2023 SB 499 (Menjivar): Cool Schools Act

A Voice for Choice Advocacy is the Sponsor of the 2023 Cools Schools Act
Bill Description: SB 499 has two parts:
1. Would require all schoolsites, at the earliest possible time or, at the latest, the next time resurfacing or replacement of outdoor surfaces is required, to replace low specific heat surfaces, such as cement, asphalt, brick, pebbles, sand, aggregates, rubber, and synthetic turf, with high specific heat surfaces, such as cool pavement technologies, natural grass, shrubs, trees, wood chips, or other natural systems that mitigate heat and pollution, as provided. The bill would require all schoolsite decision making personnel involved in the replacement or resurfacing of outdoor surfaces at a schoolsite to be trained in extreme heat mitigation measures.
2. This bill would, on or before January 1, 2025, require all schoolsites, as defined, to develop an extreme heat action plan, as specified, and, by January 1, 2027, to begin implementation of their extreme heat action plan. The bill would require the plan to include installing or planting (1) shade trees or mini-forests, positioned on schoolsites where pupils can access them during the school day, (2) school garden infrastructure and plantings, and (3) coniferous tree barriers between the schoolsite and any adjacent high-polluting streets or commercial projects.
Ask of Legislators: To support SB 499, The 2023 Cool Schools Act
Current Status: Will be heard by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 and has also been referred to Senate Human Services Committee. Notice of the hearing is given at least 72 hours in advance.

Take Action on SB 499 TODAY!


with your Senator, in person, at their local district office and ask them to support SB 499



a letter of support to the Legislative Portal



your organization to AVFCA's SB 499 support coalition, to be part of the official support materials

Sign On


local public School Board members, individual Board of Supervisors, and other organizations and ask them to support SB 499

Resources - Coming soon

Further Information

1) Make an appointment TODAY to meet with your CA Senator and their staff to ask them to support SB 499

  • -Not sure who that is – enter your address here: https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ (Note: No need to contact your Senator yet)
  • Not sure how to set up a meeting and build a trusted relationship with your legislators – watch this webinar: https://youtu.be/NGwnwAcJJZ4.  Be sure to mention you are a constituent.
  • Not sure what to say – print out and use the AVFCA resources (coming soon)

2) Submit a letter of support to the Legislative Portal, as an individual and on behalf of any organization you represent, and encourage other organizations to do the same:

– Write a brief letter in your own words asking the Senate Education and Human Services Committees to Support SB 499.  This does not need to be more than a few sentences stating “I Support SB 499 bill because ….”.  Make sure your letter is polite, to the point, and sounds convincing.  Remember you are trying to sway the legislators to vote the way you want them to, not alienate them.  If you can write on behalf of an organization or company, be sure to put your letter on a letterhead and sign it, so that it gets recognized.
– Create an account or sign in at https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/
– Click “Submit a letter” and enter the bill number (SB 499), and follow the instructions to upload your letter to Senate Education and Human Services Committees.

3) Sign your organization on to AVFCA's SB 499 support materials

As the sponsor of SB 499, A Voice for Choice Advocacy is gathering a coalition of concerned organizations throughout California to support SB 499, AB 246 and AB 99 through the 2023 legislative process.  Please sign your organization on to our letters by completing the form https://avoiceforchoiceadvocacy.org/avfca-2023-organization-bill-support/ here: to show your organization’s support to increase the health of our environment and decrease toxics, which in turn will impact people’s physical and mental health positively.

By completing this form A Voice for Choice Advocacy will add your organization to a support letter submitted to each bill’s author, the CA Legislative Committees through which these bills will pass, as well as to legislators voting on the bill.  You are welcome to add your organizations support to any or all of these bills.

4) Meet and educate organization leaders to gain their support of SB 499

One of the key ways legislators are swayed to vote on a bill, is by seeing lots of organizations supporting a bill.  Therefore reach out and meet with individual school board members, individual board of supervisors, and other organization leaders to encourage them to support SB 499 and take the steps above.