Concerns surrounding Senate Bill 18 by Senator Richard Pan only continue to increase. Now amended, SB 18 creates a Joint Legislative Committee on Children and Youth which is to be made up of nine members of the Senate and nine members of the Assembly.
SB 18 then directs this committee to develop “‘California’s Promise to its Children and Youth,’ a framework for the care and welfare of the state’s children and youth…” The bill then adds direction regarding a once unnamed and vague Senate resolution stating, “The committee shall consider Senate Concurrent Resolution No. _____, the Bill of Rights for the Children and Youth of California,” for the purpose of developing the framework mentioned above.
The breaking news is that Senator Pan has introduced the unnamed resolution, now known as SCR 41, Bill of Rights for the Children and Youth of California.
SB 18 directs the committee to work with medical organizations involved in child health care, educational organizations and institutions, organizations in child development and welfare, and applicable state agencies and commissions to develop a plan for implementation of the “framework” the committee is tasked with creating. But nowhere is it mentioned that they must also work with parents.
This newly introduced resolution opens a Pandora’s box when it comes to the government exercising their judgement and exerting authority in what is best for your child.
Remember, resolutions are non-binding, they cannot be enforced by law, but the committee formed is directed to use this resolution as a resource when crafting legislation regarding children in California.
Some quick facts about SCR 41
- SCR 41 categorizes anyone under the age of 21 as Children and/or Youth and entitles them to newly identified rights and specific services.
- The resolution includes “The Right to develop a healthy attachment to a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver…” Who sets the standard for what is healthy? Does the government get to set their own definition on that? This is dangerously subjective.
- It also includes access of a child’s parents to “voluntary home visitation.” When will this “voluntary” visitation be offered to parents? Will parents who don’t adhere to mainstream education, health, and nutrition ideologies immediately send a red flag and mark themselves as candidates for these programs? Will CPS or the authorities show up at your door to “offer” you these programs? Will parents be bullied and intimidated into participating in these programs?
- The resolution discusses the right to payment of a living wage to a child’s parents, access to paid time off of work, a reliable work schedule, and employment that promotes a healthy balance between life and work. Will employers be forced to increase wages? The potential this has to force even more businesses to leave California is great. These jobs leaving the state would only negatively impact those who are currently holding these jobs. Other jobs that will remain in California despite increases In wages will only continue to increase the cost of their product to meet the demand for more cash flow to their business. It’s a lose-lose situation.
- The resolution also states more than once that the priority would be to keep a child with its parents as long as it is in the child’s best interest to do so. Imagine, the state being given the power to outline what is in the best interest of your child.
- The resolution includes that children have the right to live in communities that are free of pollutants. Will parents who live in large cities with more pollutants be forced to relocate? Children are also given the right to access safe and affordable modes of transportation. Who is going to provide this transportation? The state, and therefore, the taxpayers?
- The resolution also gives children and youth the right to “appropriate legal representation and a child advocate in legal proceedings to represent the interest of the child.” Because the state will determine that some parenting philosophies are unfit, they make sure to prepare for the legal battles to come.
- As the original language in SB 18 did, this resolution lists the “right to appropriate education…” This right includes access to internet while at school and at home. Again, the state will become the authority on what quality education is. They include in the bill that parents have options such as home-based schooling, and independent studies, but really, that only extends until they see it as disagreeable, then, it’s no longer “quality.”
- The resolution discusses that children have the right to mental and behavioral assessments at intervals the states is to determine.
- The resolution also mentions funding for schools and programs that schools would have the option to offer, like health screenings. All of these programs will be funded with taxpayer money.
The irony is that the end of the resolution states “…the Legislature intends that nothing in this resolution be interpreted… to limit a parent’s rights under state or federal law…” The insertion of this is only a failed attempt to silence opposition who speak out against this resolution because of its attack on parental rights. With this as the guiding document for the committee tasked with developing the framework mentioned in SB 18, we are in a world of trouble.Contact your Senator today and ask them to OPPOSE SB 18 and SCR 41.