Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 5:54 pm | Fair 64º

 
 
 
 

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson Starts Second Term

Democrat plans to try again on several issues that didn’t make it to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk or were vetoed

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, center, began introducing her bill package the day she took the oath of office for her second term. Click to view larger
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, center, began introducing her bill package the day she took the oath of office for her second term.  (California State Senate photo)

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is already working on a bill package for the next four years, and introduced several bills on Monday, the day she took the oath of office for a second term.

Jackson, 66, a Democrat, previously served two terms in the state Assembly, and is a former Santa Barbara County prosecutor and defense attorney.

She was re-elected with 63.1 percent of the vote to represent the district that includes southern Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County. 

Going into a second term means knowing all the players, but “it does take a long time to get good policy done,” she said.

With November’s election, Democrats have a supermajority in both the California Assembly and Senate.

Jackson's Senate Bill 358, the California Fair Pay Act that passed last year, is an effort she’s been working on for 35 years.

“It’s the strongest equal pay law in the country and is a template for other states to follow,” she said.

She’s also proud of her pipeline safety legislation that was introduced after the Refugio Oil Spill, to improve emergency response, and plans to try again on several issues that didn’t make it to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk or were vetoed in Jackson’s previous term.

Legislation to plug abandoned and leaking wells along the coast was vetoed, and Jackson said she intends to “work closely with the governor’s office this year to find language acceptable to him and have him sign this.”

“It’s a critical issue in our district because we have over 220 uncapped wells and they’re all along the Santa Barbara Coast, and they’re creating serious health problems and environmental problems, and we need to find the resources to clean them up.”

Most of the companies responsible for the wells don’t even exist anymore, she said.

Legislation to give new parents unpaid, protected leave was also vetoed.

“We need to create a stronger balance between work and family, and that bill I will be bringing back in order to do that,” she said.  

Her list of plans for the next four years is long, with water, infrastructure, early childhood education, and pharmaceutical take-back programs among the many issues.

Jackson also wants to limit the use of drones – “it’s a wild west out there,” she said – because of privacy concerns and disrupting wildlife. Her bill introduced earlier this year, the State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act, died in the Assembly. 

Jackson is chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and said the panel will be “protecting the rights of Californians in what appears to be very challenging winds blowing from Washington, D.C. to California.”

State voters “overwhelmingly, over 4.1 million votes, rejected the policies and politics of hate and division and misogyny that frankly were espoused by the president-elect,” she said.

“Frankly, we’re not going to stand by quietly and let our rights and freedoms be eroded.”

The Legislature has already introduced bills to protect immigrant communities, Jackson said: a state program to fund legal representation for people facing deportation, and state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys about immigration law.

“We all believe felons and people who commit violence crimes (should be deported), it’s a gift to all of us... 

“To uproot families and communities is not what California is all about, and certainly not what our district’s about.” 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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