Assemblymember Chau 2021 Legislative Priorities

For immediate release:

MONTEREY PARK – Assemblymember Ed Chau (D–Monterey Park) has been working on his legislative priorities for the year, which include proposals to improve privacy and consumer protections, combat the rise in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, address the Covid-19 pandemic, and to reduce wildfire risks in the State.

Privacy and Consumer Protection

Assembly Bill (AB) 13 would create the first statewide algorithmic accountability framework, which sets forth criteria for the procurement of high-risk automated decision systems by government entities in order to minimize the risk of adverse and discriminatory impacts resulting from their design and application.

“If thoughtfully designed and implemented, the application of algorithm-driven automated decision systems, or ADS, can render numerous benefits, including in the delivery of government services and to improve quality of life,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “Unfortunately, poorly designed ADS’s also have the potential to result in inaccurate, unfair, biased or discriminatory decisions that can ultimately undermine trust in the public sector, unless we establish a framework to ensure accountability and transparency for high-risk algorithms, which this bill does.”

AB 35 would require social media platforms to disclose whether or not they have a policy to address the spread of misinformation.

“The increase in violence against the AAPI community has been largely fueled by the proliferation of misinformation regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, often circulating on social media platforms,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “With the influence that social media platforms hold, they share responsibility in ensuring that harmful and false information is not propagated. By identifying if they have a policy in place, social media platforms communicate to users of their efforts in combating the spread of misinformation.”

Hate Crimes

AB 28 would address the rise in hate crimes by expanding the definition of what constitutes a hate crime under state law, and increasing penalties to fund programs on racial or ethnic sensitivity, or other similar training in the area of civil rights.

“Over the last year, we have seen hate crimes against the AAPI community rise significantly, with many horrific attacks targeting elderly members and women,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “If we are to effectively address acts of violence that are motivated by hate, then we need to strengthen state law by expanding the definition of a hate crime to make it easier to prosecute perpetrators, while also looking to fund programs on racial or ethnic sensitivity to reduce bias and discrimination.”

AB 691 would make permanent authorization for certified optometrists to administer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted all of our lives and we need to do everything possible to put an end to it,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “By permanently recruiting healthcare professionals, like certified optometrist, to our life-saving mission, we place ourselves in a better position to combat and halt the spread of this deadly virus.”

Wildfire Prevention  

AB 697 would create a program for the State to plan, manage and implement forest restoration projects on U.S. Forest Service lands through an expanded and formalized Good Neighbor Authority, accelerating the pace and scale of ecologically based forest management.  

“Many major wildfires start on federal forestlands then spread to and damage communities throughout our state,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau. “It is therefore important for the state and federal government to work collaboratively, through a formal program, to address forest health and wildfire risks with the goal of mitigating the growing problem that wildfires present in California.”