What’s Next: Session is Coming to a Close, Buckle Up!

September 11, 2023

September and the last few weeks of the legislative session are here! As the NextGen team makes its final push to secure our policy priorities for this year, we need to recap a few recent happenings and share a sneak peek at what lies ahead. Friday, September 1st was a big day in the State Legislature as hundreds of bills deemed to have a fiscal cost were either passed off or were held on the Appropriations “Suspense” file in each house – bills that were held are considered dead and no longer viable, while bills that passed will continue to move to floor votes in the respective houses. Bills must receive a successful floor vote by September 14th to make it to the Governor’s desk and then be considered for signature or veto. Find a breakdown of our end-of-session policy priorities, learn about opportunities to show your support for key legislative items, and keep updated on what’s happening at NextGen Policy and in the California Legislature in this edition of What’s Next, but first let’s take a moment to recognize the importance of today:

★ Never Forget: Today, the NextGen team commemorates the tragic events that occurred 22 years ago – together we honor and remember the lives lost and impacted during the September 11th attacks as well as the fearlessness of innumerable emergency responders who helped those in need and the many sacrifices of those serving in uniform who stood in defense of our country. We will never forget.

★ The “Suspense” Is Over: The NextGen team was thrilled to see several of our policy bills pass off their respective Appropriations Committee “Suspense” files! In the days ahead, we’ll be going all in to make a final push to get these bills across the legislative finish line and to the Governor – Stay tuned to learn how you can take action and help our efforts! NextGen strongly supports and is advocating for the following bills:

  • AB 280 (Holden) – Reform Solitary Confinement
  • SB 253 (Wiener) – Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act
  • AB 789 (Berman) – Financial Aid Access
  • SB 394 (Gonzalez) – Master Plan for Climate Ready Schools
  • SB 348 (Skinner) – Nutritious School Meals
  • AB 274 (Bryan) – CalFresh Student Eligibility
  • SB 509 (Portantino) – Youth Mental Health Training
  • AB 1118 (Kalra) – Racial Justice Act
  • AB 421 (Bryan) – Referendum Reform (Signed by Governor Newsom)

★ Recapping the AB 280 Day of Action:  On Thursday, September 7th our team participated in the California Mandela Act Day of Action at California’s State Capitol. We joined our friends and partners from Immigrant Defense Advocates (IDA), the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ), and Disability Rights California (DRC), as well as solitary confinement survivors from across California, to rally and advocate for AB 280 (Holden) – solitary confinement reform! This historic piece of legislation will set limits on what populations are subject to and how solitary confinement is used in California’s prisons, jails, and detention centers. For those who couldn’t join us, a full livestream of the Day of Action is available on NextGen’s Facebook page.

★ SB 253 Will Hold Polluters Accountable: In his new Capitol Weekly op-ed, climate investor and co-executive Chair of Galvanize Climate Solutions, Tom Steyer, shares his thoughts on why California needs to pass the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253 – Wiener) now more than ever. The bill requires large corporations to report their greenhouse gas emissions up and down their supply chains. Steyer importantly notes that: “We cannot manage what we do not accurately measure. Companies routinely manipulate their reported carbon footprints to appear greener than they actually are.” Read more from Tom Steyer to learn about this historic piece of legislation and how the transparency it will provide will help California put people over profits!

A recent LA Times editorial also highlighted SB 253 and touted the benefits of this groundbreaking climate policy: “Requiring emissions transparency is a smart way to cut through corporate greenwashing and reveal whether big businesses are actually delivering promised emissions reductions.” Read more from the LA Times and learn why they’re calling SB 253 one of California’s most important corporate transparency measures.

Join us in standing up for California’s leadership on climate! Send an email to Assembly Speaker Rivas asking him to support and take action on SB 253 (Wiener), the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act!


This comprehensive and far-reaching piece of climate legislation simply requires all U.S.-based businesses that operate in California and gross over $1 billion annually to measure and disclose their entire carbon footprint for public review. There is lots of very vocal corporate opposition to this measure – no reason to wonder why – because they know it will increase transparency around their greenhouse gas emissions and enable us to hold them more accountable for their climate impacts.

★ Did You Know? The U.S. Department of Education has launched an outreach campaign to help enroll as many student borrowers as possible in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan. The SAVE plan is the newest repayment program for those carrying the burden of federal student loan debt. NextGen is proud to join the SAVE campaign and we’ll be sharing more information and resources about the campaign and the new program soon – for now, learn more about how the SAVE Plan works and how it helps save borrowers money!

★ Partner Spotlight: We’re shining a spotlight on our friends at the Chef Ann Foundation! Our team is proud to partner with them to help ensure that school food professionals have the training and support they need to provide fresh, healthy, delicious scratch-cooked meals to millions of California K-12 students. The application to participate in the Chef Ann Foundation’s Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship Program is open now through October 1! Take a peek at the Fellowship program to see how it helps develop the next generation of diverse leaders in scratch-cook school food operations that can drive school food reform.

★ What’s Next: It goes without saying that September is a hugely important month here at NextGen! Over the next week or so, we will be spending most of our time making a final advocacy push for the priority bills outlined above. We’re also looking forward to co-hosting our third webinar in the Student Debt Cancellation and Federal Loan Information Workshop series on September 19th. In this webinar, we will share information and resources that will help student borrowers navigate the recent changes to federal student loan programs. We’ll also be in touch soon to let you know about opportunities to take meaningful action and join our advocacy work – Stay tuned for more updates!

★ Our Mission: NextGen Policy fights for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, and economic inequities through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement.

★ Support NextGen With a Donation: Thank you for being a part of our journey toward a more equitable California. As we continue to push for progressive policy change, we invite you to make a difference by donating to support our organization. Your contribution will directly impact our efforts to address environmental, social, and economic inequities throughout the state.

Thank you,
NextGen Policy

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