Senator Hurtado Releases Statement after the Equity for Rural Schools Act Passes the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Tourism

SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) released the following statement after her bill, Senate Bill 486, known as the Equity for Rural Schools Act passed in the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Tourism.

Senate Bill 486 requires the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the governing body for high school sports in California, to hold all football state championship games, for all divisions, at neutral locations comparable to one another, ensuring equity, dignity, respect and player safety for every student athlete privileged to play in a championship game.

“Actions speak louder than words, and as I commented in my closing remarks to the Committee, it seems like there’s issues within that need to be addressed, that haven’t been addressed. And this is the reason why we’re pushing this bill, because we don’t want to be in a situation where we have conversations without a piece of legislation and nothing gets done,” said Senator Hurtado. “These are our students. Every high school pays into CIF. Every student pays into CIF. At some point, we need to step in and say this is not right.”

During moving testimony to the Assembly Committee members, student athletes Mariyon Sloan and Ezekiel Osborne recounted their personal heartbreak competing at such a high level of athletics, and yet forced to contend with unsafe playing conditions during a pivotal moment in their burgeoning athletic careers. Footage of the students giving testimony is viewable here on the California State Assembly’s website, or by visiting