FPM has achieved a significant legislative victory through an amendment to Assembly Bill 249, and we are thrilled to share the news with you. Earlier versions of AB 249 would have mandated government officials to inspect the water systems of privately homeschooling families.This would have set a perilous precedent for the observation and questioning of homeschooling families and opened the door to more problems in the future. However, thanks to our established relationship with Assemblyman Holden and his office, we were able to secure a positive outcome.
Our relationship with the Assemblyman began in January 2022 when his office introduced AB 1737, a bill that would have made it nearly impossible for most children’s day camps to operate. As the bill approached the committee process, FPM’s Nathan Pierce and Drew Olender reached out to the Assemblyman’s office and established a connection with the staff member responsible for handling the bill. We sent them a list of problems we saw with the bill and proposed solutions to address them. Nathan testified in committee about concerns we had and thanked the author for beginning to work with us. Additionally, we requested that we be given the opportunity to comment if more input was needed in the future. Ultimately, AB 1737 was withdrawn in August 2022.
In January of 2023, Assemblyman Holden introduced new bills including AB 262 and AB 249. AB 262 was a follow-up to AB 1737 (the camps bill from last year) and was being developed with our input to ensure that it would not negatively impact homeschooling families. AB 249 initially required both public and private schools with at least six students to test their potable water outlets for lead. If lead levels were above the acceptable limit, the faucet would be shut down until fixed, replaced, or filtered. However, the initial version of the bill would have required homeschooling families to submit to a non-consensual home inspection, which would have violated their Fourth Amendment rights to privacy.
After consulting with HSLDA attorneys, we expressed our concerns to Holden’s office shortly after the bill was introduced and offered several options for amending the bill to our liking. Using our positive relationship with his office to make our first contact, we are pleased to announce that they accepted our first and most favorable option. As a result, the matter with AB 249 was resolved quickly, thanks to our advocacy in the past. Although this victory is a significant one, we are facing many other bills from hostile legislators who are unwilling to listen to our concerns. We are currently tracking almost a hundred bills, and it is critical that private citizens keep voicing their concerns if we are to keep achieving victories like this. We are grateful to God and for your prayers and financial support, which have enabled us to advocate on your behalf on bills like AB 249. Thank you for praying for us as we worked on this and other bills. No further action is needed on AB 249.
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We are praying that you may stand confident in the Lord’s faithfulness in the coming year. May you look forward with hope, knowing that our great God has every circumstance in His caring hand and that His plans will prevail.