In the News

March 18, 2022

Democratic lawmakers have answered with a package of reproductive health care legislation, including a bill that would create a fund — filled with both state and philanthropic money — to help low-income Californians and out-of-state women access abortions.

The bill language, released Wednesday night, says the fund would help cover abortion patients’ airfare, lodging, ground transportation, gas money, meals, child care, doula support and translation services.

March 16, 2022

Little ever happens quickly in the California Legislature. And few bills of consequence ever pass unanimously.That changed Monday when, to the good fortune of thousands of future UC Berkeley students, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill three days after it was introduced and then unanimously approved by the Legislature.

March 15, 2022

Senate Budget Committee Chair Nancy Skinner was thrilled by Monday’s votes, stressing that the court ruling would have unfairly made students the unintended victims of an environmental law.

“Students were never intended to be considered pollution,” Skinner said Monday, adding that expanding access to the “life-changing benefit” of higher education has long been a priority of the legislature.

March 15, 2022

The law takes effect immediately and nullifies a legal ruling that required UC Berkeley to freeze fall enrollment at 2020 levels — which triggered the rapid writing of this bill from state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, Assembly Member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and other concerned lawmakers.

Skinner noted that student housing remains a crisis across all the state’s colleges and universities, and that “SB118 does not fix all the problems.”

 

March 15, 2022

But the university isn’t the only player in developing insufficient housing, said Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Oakland who is chairperson of the Senate’s committee on the budget and played a leading role in crafting the new law. She noted that the city of Berkeley’s voters passed an ordinance in 1973 that severely restricted the creation of apartments. 

“We have had our local governments not as willing to build the housing that we know that our state needs,” she said.

 

March 15, 2022

Nancy Skinner, who represents Berkeley in the California Senate, noted that the Legislature has worked to increase enrollment in state universities, which this bill will help accomplish.