In May, Chrysalis was proud to share with you the slate of legislative and budget initiatives we were supporting at the local, state, and federal levels. Part of empowering our clients on their pathway to stability, security, and fulfillment in their work and lives includes supporting them as they navigate systemic barriers to employment. As an organization, it is our responsibility to do what we can to break down those barriers and work to create equitable systems and hiring practices in our communities. The California legislative session has come to a close, and this past weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the final bills from that session into law. Here is an update on the efforts Chrysalis supported:

Let’s celebrate these bills that passed and were signed!

  • AB 333 (Kamlager)-Participation in a Criminal Street Gang: Enhanced Sentence: this law will reduce the situations in which an enhanced sentence can be applied based on a revised definition of “pattern of criminal gang activity.”
  • SB 779 (Becker)-California Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act: adds “Employment Social Enterprise” and worker co-op language to the California WIOA to encourage local Workforce Development Boards to partner with innovative work models that support those with barriers to employment. Now that this shift in language has passed, we need to work with the state and federal government to ensure that proven models of employment social enterprise are included in infrastructure efforts going forward.

Keep an eye on these bills, which are continuing in the next legislative session:

  • AB 717 (Stone)-Prisoners: Identification Cards: ensures provision of an ID or driver’s license for eligible individuals upon release from a state or federal correctional facility or a county jail.
  • SB 678 (Rubio)-Unaccompanied Women Experiencing Homelessness Act: makes California the first state in the nation to recognize unaccompanied women as a distinct population in order to improve the state’s ability to design programs and strategies to address their specific needs.

While we are disappointed that other initiatives to address workforce development, homelessness, and criminal justice reform did not pass the California legislature this year, we will continue to work with our network of partners and collaboratives to support our clients and communities going forward.

In other policy news, the County of Los Angeles has fully funded LA:RISE via Measure H, recognizing that investing in employment social enterprise will get folks in our community working again and help reduce homelessness. In addition, the federal HR 4338 (117th)-Expanding Pathways to Employment Act, which supports the operation and expansion of evidence-based workforce development and post-secondary education programs, including employment social enterprises, is still moving through Congress.