Disability Rights California Recognizes Senator Portantino

Monday, December 23 2019

Sacramento, California – State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) has accepted Disability Rights California’s legislative award for his continued work to promote greater rights and protections for Californians with disabilities. The Senator is thankful that Disability Rights California has recognized his passion to fight for marginalized members of California and looks forward to continuing to work to advance common goals. This award was presented to the Senator for his work on SB 695 and for the Senator’s past work to advance the rights of those with disabilities.


“Some organizations and people just make you smile and feel good about what we do -- Disability Rights California and the Californians it advocates for are clearly in that category.   I am extremely grateful to be presented with this legislative award.  I strongly believe that the state has a responsibility to help people who need our help and Disability Rights California is at the forefront of that effort.  I am confident going forward we will continue to improve the lives of Californians with disabilities,” commented Senator Portantino.


This award was presented to Senator Portantino in part for his work on SB 695, which was sponsored by Disability Rights California. SB 695 would have required a local educational agency (LEA), upon a parent’s request, to translate the student’s individualized education program (IEP) and other related documents in the native language of the parent with 30 days of the IEP team meeting. The IEP process can be very overwhelming and intimidating for someone who is not familiar with the process or the terminology, and is even more daunting if that person’s primary language is not English.  The lack of having a timely and accurately translated IEP does a great disservice to both the parents and the student. The goal of this bill was so that parents would have meaningful participation in the IEP process, which is required by current law, and also to provide parents with translated copy of the IEP within a certain timeframe. While the bill was vetoed, this is an important issue to the Senator and he is going to continue to advance the goals of the bill.


“Disability Rights California and its Board are very pleased to recognize Senator Portantino as one of our legislators of the year.  He has been a strong and reliable supporter for the rights of persons with disabilities and has championed important legislation on special education, health care, mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and suicide prevention.  We look forward to continuing our work with him,” said Catherine Blakemore, executive director, DRC.