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California Latino Legislative Caucus Announces AB 2131 (Valencia) as a ‘Priority Bill’

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA— On Tuesday, April 23, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, chaired by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D – Riverside) and vice chaired by Senator Lena Gonzalez (D – Long Beach), held a press conference to announce their legislative priorities for this year and presented AB 2131 as part of the package. This recognition underscores the growing need to expand access to Certified Nursing Assistants.

The passage of AB 2131 will ensure better accessibility to individuals who are looking to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) by requiring the written and oral portion of the CNA competency exam to be offered in Spanish. This comes at a critical time when California is experiencing a severe shortage of CNAs, with California Department of Public Health declaring a workforce shortage in 34 out of 58 counties, especially in long-term facilities. CNAs provide most of the hands-on care to patients in hospitals, continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

Making the CNA exam available in one of the most commonly spoken languages other than English, could open the field to many more prospective nurses. Translating the competency exam is one meaningful way to chip away at the nursing shortage, while ensuring high-quality care for patients in California.

"As a native Spanish speaker, it was extremely challenging to pass the English language Certified Nurse Assistant test, even though I am an outstanding caregiver and love the work," said Maria Gonzalez, a Certified Nurse Assistant at a Skilled Nursing Facility in Pittsburg, California. "I know people who would have been excellent caregivers who gave up because of the English-only testing. We can change that by passing AB 2131."

"AB 2131 is a critical step forward in meeting California's severe shortage of direct caregivers," said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President of SEIU Local 2015 and SEIU California Executive Board Member. "It will expand the number of Certified Nurse Assistants, help meet the need for more Spanish-speaking caregivers, and help prepare our state to meet the needs of our state's aging population."

Assemblymember Valencia states, “AB 2131 ensures our caregivers reflect the communities they serve and allow for a diverse nursing workforce ready to meet the needs of all patients."


Assemblymember Avelino Valencia proudly represents the 68th Assembly district which includes the cities of Anaheim, Orange and Santa Ana. Valencia chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #7 on Accountability and Oversight.