is intent."Read more

Sarah BonillasHemet, CA, United States
Ro Khanna, Congress, law enforcement, U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, California State Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Marco Rubio, Florida State Senate, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten...
This petition is for legislation that demands harsher and longer mandatory sentencing for child traffickers and pedophiles that prohibit reduction of sentences for over crowding, good behavior or parole. Offenders will receive automatic sentences that include incarceration and mandatory therapy. Possessing child pornography, or engaging in pedophilia will result in immediate incarceration and prohibit bail as these individuals should be considered both a flight risk and an imminent threat to society.  For possession of child porn there will be a mandatory 10 year sentence for each instance. Possessing 2 files will result in a 20 year mandatory sentence to be carried out to term. 10 instances will result in 100 years. For producing child porn the offender will receive a mandatory 20 years sentence for every instance. Engaging in sexual acts with a child will result in a minumim of 50 years per instance. Any pedophilia acts that engage in kidnapping the child will result in mandatory life sentence.  Any sexual acts resulting in the death of a child will be a mandatory life sentence to be served in full. Intentional death of a child will be a mandatory life sentence to be served in full. Profiting from or engaging in the trafficking of children will carry a 20 year minimum sentence per instance. Finally for the protection of the victims. There will be a mandatory restraining order for life against the offender unless the victim (after turning 18 years of age) decides otherwise. The victim will receive some form of therapy and counselling. Persons under the age of 18 cannot be tried in criminal courts for prostitution charges as they are victims of traffickers. Mandatory drug treatment counselling if that victim was drugged as a result of being trafficked. Redact legislation that charges individuals who report child enticement from online forums with entrapment or stalking. Charge offenders with a mandatory 5 year sentence for each instance of trying to entice a child via social media, email or text. Harsher sentencing and more victim advocacy with a no tolerance policy will  send a grave message to those who view children as a mere commodity to exploit and subjugate. The effects of trauma will affect a child for the rest of their lives often resulting in drug addiction, unhealthy relationships, low self image and high risk for suicide. Children are our most precious resource and we must all act to ensure a generation that doesn't need to recover from their childhood.  View the story that inspired this petition: #justiceforbabyjames #justice4karaskids more

Michelle ArnesonNew Hudson, MI, United States
Gavin Newsom, California State Senate, California State House
California is being devastated by massive wildfires, and thousands of state prisoners have volunteered to fight the flames. Paid as low as $1 per hour, the state employs prisoners with low-level, nonviolent crimes to risk their lives and serve alongside professional firefighters. But once people have served their time, they often can’t work as full-time firefighters because of their criminal records. Most counties in California require firefighters to become licensed emergency medical technicians (EMTs) — and that credential is almost always denied to anyone with a felony record, even if they have frontline experience. Thousands of California’s firefighters are state inmates, carefully selected to participate in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s CAL FIRE program. At least three inmates have died fighting fires since 2017. A California firefighter who served in a fire camp while incarcerated is now suing the state for his right to work as a firefighter full-time. Dario Gurrola is a seasonal firefighter who has taken fire science classes and passed the national EMT exam, but he can never get his license because of convictions that are 15 years old. It’s simply wrong to deny people like Dario the ability to become full-time firefighters after they have served their time and paid their debt to society. A steady job is one of the best ways to prevent re-offending. Restoring the right to earn an honest living is crucial for ex-offenders to regain a sense of hope and a chance at redemption. Recently, the California Legislature created a new process that would allow some people who served in the fire camps to apply to have their records cleared. But unfortunately, Dario and many other worthy individuals who want to serve their communities don’t qualify for that process. Sign our petition urging California to make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to become firefighters and EMTs after serving their time.Read more

J. Justin WilsonWashington, DC, United States
California State Senate, California State House, Gavin Newsom, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, United States Supreme Court, Facebook, Mike Hestrin, Riverside County, NBC
This petition is for 18 year old Massai Cole, killed 18 days before his 19th Birthday in Moreno Valley, CA by 2 white supremacy first cousins at one of his best friend’s party. While staying in Moreno Valley with his uncle.  Massai was a loving human being who could light up the world with his charm, wit and smile. He forgave easily, he LOVED hard and he would go above and beyond for his family and friends. He was simply a PROTECTOR. When the Zesk cousins murdered Massai, they didn’t just stop his life, they murdered the souls of an entire family and community AND WE WANT JUSTICE. So many people are devastated behind Massai’s untimely forced death. Massai was raised in Ventura,CA he is known to the Ventura community as (The Ventura Legend) Riverside County is identifying him as an Inglewood, CA man but he is not. Meanwhile the killers are being identified as “Youthful Offenders” even though Massai is younger than the shooter. Massai’s death was a hate crime but the law and courts are not treating it as such! There was no media coverage on Massai Cole’s death, he was shot 8 times in his upper torso, by bullets “not meant for him” that they were randomly shooting into a crowd! (so they say!) but no one else was hit but Massai. One of the only black males at the party. The two cousins that murdered him have known ties to white supremacy, we’re being told that they can’t get the hate crime, and we’re hearing of deals being mentioned. The only deal we want is LIFE without the possibility of parole. We were told that one of the killers is sincere and was on his way to the Marines (too bad we’ll never know where Massai was headed) He should still be here!   Massai’s killers graciously wave the Make America Great Again Flag and the Confederate Flag on their social media pages! They also boast in their music videos on YouTube chanting “White Power, F*** N****rs Kill Them All”. The family believes and knows that Massai was targeted because of the color of his skin. So does Massai’s Caucasian friends who were also present at the party. Riverside County will not add the Hate Crime Enhancement this will ensure that the killers never see the light of DAY, how could they when Massai’s light has been stolen from him by HATE. We are asking for Darren & Jared Zesk (first cousins) to be charged with a Hate Crime Enhancement in the murder of Massai Jevon Cole 02/19/01 - 02/01/20. Massai is missed deeply and there are a lot of people suffering mental depression behind his death. Please help us get #JusticeForMassaiCole #LLSAIJRead more

Qui AndersonLos Angeles, CA, United States
Jerry Brown, California State Senate, California State House
As fires ripped through Northern California burning down over 8,000 homes and other buildings, and killing over 40 people, 1,700 of those fighting fires on the front lines have been California state prisoners. In fact, 30% of California’s forest firefighters, nearly 4,000, are prisoners. While it’s a long standing practice for prisoners to work while incarcerated as a form of rehabilitation, we would be better served by rewarding prisoners who have demonstrated exceptional conduct in prison with a sentence reduction. I was a first time nonviolent drug offender who served 9 years of a 24 year sentence before President Clinton granted me clemency. I can think of no group that deserves a second chance more than those who, serving time for minor crimes, choose to risk their lives to save others by fighting fires.  In February 2016, 22-year-old Shawna Lynn Jones, was killed when she was struck in the head by a falling rock while fighting fires in Malibu. She was serving time for violating probation for a drug offense and was scheduled to be released just two months later. Over the last year, at least two other prisoners have died while performing firefighting duty. One man was crushed by a tree, another accidentally cut a femoral artery with a chainsaw.   Prisoners earn approximately $2 a day, or up to $1 an hour if fighting an active fire, through a program with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. There are 43 conservation camps in California where adult offenders work. These prisoners are screened and anyone with violent tendencies or attitude problems is not allowed into the program. Around 30 to 40 percent work 24-hour shifts, then get 24 hours of rest. At most, prisoners can earn up to two days off for each day they’re in the conservation camps. This program is estimated to save the state $124 million a year, amounting to 3 million hours of labor to fight or prevent fires. We can do better for people who clearly pose no threat to society. Please sign my petition asking California Governor Jerry Brown to exercise his clemency privilege toward prisoners who have risked life and limb to save the homes and lives of countless California citizens, animals, and hundreds of thousand of acres of forestry.   Thank you, Amy PovahCAN-DO Foundation  Read more

Jonathan PerriSan Francisco, CA, United States
Dave Cortese, Lujan Grisham, California State Senate, Charles E. Schumer, Steny H. Hoyer, Kevin Thomas, Gavin Newsom
On October 21st, 2021 we lost an unbelievably talented cinematographer on the film set of RUST, due to a real gun being discharged with live ammunition in it. I am in shock and numb to my core. The bullet also wounded Director Joel Souza. Halyna graduated from the AFI Conservatory in 2015 with a MFA in Cinematography. I graduated in 2010 with a MFA in Directing. Like everyone in the "AFI Family", we all knew one another. AFI is a very small community of filmmakers, trying their hardest to get their "big break" in the film industry after graduating from the program. This up and coming Cinematographer was named as an ASC “Rising Star Cinematographer” in 2019, and was finally breaking into the Hollywood film industry after hustling and shooting amazing content for half a decade. She shot three feature films prior to Rust, but this would have been the movie that would have put her on the Hollywood map as a talented, female cinematographer working with an A-list celebrity.  We need to make sure that this avoidable tragedy never happens again.  There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century.  Real guns are no longer needed on film production sets. This isn't the early 90's, when Brandon Lee was killed in the same manner.  Change needs to happen before additional talented lives are lost. Please sign this petition and demand for your local state politicians to propose legislation that will ban the use of real guns and live ammunition on film and television sets. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN AND WE DEMAND CHANGE! Follow us @HalynasLaw (Twitter)Read more

Bandar AlbuliwiBrooklyn, NY, United States
Gavin Newsom, California State Senate, California State House
It is my hope that our Governor Gavin Newsom sees this proposal and takes the actions necessary to properly protect all of the citizens he has sworn to protect. The time for promises has long passed, it is now time to prove the sincerity of our words with action. This proposal by no means is a cure to the hundreds of years of systemic racism that has plagued our nation. It is not a magic pill that will fix the countless issues that our own State still faces to this day. But hopefully, it is enough of a step in the right direction to help bring people together and ensure a more fair playing field for all in the meantime. Please, if you agree that we need a realistic place to start addressing the issue of police brutality, share this with as many people as you can. #accountabilityca Disclaimer Statement This proposed plan is not intended to be a replacement for current procedures used to determine guilt and prosecute officers accused of criminal wrongdoing. I understand there are many complexities to the work that law enforcement does and the last thing I want this proposal to do is impede the effectiveness of our law enforcement or endanger the lives of those brave men and women who do put their lives on the line everyday for our safety. It is however intended to ensure all officers are held responsible for the treatment of the citizens they have sworn to protect. Ensuring fair repercussions are felt for unlawful police action against any Californians.  Proposed Orders #accountabilityca I will update copy guidelines as suggestions come in, and corrections need to be made. Order #1 It is illegal in the State of California for any officer to use race, sex, sexual orientation, or ethnic heritage as reason of suspicion. Whether the intent is verbalized or not. Order #2 Officers documented using unnecessary force or who do not provide clear reasoning for arrest to any unarmed detainees when asked will be immediately suspended pending further investigation. Order #3 All California officers must clearly state the reason for arrest to any unarmed detainees on audio/video record in addition to the reading of the Miranda Rights. Order #3 - provision 1 If a California officer is found not providing this required statement into record they will receive one strike. After three subsequent strikes the officer will be demoted and placed on probation pending an officer record audit from an independent review board. Order #3 - provision 2 If a California Officer is Does not provide this statement into record and a life threatening injury or death is suffered by the unarmed detainee, the arresting officer(s) will be immediately suspended without pay (health benefits will continue) pending further investigation by an independent review board. Order #3 - provision 2 - requirement 1 The case must immediately go to the state judicial system for a determination of bias against race, sex, sexual orientation, or ethnic heritage. Order #3 - provision 2 - requirement 2 Officers must be stripped of union protections and assigned a public defender as legal council. The officer has the right to their own personal council, however this representation must be free of any police union interference.  Thank you for supporting our proposal! Follow us on our social channels and make sure to share the message with as many people as possible using the hashtag #accountabilityca We can do it! Send info and suggestions here: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: @caoa2020Read more

Jordan HendersonSan Jose, CA, United States
California Governor
The Hayden Law was passed in California in 1998 and provides the nation's most comprehensive laws to protect shelter animals. Governor Jerry Brown is considering a repeal of a number of provisions of the Hayden Law citing budget concerns. With the Hayden Law, California was at the forefront of animal shelter regulation and many states have been following that lead ever since. Some of the provisions that are subject to repeal would mean permanently reducing the required holding period for animals to 72 hours prior to euthanasia, eliminating the requirement to provide veterinary treatment for shelter animals, and eliminating the requirement to keep records for animals impounded by shelter personnel, which would only make it more difficult to locate lost animals or those available for adoption. The situation for shelter animals is bad enough now. Why ensure that it remains that way in the future as well? There is no justification, budgetary or otherwise, for making these changes permanent. The provisions in question have already been suspended since July 2009, and are currently not imposing additional costs on the state. California's homeless animals deserve better. Repeal of any of the provisions of the Hayden Law would be a giant step backward for the animals of California when other states are continuing forward with animal protection laws. Further information is available here: The bill is already being re-written and the Hayden Law provisions in question have been revised or stricken entirely: more

Marla TauscherPasadena, CA, United States