We are glad to report that Sen. Lara’s SB 1146, the very serious threat to Christian higher learning, was further amended before passing the Senate concurrence vote. The reporting requirements were removed and all that remains are disclosures that the colleges and universities are no longer opposing. SB 1146 now goes to Gov. Brown for his consideration.
While this threat has passed, for now, another has emerged. We ask you to pray and act by requesting that Gov. Brown veto SB 524.
This bill, also authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) proposes to protect youth (particularly LGBT youth – the bill is supported by numerous LGBT organizations) from “abusive” boarding schools operating under religious exemptions, yet no examples of this abuse are provided, let alone substantiated.
Currently, schools like the one run by Freeing American Children from Exploitation and Sexual Slavery (FACESS), which would be directly effected by the bill, come under the umbrella of the Education Code rather than Social Services. FACESS helps minor girls who are victims of sex trafficking heal by offering a faith-based residential school in a secure location paid for by their families. The program has been highly successful and has strong support from law enforcement and organizations assisting trafficking victims with no complaints. It receives no state funding, yet SB 524 dictates how their program must be run and includes sexual orientation and gender identity language in direct conflict with their Christian beliefs.
SB 524 will force faith-based boarding schools like FACESS (private alternative boarding schools under the state’s language) to adhere to the same “community care licensing” structure under which California’s broken foster/group home programs are overseen. Reportedly, some 70 percent of trafficked minors are actually recruited from this system!
This bill’s additional compliance burden will double or even triple the cost to families who desire to place their girls at FACESS. Some parents will have no choice but to make their daughters wards of the court and send them to state programs that do not offer the healing and protection that FACESS does. This further harms children and increases the costs to the state.
It is likely that if SB 524 is implemented FACESS, an organization that has been helping minors find healing for more than two decades, will be forced to move out of California. However, this doesn’t have to be if Gov. Brown vetoes SB 524.
Pray that minors who have already been victims of horrific acts will not be victimized again by the state. Ask the Lord to protect FACESS and organizations like it by leading Gov. Brown to veto SB 524. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. ~ Psalm 91:2-4
Act by contacting Gov. Brown today and asking him to VETO SB 524. It will take you just a few minutes to potentially save a child’s life.
Call 916-445-2841 and follow the prompts to talk to his staff, politely asking for his veto.
Or send a webmail by visiting Gov. Brown’s contact page here. Complete your contact information and then, in the drop down box, select “SB00524/Private alternative boarding schools and outdoor programs.” Continue and choose the “con” button.
Write your own short e-mail requesting a veto or cut and past the one below and click send. That’s it.
Dear. Gov. Brown:
Please veto SB 524. It will harm organizations that are helping minors who have been terribly victimized by sex trafficking. These children and their parents are already suffering. They need programs that help, many of which are privately-funded and faith-based, but SB 524 will so greatly increase the cost of these programs that parents will be unable to afford them and be forced to turn their children over to the state. Not only does this do a disservice to those children, but it also increases the cost to the state and its taxpayers. Further, the bill’s language infringes upon the religious liberty of successful faith-based organizations strongly supported by law enforcement.
SB 524 bill tries to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Instead, it creates one for children who have been trafficked and their families. PLEASE VETO SB 524.
For more information on the bills we have supported and opposed during 2016, please see our latest Targeted Bills List here.
Thank you for your faithfulness in praying and acting on behalf of faith, family and freedom!