Assemblywoman Smith School Emergency Assistance Bill Heads to State Senate

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) successfully advanced Assembly Bill (AB) 1837 today from the California State Assembly. The bill, now more critical than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, creates a specialized task force within the California Department of Education (State Assistance for Emergency Response Team, or "SAFER") that helps schools and school districts with their concerns during states of emergencies.

"As we deal with the consequences and fallout of this pandemic across the board, we must not forget our students, vulnerable to learning loss, food insecurity and the digital divide," Assemblywoman Smith said. "These issues agonize our school administrators as they gear up for reopening. SAFER lends state support and provides clear guidance on the ground, no matter the emergency."

The inception of SAFER followed observing three destructive wildfires in the 38th Assembly District, public safety power shutoffs during the coldest months of the year and a devastating school shooting at Saugus High School. To help schools and school districts address emergencies, SAFER assists local education agencies with their crisis response with matters including data collection, fiscal services, childcare and health and safety protocols. The bill now reveals renewed urgency (read more about its importance here).

AB 1837 heads to the State Senate next.

Assemblywoman Christy Smith represents California's 38th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Susana Knolls and North San Fernando Valley.

Contact: Danni.Wang@asm.ca.gov (661) 286-1565 or (913) 449-0802