While serving on the Santa Barbara School Board and working at UCSB, Monique saw how environmental issues impact everyone, including students, children, and families, and how environmental factors can impact community health and learning. As State Legislator, Monique has worked hard to build a broader and more representative coalition of environmentalists to protect California’s natural resources.

Monique is a proven leader in the Senate for renewable energy and natural resources protection. She authored:

  • AB 1328 (2017), which provides public reporting chemical information used in oil and gas operations.
  • AB 1775 (2018), which stops the expansion of new offshore drilling along the California coastline.
  • AB 1057 (2019), which keeps California taxpayers from having to pay for the remediation of abandoned drilling operations.
  • AB 209 (2019), which expands access to outdoor education and green spaces.

In 2022, she co-authored the historic Setbacks Bill (SB 1137) with Senator Lena Gonzalez (D - Long Beach) to establish statewide setback regulations to protect residents and communities safe from the health hazards that result from proximity to oil drilling sites.

She has been recognized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a California Ocean Champion, by Parks Now as a Rising Star, by Green California for her bold environmental leadership, by the California State Parks Foundation and by California Environmental Voters for her strong leadership in environmental protections, access to the outdoors, and as an environmental justice champion. Her voting record has received 100% scores from Sierra Club, California Environmental Justice Alliance, and California Environmental Voters.


Since being elected to the State Legislature, Monique has worked to improve access and quality of care for all Californians. She has authored a number of health-related bills, including:

  • AB 417 (2017), which allowed for continued care for the treatment of Monte Vista Patients during the Thomas Fire
  • AB 1119 (2017), which allows medical records to be provided to emergency medical physicians to better address patient needs.
  • AB 1860 (2018), which sets the ceiling for anticancer medication co-pays to $250.
  • AB 1976 (2018), which ensures that new mothers upon returning to work have a clean place, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.
  • AB 388 (2019), which culminated in a $5 million grant program for Alzheimer’s Awareness administered through the California Department of Public Health.
  • SB 48 (2021), which creates an innovative first-in-the-nation program to give Medi-Cal providers training, validated assessment tools, and payment incentives for conducting cognitive health assessments to achieve the statewide goal of improved Alzheimer's detection and diagnosis.
  • SB 368 (2021), which helps families track their medical coverage expenses by requiring health plans and insurers to share how much a consumer has paid towards their deductible and maximum out-of-pocket costs.
  • SB 535 (2021), which improves access to genetic biomarker testing in patients with advanced or metastatic stage 3 and 4 cancer by prohibiting a health care plan, insurance policy, and Medi-Cal from using prior authorization.
  • SB 421 (2023), which makes permanent an existing law that prohibits a health plan or health insurer from requiring more than $250 per month in out-of-pocket costs for a 30-day supply of an oral anticancer medication.
  • SB 496 (2023), which requires a health plan and health insurance policy, including Medi-Cal, to provide coverage for biomarker testing.

Her work advancing health care access earned her the 2017 Legislator of the Year recognition by the Alzheimer’s Association of California. In 2019, she was recognized by the California Cancer Action Network for her tireless work in the fight against Cancer. In 2022, she was named the Healthcare Justice Champion by SEIU-UHW and most recently in 2023 was chosen by SEIU as their Legislative Champion. Additionally, Monique earned a 100% score with Health Access California. These are just a few examples of the recognitions Monique has received for her tireless work in the field of health care.


As the Vice Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, Monique worked to advocate on behalf of the diverse interests of women, children, and families throughout California, while seeking to increase participation and representation of women in state government. As a legislator, Monique promotes sound legislative policies and budget priorities that improve the well-being of women, children, and families. She works in collaboration with local, state, and national women’s organizations interested in advancing policies to achieve these same objectives.

Monique has been a champion for women and working families through the bills she has authored. Some of her work includes:

  • AB 406 (2019), which strengthens Californian’s access to paid family leave.
  • AB 378 (2019), which creates stability in California’s early care and education workforce.
  • SB 280 (2021), which requires large group health insurance policies to cover medically necessary basic health care services, such as women's reproductive services and organ transplants. It also prohibits discrimination in large group health insurance design and marketing.
  • SB 1162 (2022), which requires salary ranges to be posted for all job announcements.
  • SB 727 (2023), which protects human trafficking survivors who have been coerced into taking on debt without their consent and prohibits creditors and debt collectors from collecting this debt.

In 2022, Monique was the only elected official in the nation to make the Forbes Future of Work 50 list for her work on pay equity in the workplace. Monique has also been recognized for her work advancing women’s issues by the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Action Committee, Close the Gap, Emerge California, and Planned Parenthood Central Coast California.

Consumer Protections:

Monique brought her unique voice and perspective to the finance world in her role as the Chair of the Committee on Banking and Finance for the State Assembly and the State Senate. In her time as Chair, Monique worked hard to address consumer protections. Some of her work includes:

  • AB 539 (2019), which establishes consumer protections for borrowers against predatory lending practices and received strong, bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature. Monique led a strong and diverse coalition of supporters that included community groups, local governments, faith leaders, and responsible lenders to ensure successful passage of AB 539.
  • AB 1864 (2020), which renamed and revamped California’s Consumer Protection Department. The bill expanded the scope of consumer protections that apply to financial products and services in California, including products provided online or through mobile applications. Thanks to AB 1864, Californians can now seek help and redress – such as refunds or other forms of compensation – from the state’s financial regulator if they are harmed by unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices perpetrated by a financial services company.
  • SB 757 (2021), which provides more consumer protections for solar customers by ensuring solar contracts have the same protections as general home improvement contracts. It also promotes more transparency in the sales of solar systems.

Natural Disasters:

Since the Thomas Fire and the Montecito Debris Flow, Monique has worked on creating legislation and supporting a state budget that not only pushes for resources and improvements in disaster recovery but focuses on how we can prevent natural disasters and more efficiently respond to them once they occur. Monique has authored:

  • AB 1956 (2018), which reestablished a fire prevention working group that enlisted fire prevention experts to develop new methods of fire prevention and created a robust year-round fire prevention local assistance grant program. This bill became part of the 2018 budget.
  • AB 1877 (2018), requires that emergency communications of both State and County Offices of Emergency Services be made accessible to the members of our community who speak a language other than English.
  • AB 2213 (2019) required the Office of Emergency Services and California Volunteers to develop a plan for identifying volunteers and donation management resources that could assist in responding to or recovering from disasters. It also made it easier for cities and universities to share information during a disaster so that emergency alerts can reach more people in the area.
  • AB 1602 (2019) authorized school districts to give credit to students with community service hours toward locally-established community service graduation requirements for participating in and completing a community emergency response training, like CERT training. This bill helped ensure that more students are trained in disaster preparedness.
  • AB 1981 (2019) this bill added CAL FIRE to an existing interagency group focused on reducing GHG emissions and landfill of organic waste and promoting the appropriate use of compost on the state's working lands. This was necessary because compost products are effective at stabilizing slopes and reducing erosion on exposed soils after wildfires.

Monique also co-authored SB821 (2018), ensuring emergency communications reach everyone by creating an opt-out emergency alert system, as well as AB 1772 (2018), which extends the insurance deadline to recoup rebuilding costs.