June 2024 Round-Up

June is a time to reflect, celebrate, and re-commit ourselves to the values that define California. We recognize Gun Violence Awareness Month and the importance of combatting this grievous epidemic to ensure the safety and well-being of all who call California home.  

As we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, we honor the rich contributions of our state’s vast and vibrant immigrant communities, whose resilience and innovation have long shaped our state’s identity.  

Pride Month celebrates California’s diverse and resilient LGBTQ+ community and reminds us that while the battle for equality is never finished, it is incumbent on us all to continue the fight and pick up the mantle passed down by Harvey Milk and countless other LGBTQ+ Californians. 

Juneteenth commemorates the liberation of millions of Black Americans, who, after a two-year wait, discovered their freedom through the Emancipation Proclamation. As we celebrate freedom and reflect on our history, California recommits to advancing racial justice and equality for all.

Our state is a beacon of hope and progress nationally and around the world; we lead the way in championing human rights and equality, and we will continue to do so. As we celebrate these important milestones, let us affirm our dedication to creating a state where everyone can thrive, regardless of their background or identity. 

As your Lieutenant Governor, I will continue to fight for a better and brighter future for every Californian. Together, we can build a state that truly values justice, inclusion, and opportunity for all. 

 

Image of Lt. Governors signature

Eleni Kounalakis
Lieutenant Governor of California

Pride Month

June is Pride Month, a time to recognize and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. California has always been at the forefront of this movement, with San Francisco making history as the first city to issue a same-sex marriage license. California’s own Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the country who won a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in 1977.  
 
This fall, Californians will have the opportunity to reaffirm the right of same-sex couples to marry. I was proud to cosponsor ACA 5, a constitutional amendment to remove outdated language from Proposition 8, passed by voters in 2008, that recognizes marriage as only being between a man and a woman. It’s time that our laws affirm marriage equality.

National Gun Violence Awareness Month  

June marks National Gun Violence Awareness Month, a time to honor victims of gun violence and push for a stronger, safer community. I was honored to join Everytown, the California Chapter of Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action for a rally at the Capitol steps to raise awareness of the critical issue of gun violence and how California is leading the nation in gun safety.

Gun violence continues to plague the nation, killing an estimated 120 people every single day. But here in California, we refuse to accept this as our reality. California is ranked #1 in the nation for gun safety with some of the lowest rates of gun death in the country. Together, we can continue to champion efforts to address this epidemic and protect our communities from the devastating impacts of gun violence.

Click here for more information on California’s gun safety laws.  

Celebrating California’s Immigrant Communities  

This Immigrant Heritage Month, we honor and celebrate the contributions of our immigrant communities who continue to power and shape California and our nation. This month holds special meaning for my family as the daughter of an immigrant father, whose journey to California was filled with dreams and a determination to build a brighter future for our family. Like countless others, his story embodies the innovative and resilient spirit that defines California’s immigrant communities. 

California is home to nearly 11 million immigrants – more than any other state. 27% of Californians are foreign-born and almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent. Let’s celebrate the invaluable contributions of our immigrant communities this month and reaffirm our commitment to building a better, brighter future for all. 

The Fight for Reproductive Rights Continues  

June 24th marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The right to abortion was guaranteed in our country for almost half a century, but since the court’s decision two years ago, millions of women across the country have had these rights taken away. Currently, 2 out of 5 American women live in states that have restricted access to reproductive care.  

California is leading the charge to safeguard and expand reproductive rights. Our state has invested $200 million to expand abortion and reproductive care. We have enshrined the right to abortion in our state constitution. We have reduced financial barriers for people to access reproductive care, such as eliminating co-pays for abortion services and expanding free access to some of California’s most vulnerable communities.  

As Lieutenant Governor, I am committed to ensuring that California remains a haven for those seeking reproductive care and that we continue to fight for the rights and freedoms of women in California and outside our borders.  

Legislative Updates  

Acting Governor Eleni Kounalakis signed Senate Bill 167, a budget trailer bill that makes various changes necessary to implement the Budget Act of 2024, on June 27th, 2024. For full text of the bill, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Acting Governor Eleni Kounalakis signed Senate Bill 167, a budget trailer bill that makes various changes necessary to implement the Budget Act of 2024, on June 27th, 2024. For full text of the bill, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

 

SB 1524On June 29th, 2024, Governor Newsom signed SB 1524 (Dodd) to protect California restaurant patrons from hidden fees, by tailoring upfront disclosure requirements to the food services industry. Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis sponsored the bill. 

“SB 1524 strikes the right balance between strengthening transparency for consumers and providing restaurants with clarity and flexibility in how they cover their costs,” said Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis. “I am proud to cosponsor SB 1524, which will bring much-needed clarity to how state law applies to restaurant fees by requiring restaurants, bars, and other food service providers to clearly and conspicuously disclose any service charge, mandatory gratuity, or other mandatory fee to consumers on advertisements, menus or other displays.”

Stay Safe from Extreme Heat 

Summer in California is in full swing! This month, the state experienced its first significant high temperatures of the summer season, with triple digit heatwaves over the span of a week. We are encouraging all Californians to learn about the impacts of high heat and how to stay safe.  

For safety tips, resources and more, visit: ready.ca.gov.