Jackson bill to protect scientists, scientific data passes off assembly floor

September 6, 2017
By

SACRAMENTO – Introduced in response to threats by the Trump Administration, a bill by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to protect scientists and scientific research from censorship or destruction passed off the Assembly floor today on a 59-13 vote.

Senate Bill 51, known as the Whistleblower and Public Data Protection Act, now heads back to the Senate for a final vote.

“With science and scientific data under threat, SB 51 will protect whistleblowers who bravely stand up for science and the public interest, and prevent them from having their professional credentials stripped away,” said Jackson. “It will also ensure that climate change and other scientific data so critical to our future remains intact and accessible to scientists and policymakers for years to come. We cannot backtrack on all of the scientific progress we have made in the last several decades.”

SB 51 ensures that federal employees do not lose their professional licensure for revealing violations of the law, and directs California state agencies to protect scientific information and data from censorship or destruction by the federal government.

SB 51 would additionally require the Secretary for Environmental Protection to make every reasonable effort to preserve scientific information and data and make it publically available if it is at risk of being destroyed or censored by the Trump Administration.

“In California, decisions on the environment have always been made on data and fact, not political ideology, and we will continue our legacy of doing so,” said Jackson.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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