- By Native News Online Staff
California Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino) on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 issued the following statement about his AB 81, a bill that would make necessary updates to California Indian Child Welfare Act (Cal-ICWA) following the landmark Brackeen decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June:
"Over the past five years, I have continued to bring forward legislation to address long overlooked issues facing California’s tribal communities and to safeguard Native American families and children. I remain fully committed to working with the Administration and my colleagues in the Legislature to advance that important work. Since the passage of ICWA in 1978 and the codification of ICWA into state law in 2006, California has been committed to protecting Native families and children. Earlier this year, in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s action on ICWA and its protections, I decided to introduce AB 81 to strengthen California’s Indian child welfare provisions and tribal sovereignty by creating additional protections for Native American children and families.
"Following the Supreme Court’s rightful decision to uphold ICWA, and working with the California Department of Social Services, I have decided to extend AB 81 as a two-year measure to continue our work in making the bill as strong as possible to protect Indian Children and families from potential future threats. I will move AB 81 forward with an urgency clause next session after spending time working with stakeholders and the Administration to ensure the legislation best protects Native American children and families across the state."
The measure is currently in the California State Senate floor, awaiting final amendments
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