Governor Newsom Bill Signings Address Long-Standing Inequities in Criminal Justice, Immigration, Climate, Education and Housing

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2021

Contact: Milena Paez,

NextGen Policy Celebrates the Signing of Priority Legislation Centered around advancing Justice and Equity. 

SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Governor Newsom closed the first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session by signing into law several bills that advance the NextGen Policy agenda and tackle systemic inequities. 

“As the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more critical than ever that we enact bold policies that support vulnerable communities and mitigate against further economic damage”, said Arnie Sowell, Executive Director of NextGen Policy.  We want to thank Governor Newsom for standing up for justice and equity this legislative session, starting with this year’s historic state budget.  The signing of bills that address climate change, criminal justice reform, healthcare accountability in private detention centers, consumer protection for student loan borrowers, as well as increased access to higher education will launch even more forward-thinking policy initiatives in the upcoming year.” 

Below is more detailed information about the key bills NextGen Policy supported that were signed by Governor:

  • AB 263 (Arambula) — Health Oversight and Leadership in Detention Act.  Requires private detention facilities in California — including those used to detain immigrants — to comply with all local, state, and public health orders, and workplace health and safety regulations.
  • SB 1 (Atkins) — Sea Level Rise Program. This law enacts the first comprehensive sea level rise program in state government, which will in turn help local governments mitigate the harmful effects of rising seas. 
  • SB 2 (Bradford, Atkins) — Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act.  Provides additional legal and administrative remedies to hold law enforcement officers accountable who commit serious misconduct and/or violate an individual’s civil rights.
  • AB 424 (Stone) — Private Student Loan Collections Reform Act. Protects borrowers with private student loans from abusive, predatory debt collection lawsuits. 
  • SB 352 (Eggman) — Sexual Assault in the Military.  Makes sexual assault a stand-alone offense in California’s Uniform Code of Military Justice. 
  • AB 1455 (Wicks) — Sexual Assault by Law Enforcement Officers. Extends the statute of limitations for those who have been sexually assaulted by a law enforcement officer, allowing them more time to pursue legal action against their perpetrators.
  • AB 469 (Reyes, McCarthy, Quirk-Silva) — FAFSA/CADAA Completion. This law ensures effective implementation of a new state mandate that all high school seniors fill out a financial aid application, which increases access to higher education for more low-income students.
  • AB 333 (Kamlager) — STEP Forward Act.  Reforms the gang sentencing enhancement system by separating allegations of gang affiliation from the other charges at trial, protecting against the bias presented by potential gang involvement accusations that result in harsher sentencing. 


The mission of NextGen Policy and NextGen California is to fight for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, gender, and economic inequities in California through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement.