CCSWG Policy & Advocacy

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls advocates for public policy and resource allocation that centers the economic needs of women and girls. Our agenda meaningfully addresses the role of poverty in women’s overall circumstances and advances the broader interests of women and girls as central to the vitality of California’s economy.

Women are Essential —  In Bad Economic Times and Good Ones

For nearly 60 years the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has identified and worked to eliminate inequities in state laws, practices, and conditions that affect California’s women and girls. We have done that in years of budget surplus, budget deficit, and everything in between. This year, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget takes a cautious approach to new spending, while maintaining key investments in childcare slots and equity, and the Commission does not expect the new budget to negatively impact our mission in 2024.

The Commission will continue to advocate for investment in women and girls, introduce and sponsor legislation, and highlight state economic investment through a gender lens, because data show that our budgets are not gender neutral. While the proposed budget does not include new spending for grants, like our first-of-its-kind Women’s Recovery Response, the Commission is seeking new ways, and new partners, to fund programs, projects, and grants this year and in the years to come.

California’s economy is poised to become the fourth largest in the world and we know that women are essential to that success at every level of our society and in every community. While great efforts have been made and many milestone achievements accomplished over the past decade, there remains significant gender inequality in how we approach the fourth largest economy in the world. Women face gaps in pay, barriers to investment and promotion, gaps in research, and are often overlooked in economic issues that are unique to their gender. By paying attention to the ways in which women are key drivers of innovation, workforce, and California’s global competitiveness, we can deliver better, more inclusive opportunities for economic growth, more innovative and diverse leadership, better quality data and insights; and targeted solutions for women that impact all of California’s communities.

With the ongoing support of Governor Newsom, the First Partner, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis, our partners in the Legislature, our dedicated Commissioners, and the members of our Youth Advisory Council, we are going into 2024 well prepared for the work ahead. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls looks forward to collaborating with the Governor, the Legislature, and communities this year to continue moving the needle on gender equity in California.





2023 Legislative Priorities

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls for the last 58 years has advocated for State public policies and resource allocation that centers the economic needs of California women and girls. For the 2023-24 legislative session, CCSWG took a support position on a total of 50 bills. Many of these proposals were backed by the research led and conducted by CCSWG outlined in the California Blueprint for Women’s Pandemic Economic Recovery and help further the State’s gender equity agenda.

Of the 50 supported proposals, 29 were sent to the Governor’s desk. A total of 20 proposals that were supported and prioritized by CCSWG this legislative session were ultimately signed by the Governor. While this is a tremendous feat there is still a lot of work to be done to support working women to close the gender wage gap, to ensure women of color achieve parity in our State, to guarantee moms are fully supported and compensated fairly when returning to the workforce and to protect a woman’s right to choose.

Thank you, as always, to the incredible women of the California legislature and especially to our Commissioners. When women succeed, we all benefit.


Accountability and Transparency

Reliable information is needed to build trust and create real change; the Commission’s supported policies strive to achieve this.

  • SB 702 (Limon) This bill requires the office of the Governor to publish a report containing the demographic information of individuals who have applied to or been appointed to a state board or commission. Additionally, the bill creates a working group to discuss and provide recommendations on ways to diversity state boards and commissions. VETOED
  • AB 273 (Ramos) This proposal seeks to build on past efforts by requiring notification to family members, court appointed counsel, tribes and tribal representatives, and the court of jurisdiction when a child or non-minor dependent is missing and requiring collaborative efforts and due diligence by county social workers/probation officers, courts and other supportive adults to locate, place and stabilize children and youth when they return, with a particular focus on the inclusion of tribes and tribal representatives to address the crisis of missing indigenous youth. VETOED
  • AB 933 (Aguiar-Curry) This bill would include among those privileged communications a communication made by a complainant, without malice, regarding a complaint of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination and would specify the attorney’s fees and damages available to a prevailing defendant in any defamation action brought against that defendant for making that communication. SIGNED, Chapter 670, Statues of 2023

Fully Equal
As we continue to see massive rollbacks nationwide it is paramount that California continue to foster inclusive environments; the Commission’s supported polices protect fundamental rights for all Californians.

  • ACA 5 (Low) is a constitutional amendment to protect marriage equality for LGBTQ+ couples and remove Proposition 8 from the state’s constitution. SIGNED, Chapter 125, Statues of 2023
  • AB 957 (Wilson) This bill will update California law to clarify that affirming a child’s gender identity is in the best interests of the child for purposes of legal name change and child custody decisions. VETOED
  • SB 407 (Wiener) This bill will strengthen protections in existing law to ensure that LGBTQ+ foster youth in California are placed in homes that are affirming of LGBTQ+ identities. SIGNED, Chapter 226, Statues of 2023

Period Poverty
Accessibility and affordability of menstrual products is crucial; the Commission’s supported policies eliminate additional barriers faced by menstruating people.  

  • AB 230 (Reyes) This bill would require public schools maintaining any combination of classes from grades 3 to 12 to provide menstrual products for free. SIGNED, Chapter 421, Statues of 2023

Equity in the Workplace

Women wear many hats, often at the same time; the Commission’s supported policies provide individuals with fair access to opportunities in the workplace by meeting their individual needs and counteracting systemic barriers.

  • AB 1 (McKinnor) This bill provides employees of the Legislature the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation on all matters of employer-employee relations. SIGNED, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2023
  • AB 524 (Wicks) This bill would prohibit employment discrimination on account of family caregiver status, as defined, and would recognize the opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of family caregiver status as a civil right. VETOED
  • AB 521 (Bauer-Kahan) This bill requires the standard board to consider regulations to require at least one women’s restroom at construction jobsites. SIGNED, Chapter 529, Statutes of 2023
  • AB 1356 (Haney) This bill will ensure workers have fair notice in the event of a mass layoff. This bill increases the notice requirement from 60 to 90 days, decouples severance negotiations from meeting WARN Act obligations, and expressly includes client employers, third-party agencies, and labor contractors in the definition of “covered employers” to ensure contract workers directly impacted by a mass layoff receive the same protections as direct employees. VETOED
  • SB 525 (Durazo) This bill would increase the state’s minimum wage to $25 for health care workers. SIGNED, Chapter 890, Statues of 2023
  • SB 616 (Gonzalez) This bill will expand the state’s paid sick leave from 3 days to 5. SIGNED, Chapter 309, Statues of 2023
  • SB 686 (Durazo) This bill would make community based organizations responsible for developing and consulting with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health regarding the core education and outreach materials regarding health and safety standards, retaliation, and the division’s workplace safety complaint and retaliation process, including specific issues that affect the domestic work industry differently. VETOED

Social Safety Net

Families depend on a wide array of social safety-net programs to provide basic needs like food, healthcare, and housing; the Commission’s supported policies improve access to these programs to not only lift families out of poverty, but improve employment, educational and health outcomes.  


  • AB 904 (Calderon) This bill would require a health care service plan or health insurer to develop a maternal and infant health equity program that addresses racial health disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes through the use of doulas. SIGNED, Chapter 349, Statues of 2023
  • AB 1015 (Calderon) This bill would create a statewide diaper and wipe distribution program under the Department of Social Services. VETOED
  • AB 1203 (Bains) This bill will provide a sales tax exemption for breast pumps, breast pump collection and storage supplies, breast pump kits and breast pads. SIGNED

Reproductive Freedom
The Commission is proud to support the FAB Council’s legislative priorities that protect bodily autonomy and the right to privacy.


  • AB 254 (Bauer-Kahan) Adds CMIA/HIPAA protections for data collected by menstrual, fertility, and sexual health apps and websites. SIGNED, Chapter 254, Statues of 2023
  • AB 352 (Bauer-Kahan) Enhances privacy protections for medical records related to abortion, pregnancy loss, and other sensitive services through electronic health record sharing and health information exchanges. SIGNED, Chapter 255, Statues of 2023
  • AB 571 (Petrie-Norris) Ensures that medical malpractice insurance includes coverage for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. SIGNED, Chapter 256, Statues of 2023
  • AB 576 (Weber) Aligns Medi-Cal coverage of medication abortion with evidence-based clinical guidelines. VETOED
  • AB 1194 (Carrillo) Ensures that California Privacy Rights Act protections always extend to accessing, procuring, or searching for services regarding contraception, pregnancy care, and perinatal care, including abortion services. SIGNED, Chapter 567, Statues of 2023
  • AB 1432 (Carrillo) Requires every health insurance policy or certificate that is issued, or delivered to a resident of California, regardless of the situs of the contract, to comply with California laws that require coverage of abortion services and gender-affirming care. VETOED
  • AB 1481 (Boerner-Horvath) Clarifies Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Individuals (currently called PE4PW) coverage policies and ensures PE4PW patients can access abortion services regardless of other health coverage. SIGNED, Chapter 372, Statues of 2023


  • AB 1646 (Nguyen) Expands access to abortion and gender-affirming care by allowing out-of-state medical school graduates to practice in California for up 90 days. SIGNED, Chapter 257, Statues of 2023
  • AB 1707 (Pacheco) Prohibits a healing arts board from disciplining, or a health care facility from denying staff privileges to, a licensed health care professional as a result of an action in another state that is based on the application of a law in that state that interferes with a person’s right to receive sensitive services lawful in California. SIGNED, Chapter 258, Statues of 2023
  • SB 345 (Skinner) Provides legal protections for medication abortions and gender-affirming care. SIGNED, Chapter 260, Statues of 2023
  • SB 385 (Atkins) Seeks to extend many of the updated training rules from SB 1375 last year to additional providers (i.e. physician assistants, etc.) SIGNED, Chapter 178, Statues of 2023
  • SB 487 (Atkins) Provides additional safeguards for California abortion providers and other entities and individuals that serve and support abortion patients that reside in states with hostile abortion laws. SIGNED, Chapter 261, Statues of 2023

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1925 L Street #345 Sacramento, CA 95814 

Policy Director:

Have questions about CCSWG policy work? Contact me!

Michelle Teran-Woolfork, CCSWG Director of Policy and Legislation

Advocacy Archives


Click below to find policy and legislation efforts supported and/or sponsored by the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls from 2017 – 2022. Learn more here

Policy In a Pandemic

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) has worked to construct the first California Blueprint for Women’s Pandemic Economic Recovery. The Blueprint describes the collective trajectories of groups of women who entered the pandemic already in economic difficulty and explores opportunities to chart new paths. These policy recommendations focus on potential solutions to pre-existing challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic and are designed to generate ongoing discussions and debate among California’s leaders, advocates, and the public. 

ERA Coalition 

The CCSWG is a proud member of the ERA Coalition, comprised of 200 national and local organizations representing millions of advocates working for the equality. On February 13th, 2020 the House of Representatives voted to dissolve the time limit written in the amendment’s introduction. While it wasn’t taken up in the Senate last year, we’re hopeful it will pass both houses of Congress this year, since its 2021 bipartisan and bicameral introduction!


California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Advocacy

Established as a state agency with 17 appointed commissioners in 1965, the Commission regularly assesses gender equity in a variety of public policy areas, including: health and health access, safety, employment, education, equal representation in the military and the media, and issues relative to the workforce and the economy.