Assemblymember Chau Unveils 2019 Legislative Priorities

Monday, March 18, 2019

(Monterey park) – assemblymember Ed Chau (D–Monterey Park) unveiled his 2019 legislative bill package, which focuses on the important work he will be doing in the areas of privacy and consumer protection, economic development and education, health, and public safety.

Privacy and Consumer Protection

Assembly Bill (AB) 976 would establish the Artificial Intelligence in State Government Services Commission to gather input on how artificial intelligence and data science could be used to improve state services.

“Artificial Intelligence technology will have a profound impact on our lives. At the same time, it will present both opportunities and challenges,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “Establishing a commission to review how California may harness the power of AI, to improve state services, will serve to benefit our economy, public health and safety, jobs, and the environment, as this rapidly growing technology reshapes our society.”

Economic Development and Education

AB 1409 would provide students with greater broadband access, outside of the classroom, by funding Homework Gap Projects, such as Wi-Fi enabled school busses, or school or library Wi-Fi hot-spot lending, through the California Teleconnect Fund. 

“Millions of students live in homes without a broadband connection; so, they struggle to finish homework and miss out on critical after-school education opportunities available through technology,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “We need to make sure that our children have the resources to succeed academically in this technology-driven era, which includes having broadband access.”

“The Homework Gap is the cruelest part of the new digital divide and it affects 12 million children nationwide.  To have a fair shot at 21st century success, students need the tools necessary to do their homework—and today that means having access to high-speed internet. Thanks to Assemblymember Chau for drawing attention to this issue and working to close this divide and bridge this gap,” said Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

"Teachers all over the country have been concerned about the homework gap and the unfair digital divide for years," said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media. "When homework is assigned online, student outcomes for those who don't have access to broadband and computers at home suffer. While big picture solutions to ending the homework gap involve industry and changes at the federal level, Assemblymember Chau's Student Broadband Access bill gives the state tools to support students in need by using existing funds, and Common Sense is honored to support this bill."

Health

AB 453 would require training on dementia, for Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics (EMT-P), in order to provide appropriate emergency medical care to individuals living with this condition.  

“Our aging population is increasing, and so are the numbers of loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, we need emergency personnel that are adequately prepared to serve this population in times of need,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “We can ensure an appropriate level of care by requiring EMT-Ps to receive dementia specific training, as a condition of licensure and recertification.”

“Alzheimer’s Los Angeles is proud to sponsor AB 453. As a local nonprofit serving families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties, we know that it is not a question of if EMS will interact with a person with dementia, but when,” said Heather Cooper Ortner, President and CEO of Alzheimer’s Los Angeles. “AB 453 will ensure that all paramedics are equipped with the skills to effectively respond to a medical emergency involving a person living with dementia – thereby protecting their health, safety and dignity. We thank Assemblymember Chau for working to ensure that our healthcare system is prepared to respond to the needs of our Alzheimer’s and dementia impacted families.”

Public Safety

AB 397 would establish driving under the influence of cannabis, or cannabis and another drug, as its own separate offense.  

“The legalization of cannabis will undoubtedly contribute to the rise of impaired driving,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau.  “Tracking how many cannabis DUI arrests occur annually will help inform what policies are needed to address this dangerous behavior.”

AB 1772 would allow distinct, but related incidents of theft, whether committed against one or more victims, to be aggregated to a charge of grand theft.

“Communities throughout the district have experienced an increase in crime, since the passage of Propositions 47 and 57,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “One way to address the unintended consequences of these reforms is by allowing multiple incidents of theft to be aggregated into a charge of grand theft, if the total amount, of multiple crimes, exceeds $950.”

“For too long our communities have been less safe because of a technicality.  Assemblyman Chau’s bill will fix that,” said Mayor Steven Ly, City of Rosemead.

Assemblymember Chau was joined at the press conference by Mayor Steven Ly, City of Rosemead; Heather Cooper Ortner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer's Los Angeles; and Stephanie Ong, Senior Director, Communications & Advocacy, Common Sense Kids Action.

-###-

Contact: Edmundo Cuevas
Office: (916) 319-2049
Email: Edmundo.Cuevas@asm.ca.gov
PR#: COPR 19–04