PRESS RELEASE: State Senator John Laird’s Statement on Final Actions of the 2022 Legislative Session

Contact: Richard Stapler


SACRAMENTO, CA – Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s final bill consideration actions of the 2022 legislative session, State Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) issued the following statement:

“This legislative session I authored a robust bill package on behalf of Senate District 17. I built upon my work in the Senate from last year by focusing on the issues that Californians face every day, including equitable access to essential healthcare services and issues of affordability as our state transitions to a greener, decarbonized economy.

I began the year by helping to keep the doors of Watsonville Community Hospital open to the residents of the Pajaro Valley and their loved ones. They deserve continued assurance that their access to vital services, and the jobs of those who work to keep them healthy are here to stay. Subsequently, I introduced legislative proposals and secured budget funds on behalf of transportation accessibility, environmental restoration and protection, and investment in water resources. My work this legislative session reflects my commitment to the diverse needs of California’s coastal communities through my efforts on furthering consumer protection, education accessibility, and expanding adoption of electric vehicle technology.

As Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, I successfully advocated for student aid reform, fully funding a Cost of Living Adjustment for education funding, as well as increased funding for K-12 and higher education institutions.

In light of another historic budget surplus, I secured over $60 million for vital central coast priorities. You can read more about the budget funds I secured here.

As Chair of the Senate Working Group on Climate Change, I led nearly two dozen roundtable meetings with environmental advocates and legislative leaders all focused on addressing the existential threat of climate change and forging a path to meet California’s appropriately ambitious climate goals in partnership with the State Assembly and the Governor’s Administration. My Senate colleagues and I collectively authored a package of climate solution legislation focused on continuing to decarbonize the California economy, greening the transportation sector, and building a more just future for all Californians.

I am thankful for the support and advocacy of those living in Senate District 17 and across the state of California who are at the heart of my work in the California State Senate. I look forward to a fall recess spent engaging with the community in Senate District 17 as we work together to make a better California for all.”

Senator Laird moved 20 bills to Governor Newsom’s desk for signature, with 19 signed into law.

Legislation authored by Senator Laird during the second year of the 2021-2022 Legislative Session:

SB 418 - Establishes the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District for purposes of taking ownership of the Watsonville Community Hospital operations to address the imminent closure of the hospital, and to ensure that it remains open and accessible for all residents. Signed into Law.

SB 489 - Authorizes the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to advance funds to the Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency for the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project (Pajaro Project). Signed into Law.

SB 518 - Provides statutory authority for the release of winegrower excise tax data for public review in a manner consistent with the Board of Equalization’s (BOE) past practices of the last 50 years. Signed into Law.

SB 850 - Ensures families of fallen officers receive full survival benefits regardless of family structure, correcting the inequities of the current system. Signed into Law.

SB 867 - Ensures coastal communities are prepared for and ready to mitigate the effects of sea level rise within the coastal zone by requiring local coastal programs & San Francisco Bay Shoreline Coastal Resiliency Plans are updated to reflect the best available science. Vetoed.

SB 880 - Ensures water rights holders like farmers and ranchers can continue to self-certify as qualified individuals for purposes of installing and maintaining water measurement devices. Signed into Law.

SB 885 - Expands the supportive services offered to former and current foster youth across the California Community College system by expanding and modernizing the NextUp program. Included in the 2022-23 State Budget.

SB 895 - Updates the definition of a nonprofit convenience zone recycler to ensure Grey Bears, a nonprofit recycling facility in Santa Cruz, has access to handling fees, that defray operating and infrastructure costs, so they can meet the needs of the currently underserved communities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, and unincorporated mid-Santa Cruz County. Signed into Law.

SB 940 - Eliminates the 1990 mobile home “new construction” prohibition on local rent protections, and allows new spaces added to existing parks after 1990 to receive the same protection from excessive rents. Signed into Law.

SB 945 - Allows a California licensed falconer to capture, possess and train an American peregrine falcon in the practice of falconry, the hunting of wild animals in their natural state and habitat by means of a trained bird of prey. Signed into Law.

SB 949 - Removes the requirement for an unnecessary and outdated report by CalVet concerning the California Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC). Signed into Law.

SB 957 - Transfers jurisdiction over unfair labor practice charges at the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (Santa Cruz METRO) from the judicial system to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Signed into Law.

SB 963 - Updates the Museum Grant Program funding priorities to focus on projects and programs that serve underserved communities, fight misinformation, promote understanding of critical issues, improve access, safety, and resilience of important cultural and historic assets, broaden exposure to the state’s diverse history, and support the ethical stewardship of sensitive art and artifacts. Signed into Law.

SB 969 - Provides additional oversight of the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District in its initial years post-formation. Signed into Law.

SB 982 - Ensures all apples labeled as organic do not contain 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) – a non-organic preservative. Signed into Law.

SB 1020 - Provides greater specificity to SB 100 targets and establishes new state agency leadership in clean energy. Signed into Law.

SB 1061 - Reduces special election costs for school and community college districts by holding them at the earliest scheduled local or state election and expresses the costs for school districts on the petition ballot. Signed into Law.

SB 1068 - Allocates ongoing funding to the University of California, Los Angeles School of Anderson to include climate impact data into their annual economic forecast in order to measure effects of climate change on the economy. Included in 2022 -23 State Budget.

SB 1145 - Directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create and maintain a greenhouse gas emissions dashboard that shows how the state is progressing toward meeting its statewide climate change goals. Signed into Law.

SB 1188 - Allows the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to provide grants, principal forgiveness funding, and zero percent financing from the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to the full extent authorized by federal law. This will allow funding to non-disadvantaged communities for consolidation projects and for public health drinking water projects, and incentivize consolidation of smaller water systems. Signed into Law.

SB 1259 - Ensures pharmacists can distribute more innovative reversal agents, otherwise known as antagonists that are faster and more effective to reverse overdose in cases involving fentanyl. Signed into Law.

SB 1305 - Updates and simplifies the process for awarding state contracts for zero-emission, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid-electric vehicles. Signed into Law.


Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. His lifetime of public service and social justice advocacy saw him become one of the first openly gay mayors to serve in the United States. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.