We encourage all people and organizations who serve children and who are potentially impacted by SB 217 to provide their insight and feedback to the California Legislature.
The legislative process allows for changes to be made through amendments to the bill by the author of the bill as well as through the committee review process.
Once the bill has passed through the Senate review process in assigned committees and on the floor of the full Senate, it will progress to the Assembly and repeat that same process.
Letters from camps expressing their views will be needed at every step of the review process in the legislature and templates for those letters will be provided here.
Please submit your letter to the Assembly Health Committee.
For details on the process please visit the Assembly Health Committee webpage, and click on the "submit position letter" button on the right side of the page. Note that this does require the creation of an account.
LETTERS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY 28 JULY TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE BILL ANALYSIS
Please keep in mind:
Letters must be on letterhead with the signature and title of an official of the organization or designated representative.
Coalition letters must have logos, signatures, and titles for all organizations.
Letters of conditional support will not be listed on the analysis.
Letters must clearly indicate the position (letters containing "concern" may not be listed).
Submit letters only once unless the bill is subsequently amended causing uncertainty as to the organization's present position.
Out of courtesy, please also submit a copy of your letter to the author's office. You can register your organization's feedback by clicking the appropriate box when you are submitting your letter.
Letter of Opposition Template:
This is an example of a letter that you can use to register your opposition to SB 217 (Portantino) as written. Please feel free to make any changes that you or your organization feels are necessary.
(NAME OF CAMP)
Assemblymember Jim Wood, Chair
Assembly Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 6005
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: OPPOSITION TO SB 217 (Portantino)
Dear Assemblymember Wood,
I am the (owner, director) of Camp ___________ located in ______________. Our camp serves
_____ children and youth each summer and employs ____ staff. We have been operating for
over ____ years and provide ______________ activities. Because of COVID-19 our camp
SB 217 (Portantino) which was just gutted and amended, would place unreasonable new
requirements and restrictions on camps and would not allow us to serve our campers in the best
way possible. In addition to these requirements on camps, the bill would extend licensing
requirements and oversight to every youth program that serves five children or more for five
days or more in a season. This would mean that nearly every program serving children, from
dance lessons to karate classes, from scout troop meetings to soccer camp, which would
completely overwhelm the local health departments and mean little meaningful oversight for any
Examples of the onerous provisions contained in SB 217 include a requirement that camps could
not hire young people to work at camp unless they had previously been a camper, which is not
necessarily indicative of a good employee. It establishes an advisory council without any
representation from an organized camp. It puts requirements on aquatic programs that would be
impossible to meet and may actually prove to be unsafe for swimmers and non-swimmers. And
there are literally dozens of other provisions that would not be in the best interest of the children
For these reasons we find that we must oppose the bill. We would however support continued
dialog with the organized resident camps and day camps communities to come up with
thoughtful improvements to the Organized Camp Act, and to bring day camps under the
definition of organized camps so there is proper oversight for all camps.