These bunnies and the SCIL team had some major wins in 2018, but a few hurdles we didn't quite clear, as well.

2018 SCIL Legislative Update

The 2018 legislative session was jammed packed with SCIL sponsored bills, budget requests, and regulatory maneuvering (ten total!). Below is an update on our legislative package and priorities from this past legislative session.

SCIL Sponsored Legislation

Signed into law:

SB 1249 (Galgiani) - the California Cruelty-free Cosmetic Act requires that cosmetics sold in California are not tested on animals by the manufacturer, their suppliers, nor any third party contracted by the manufacturer or their suppliers starting in 2020. The bill does allow for a few regulatory exceptions. As you all know, SB 1249 was SCIL's biggest legislative lift to date. The cosmetic and chemical industry fought tooth and nail to defeat SB 1249 from the start. But with hard work from the SCIL team, our co-sponsor, PCRM, and all of our wonderfully strong and responsive supporters, LUSH, John Paul Mitchell Systems, PETA, HSUS, Peace4Animals, JaneUnChained, and all of you, SB 1249 made it to the finish line and still making headlines around the world, and will be saving animals lives for a lifetime to come. Link to our press release.

SB 1138 (Skinner) - Plant Based Meal Options requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to make plant-based meals available to inmates under its jurisdiction, and requires specified licensed health care facilities to make plant-based meals available to patients. While this measure had a rocky start with the Cattleman's Association and the hospital lobby expressing concerns over the preamble language, we were able to work with all stakeholders to adjust that language and remove their opposition. SB 1138 received the Governor’s signature on September 18th, a huge win for patients, prisoners, taxpayers, animals, our planet, and the plant based movement as a whole. Link to our press release.

AB 2445 (O’Donnell) is a clean-up bill of last year’s AB 485 Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, which requires pet stores sell animals obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter or non-profit. AB 2445 requires a pet store operator to maintain records to document the health, status, and disposition of the animal it sells for a period of at least two years and provide such records and store return policy to potential purchasers. Although this bill received soft opposition from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, it was not strong enough to raise any serious concerns with the author or the Governor. In addition, Chief consultant to the Business and Professions committee worked closely with us to ensure that the language would achieve our desired purpose. As expected, the measure received the Governor’s signature on July 20th. AB 485 and AB 2445 will both take affect beginning January 1, 2019.


SB 1487 (Stern) the Iconic African Species Protection Act, was ultimately vetoed by the Governor on September 30th. He based his veto message on concerns of unenforceability, an issue that was raised by the Department of Fish and Wildlife as the bill made its way through the legislative process. We worked hard with the author’s staff, as well as representatives from the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of Animals, and HSUS to craft language that would strike a balance between protection and practicality. Despite receiving support from members on both sides of the aisle, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife was able to convince the Governor that banning the possession of these particular species would be too difficult to trace and enforce and would lead to extreme cost burdens on the department. READ OUR PRESS RELEASE HERE.

AB 2362 (Rubio), the Safe Transportation of Dogs and Cats Act , was vetoed by the Governor on September 28th with a veto message noting that while he supported the goal of the measure, the terms were too vague and ambiguous to receive his signature. As you know, the bill did not receive any of opposition until the very end by one group. Although we did attempt to work with the opposition to address their concerns, although they decided to ask for a veto instead of working on the language. Very unfortunate with the summers getting hotter and hotter and most of the old antiquated animal control trucks cannot keep the animals cool, which can lead to a horrible death.

AB 2474 (Quirk) would have authorized the Department of Toxic Substances Control, to the extent funding was available, to evaluate alternatives to testing toxicity levels on certain specified fish species, including the fathead minnow. The Governor vetoed the bill due to the fact that DTSC is running a financial deficit. His message did, however, note that the Department already has the authority to evaluate and replace the current toxicity test, which may lead to those changes in the future without the need for additional legislation. It is important that we engage the new Administration on this topic in January and continue to educate them on the issue and the need for more humane testing methods.

Died in Committee

AB 3159 (Thurmond) Poultry Slaughter would have required poultry slaughterhouses regulated by the state of California to render poultry unconscious before being shackled. Unfortunately, the Assembly Agriculture Committee is stacked with pro-ag members and the bill died in committee.

SCIL Budget Request Success

SCIL, with our board member, Leah Sturgis, leading the charge was able to secure $7,500,000 in the California state budget for whale and sea turtle entanglement issues . We are currently working with environmental advocacy group, Oceana, to direct those funds to a pop-up buoy test program in and around Monterrey Bay. The program will test new, state of the art equipment that would eliminate whale and sea turtle entanglements with crabbing nets and equipment. Stay tuned for future updates on these efforts. And we would like to thank Assemblymember Richard Bloom for leading, and helping with the effort.

Other Regulatory Ongoing Issues

SCIL and PCRM co-sponsored a resolution ( SCR 100 ) authored by Senator Ricardo Lara which would have urged the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to list processed meats on the Prop 65 list. Prop 65 law regulations require any substance that is listed as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to also be listed on Prop 65. ( Read the IARC monograph here ) OEHHA indicated in writing that their review of the IARC findings are underway. With that assurance, our coalition and Senator Lara decided to table the resolution.

Pet Lovers Plate Update - The plate fund has over one million dollars accrued, with more coming in. We are thrilled that the plate has earned money that will go to help low-cost or free spay and neuter programs across California. The newly assigned agency, CDFA will be responsible for distributing the funds is hiring an administer for the program this month. We will be meeting with that new hire as soon as they start and will update you again soon on when we expect the funds to be distributed.
Donate by check or online:

Social Compassion In Legislation
P.O. Box 1125
Laguna Beach, CA 92652-1125
This year was successful, but costly. We operate solely on donations. It is expensive to take on the special interest, big corporations with endless deep pockets. We are a grassroots group taking on the largest corporations in the world to make a difference for the animals. Please help us. We cannot get this done without funding. Please donate today to help us continue the fight for animals in 2019! There is so much more to do.

We are trying to locate a venue for our next fundraising, celebratory event, so please stay tuned. If you have a venue, let us know.
With gratitude,
Judie Mancuso, Founder / CEO / President
Social Compassion In Legislation