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September Newsletter


With the end of session nearing, I wanted to go over my bills that are still making their way through the legislative process.

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AB 223, the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, aims to protect the privacy of transgender youth by requiring any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor to be kept confidential by courts. Many of our documents in this day and age have become digitized and easily accessible to those who would do these youth harm. Under existing law, parent authorization is required for changing vital records for those under 18 years of age unless a court has emancipated them. AB 223 does not change the petition process.

Larger vehicles like SUVs are disproportionately likely to injure or kill pedestrians, according to a 2020 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Vehicles have also been steadily increasing in size and weight since the 1980s, with some models now weighing several thousand pounds. AB 251 will allow the California Transportation Commission to study the relationship between vehicle size and injuries, and study the impact of a registration fee based on the weight of vehicle, as well as whether higher fees would affect drivers' behavior. It will also look at how revenue generated from the fees could be used to improve safety features on roads for pedestrians and cyclists. At least 13 states already charge weight-based registration fees for vehicles.

AB 302 requires the California Department of Technology to conduct a comprehensive inventory of all high-risk automated decision-making systems being used by state agencies. In a time when artificial intelligence use is at an all-time high, AB 302 ensures government transparency around these systems that may be using artificial intelligence or algorithms to facilitate decisions on public benefits systems. This bill will also complement the recently signed executive order on artificial intelligence by Governor Newsom to study the risks and benefits of using AI technology in California. I look forward to the governor signing AB 302 into law.


Finally, the Protect and Retain the Majority Vote Act or ACA 13 protects the majority vote, ensuring that special interest groups cannot subvert the will of the people. This measure would require any statewide initiative moving forward that seeks to increase a voter threshold to also be approved by the same higher threshold it is proposing. ACA 13 does not raise taxes, or make it easier to raise taxes. It simply requires a measure that seeks to raise a voter threshold to meet that higher vote threshold. ACA 13 would be put before the voters on the March ballot. The Legislature is not deciding this issue — California voters will.


I am also pleased to announce that my bill AB 30 was recently signed into law. AB 30 will broaden the atmospheric river program administered through the Department of Water Resources to connect reservoir and flood control operations with best practices in prediction modeling to optimize water management, increase storage, and reduce flood risk. If you're unfamiliar, atmospheric rivers are storm systems capable of bringing moisture from the tropics near Hawaii over to the U.S. West Coast and are responsible for about 30 to 50 percent of annual precipitation for states along the Pacific Ocean. This law will help our water managers be better prepared for the future and help California mitigate the effects of climate change.


Are you prepared for wildfire season? My office will be hosting an informative webinar with representatives from both the Department of Insurance and the California Fire Safe Council on September 26th at 5:30 p.m. Topics covered will include how to protect yourself, your family, and your house through home hardening, defensible space, and evacuation preparedness, as well as a question and answer session after the presentation for the hosts to answer any questions from the audience. Register now at


With student loan repayments slated to begin again in October, I thought it would be a good time to share useful resources with constituents on the different types of student loans, your borrower's rights, and how to prepare to make payments again on September 19th at noon. Representatives with NextGen Policy and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Register now at




From left to right: Top left: #TeamWard booth at the 34th Annual Clairemont Family Day. Top right: Assemblymember Ward speaks at Equality California's Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Bottom left: San Diego delegation celebrates funding for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to address sewage pollution. Bottom right: Assemblymember Ward speaks in support of SB 253 to require large companies in California to disclose their entire scope of emissions for their operations and supply chains.


As always, I want to thank you for the opportunity to be your representative and work on these issues and more. One of the best ways to stay informed is to follow my social media accounts on Facebook, X, Instagram, and Threads where you can know in real time what developments are happening or what I'm working on every day.

And if you need assistance, please know that my district office staff is available and ready to serve or answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out to the contact information at the end of this segment, and a staff member will connect with you as soon as possible. I wish you, your family, and your neighbors all the best.



signature of Christopher M. Ward
Christopher M. Ward
Assemblymember, 78th District