2023 Children’s Health Policy Agenda

2023 Children's Health Policy Agenda

Our goal is to ensure that all children, no matter their background, have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and lead healthy lives. We achieve this together through policy, research & community engagement.

Together we can create anti-racist policies that center the health and well-being of children and families from Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Asian American, and mixed race communities.

Healthy Children

Emphasize early childhood development as the foundation of lifelong health

  • AB 608 (Schiavo), TCP-Sponsored Bill, increases access to mental health and health-related social services for postpartum people in Medi-Cal during the one-year post-pregnancy eligibility period.

Press Release  –  Legislative TrackerTemplate Letter of Support

  • AB 1202 (Lackey), TCP-Sponsored Bill, increases access to providers and preventive services for children in Medi-Cal by identifying where providers and preventive services are most needed in California.

Fact Sheet

Improve mental health for children, youth and families through community-defined healing

  • AB 665 (Carrillo), TCP-Sponsored Bill, increases access to mental health services for youth with lower-incomes by removing additional requirements for youth to consent to mental health services that discriminatorily only apply to Medi-Cal. 

Fact Sheet  –  Press ReleaseTemplate Letter of Support

  • AB 289 (Holden), TCP-Sponsored Bill, includes youths or youth mental health organizations and other marginalized populations as required local stakeholders for purposes of a county developing a 3-year Mental Health Services Act plan and annual updates.

Press ReleaseTemplate Letter of Support

Ensure new Medi-Cal reforms (CalAIM) work for children

  • AB 1450 (Jackson) increases access to universal screenings and supports for children related to adverse childhood experiences and dyslexia by requiring school districts to employ or contract with a mental health professional and a case manager to conduct the screenings for every child and develop, provide, and implement a related action plan for children and their families. 

Press Release

  • SB 635 (Menjivar) requires a California state preschool program and a child care and development program to screen each 0 to 5 with a developmental screening and refer the child’s family to the appropriate regional center or other intervention service if the screening shows a need for services.

Illuminate and address hidden health inequities impacting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities

  • AB 1110 (Arambula) requires the California Department of Public Health to develop guidance for culturally and linguistically competent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) screenings through improved data collection practices, including ethnicity-based data disaggregation. 
  • SB 435 (Gonzalez) Latinx and Indigenous Disparities Reduction Act requires CA agencies to disaggregate data by Latinx sub-groups including indigenous Latinx communities.

Social Media Toolkit  –  Press Release

Facilitate an equitable ongoing COVID-19 response by ensuring children can access vaccines and health coverage


Provide financial support to kids and families experiencing income instability

  • SB 242 (Skinner) ensures California Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment (HOPE) account funds for children who have lost parents/guardians to COVID-19 and foster youth are not considered as income or assets in public safety-net programs, including CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal.

Press Release  –  Article

  • SB 333 (Cortese) provides a guaranteed income to high school seniors experiencing homelessness.

Press Release  –  Articles:  EdSource  +  CBS

  • AB 1128 (Santiago) expands the young child tax credit to children and youth of all ages.

Press Release  –  Legislative Tracker

  • AB 1498 (Gipson) creates a California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) minimum amount of at least $300 for low-wage earners.

Legislative Tracker

Eliminate digital inequities

  • AB 41 (Holden) holds cable broadband providers accountable for perpetuating digital redlining and improve affordability and service.

Fact sheet

  • AB 286 (Wood) requires more granular reporting of broadband mapping at the address level, in order to understand the nuances of broadband adoption and ensure that investments can be most effectively targeted to address digital inequities.

Fact sheet

  • AB 1714 (Wood) establishes broadband as a public utility that is accessible to all children and families.
  • AB 1588 (Wilson) requires the state to only do business with internet service providers (ISPs) that offer affordable internet service to households participating in certain public assistance programs

Fact sheet

Strengthen access to the availability of health, mental health, & social services

  • AB 85 (Weber) increases access to health-related social needs screenings for children of color by making the screenings a covered Medi-Cal benefit.

Keep families together by adequately resourcing families and protecting them from being torn apart by the immigration, child welfare, and carceral systems

  • AB 81 (Ramos) helps keep CA’s Native American children connected to their tribal communities and families. 
  • AB 954 (Bryan) ensures that a parent’s inability to pay for any court-ordered services shall not be a barrier to family reunification or a basis for removal of a child.
  • AB 958 (Santiago) creates a civil right to personal visits by a family member or intimate partner for people who are incarcerated in CA state prisons, strengthening bonds between family members and their children.


Build strong, well-resourced schools and early learning programs that nurture the whole child

  • AB 5 (Zbur) creates the Safe and Supportive Schools program to ensure that CA schools are safe, supportive of, and meet the needs of LGBTQ+students.
  • AB 393 (Rivas) supports the language and cultural needs of young children under 5 from immigrant families in general and migrant child care programs by requiring the CA Department of Social Services to identify and report data on dual language learners.
  • AB 714 (McCarty) supports the well-being of children and youth born outside of the United States in California schools by requiring the California Department of Education together with the California Department of Social Services to develop guidance regarding how schools can best support their needs.

Increase community power by bringing health care into the community and the community into health care through a community health workforce

Uphold the rights and dignity of immigrant families

  • AB 4 (Arambula) expands access to Covered California subsidies for health insurance coverage regardless of immigration status.
  • AB 311 (Santiago) Food4all allows people of all ages regardless of their immigration status to access Cal-Fresh food supports, including  undocumented children, 2 in 3 who face food insecurity.
  • SB 242 (Hurtado) Food4all allows people of all ages regardless of their immigration status to access Cal-Fresh food supports, including  undocumented children, 2 in 3 who face food insecurity.
  • SB 227 (Durazo) would ensure all workers, no matter their immigration status, can access unemployment insurance.

Eliminate environmental injustice

  • SB 499 (Menjivar), the School Extreme Heat Action Plan Act of 2023, would require all early childhood education schoolsites to replace cement, asphalt, brick, pebbles, sand, aggregates, rubber, and synthetic turf, with natural grass, shrubs, trees, wood chips, or other natural systems that mitigate heat and pollution.

Support housing as a human right

  • ACA 10 (Haney) would amend CA’s constitution to make housing a human right.

Fact sheet

  • SB 225 (Caballero), the Community Anti-Displacement & Preservation Program (CAPP) would create a program to provide resources to acquire unsubsidized rental housing where tenants are at risk of displacement.

Fact sheet

  • SB 555 (Wahab), the Stable Affordable Housing Act, would meet the needs of lower-and-middle-income residents, including unhoused residents, for high-quality homes that do not burden them with unaffordable rents.

Fact sheet

  • SB 567 (Durazo), the Homelessness Prevention Act, would provide critical safeguards to stop abuses and ensure renters can stay in their homes.

Fact sheet

Address health equity & racial justice

  • Health Equity & Racial Justice (HERJ) Fund – proposed appropriation of $50 million over two years. The Fund acknowledges the power of solutions rooted in  communities and will uplift  community-defined protective factors, programs and services, finally directing resources to organizations and leaders that are rooted in communities. 

Fact sheet


  • Reform the federal immigration system so that it includes a pathway to citizenship, keeps families together, and increases access to services and programs that protect health and well-being.
  • Increase federal flexibilities and investments to improve Medicaid and child health programs through continuous multi-year coverage, community health workers and family-centered care. 
  • Prioritize a child-focused agenda across federal departments, including the creation of the White House Office on Children and Youth.
  • Provide economic support for families by making the Expanded Child Tax Credit permanent and removing its immigration-related restrictions.