LEGISLATIVE UPDATE January 2019

 

Important Dates & Deadlines

 

Feb. 22nd Last day for bills to be introduced

March 29th Cesar Chavez Day (Legislature Observed)

April 11th Spring Recess begins upon adjournment

April 22nd Legislature reconvenes from Spring Recess

April 26th Last day for Policy Committees to hear and report to fiscal

committees fiscal bills introduced in their house

 

Amid Negotiations, Two Police Use-Of-Force Measures Introduced 

 

According to the latest reports, law enforcement and civil liberties groups are introducing separate police use-of-force bills.  As you may recall, last year Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Shirley Weber tabled AB 931, a proposal which would have revised use-of-force standards by peace officers.  At the time, commitments were made to bring the stakeholders together in an effort to negotiate a proposal.  These conversations now appear to be on hold, but not completely dead.  Even with both sides presenting their own legislation, Brian Marvel, the president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) has suggested that there are ample opportunities for potential compromise.

 

Assemblymembers Weber, Kevin McCarty and Chris Holden, along with Senator Holly Mitchell, released their proposal, AB 392.  The bill will have the support of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.  The law enforcement coalition is throwing its support behind a bill by Senator Anna Caballero.  Details about the proposals are forthcoming.  Stay tuned…

 

Proposed Ballot Measure Would Allow Felony Parolees to Vote

 

Convicted felons on parole could soon be granted the right to vote under a new proposal unveiled in the last few weeks.  Assemblymember Kevin McCarty’s ACA 6, dubbed the Free the Vote Act, aims to do just that.  ACA 6 is sponsored by the Secretary of State Alex Padilla and jointly authored by McCarty and Assemblymembers Shirley Weber, Rob Bonta, Lorena Gonzalez, Ash Kalra, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove.  Existing law suspends a person’s right to vote when they are incarcerated or on parole for a felony conviction.  Currently, nearly 50,000 people are on parole throughout the state.

 

The proposal has already garnered an endorsement from Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who visited the State Capitol recently advocating for criminal justice reforms.  However, ACA 6 will need to be approved by a 2/3rd vote in the Legislature before it can make its way to the voters in 2020.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://a07.asmdc.org/press-releases/20190128-assemblymembers-mccarty-kamlager-dove-kalra-bonta-and-california-secretary.

 

Newsom Calls for Reorganization of the Division of Juvenile Justice

 

In addition to the announcement in his January Budget proposal, Governor Gavin Newsom also recently toured the O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton to promote his interest in to “ending the juvenile justice system as we know it.”  More specifically, he is seeking to move youth correctional facilities from the purview of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to a new department under the Health and Human Services Agency.  As a point of reference, in 2019-20, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is projected to have a population of 759 young offenders. 

 

Newsom’s plan, described in a single paragraph in his budget proposal, notes that the change will enable the state to better provide juvenile offenders with services needed to be successful upon release.  Further, the announcement comes amid a growing body of literature that is increasingly looking at incarceration through the lens of health care.  The Administration has yet to provide specifics or additional details on the reorganization other than to share the intent to reorganize DJJ under Health and Human Services by July 1st

 

Whether Newsom's overhaul works depends on the details.  As an example, Chuck Supple, director of DJJ, has said it would be crucial for Newsom to preserve a role for corrections officers in the juvenile system.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-juvenile-justice-plan-20190122-story.html.

 

Kamala Harris Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

 

California Senator Kamala Harris is running for president in 2020. The first-term Democratic senator made the announcement during an interview on ABC's Good Morning America on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  She is scheduled to hold a more formal campaign launch in Oakland on Sunday where she will give a speech outlining her candidacy.  Harris' campaign manager will be Juan Rodriguez, who was the manager of her 2016 Senate campaign and was also a senior adviser to Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign. It was reported that her campaign raised $1.5 million in its first 24 hours.

 

This year, California will join Texas, Virginia and at least a half-dozen other states holding primaries on March 3rd —on what is known as “Super Tuesday”—instead of in June.  Early voting will begin on Feb. 3rd.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://kamalaharris.org/.

 

Special Elections for 1st and 33rd Senate Districts Scheduled

 

Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued proclamations declaring special elections for the 1st and 33rd Senate Districts.  The primary elections will be March 26th and the general elections June 4th.  However, a runoff will not be needed if any candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in March.

 

The seats were vacated when Democrat Ricardo Lara was elected Insurance Commissioner and Republican Ted Gaines won a seat on the Board of Equalization.  In both districts, several candidates have already announced their intent to run.  In the 33rd Senate District, the list includes Long Beach councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Al Austin; Lynwood Councilman Jose Solache; South Gate Councilwoman Denise Diaz; Bell councilmembers Ali Saleh and Ana Maria Quintana; and Central Valley Water District member Leticia Vasquez-Wilson.  In the 1st Senate District, the list includes former Assemblymember Beth Gaines; Assemblymember Kevin Kiley; Assemblymember Brian Dahle, and Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://www.gov.ca.gov/2019/01/15/1st-and-33rd-senate-districts/.

 

Senator Shannon Grove Named Republican Leader-Elect

 

Senate Republicans recently selected Senator Shannon Grove of Bakersfield to succeed Senator Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel as the new Senate Republican Leader.  First elected to the Assembly in 2010, Grove will be the third woman to lead the Senate Republican Caucus.

 

In the Assembly, Republicans recently moved to make Assemblymember Marie Waldron their leader after former Minority Leader Brian Dahle stepped down to run for state Senate.  Also, it should be noted that the state Republican Party will elect their next chairman at the party’s February convention.  As the California GOP undergoes changes, they will be faced with the question of whether to move in a more moderate direction or embrace a conservative platform.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://cssrc.us/content/senate-republicans-announce-leadership-transition-0.

 

Under Newsom Administration, California's Chief Justice Seeks Financial Certainty

 

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke with reporters in San Francisco for over an hour on a wide range of topics recently.  During this discussion, she noted a need for increased court funding.  Cantil-Sakauye mentioned already having met with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom on multiple occasions and further suggested she is hopeful that under his direction the court system will fare better than it has in recent years.  Referring to Governor Jerry Brown's first few budgets, Cantil-Sakauye said "in the Great Recession the branch was cut numerous times, over and over, oftentimes mid-year. We had no ability to plan. We had no ability to attempt to serve those who were already in our court system — not to mention those who were coming in at a time when foreclosures were high and unemployment was high."   The state Constitution requires Newsom to present a budget by January 10th, so we will need to wait until then to see if he restores funding to the courts.  Stay tuned…

 

Legislation Seeks to Better Protect Correctional Officers from Gassing Attacks

 

Last September, the California State Auditor’s office issued a report detailing their review of the health and safety of correctional staff that were subject to a type of assault in which an inmate throws bodily fluids at them commonly known as a gassing attack.  The report concluded that three correctional facilities — the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s California Institute for Men, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Men’s Central Jail, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s Santa Rita Jail — needed to do more to adequately protect against these types attacks, which can expose officers to communicable diseases and psychological trauma. 

 

In response, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriquez has introduced AB 294 which would codify the recommendations outlined in the audit.  Specifically, his legislation would provide more information to officers about their rights following an attack, increase the availability and accessibility of protective gear, and require facilities to replace soiled uniforms.  Further, the bill aims to augment training on how to prevent and mitigate the harm from gassing attacks and strengthen investigations when these incidents occur.  In speaking about his proposal, Rodriguez said, “No one should be put at unnecessary risk while on the job, sadly these employees have not been afforded that right.”

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Important Dates & Deadlines

 

Dec. 3rd                      2019-20 Regular Session Convenes

Jan. 1st                       2018 Statutes Take Effect, Unless Otherwise Provided

 

November 2018 General Election Wrap-Up

 

As a progressive state focused and insistent on battling it out with the Trump Administration, the California midterm elections brought about a host of fierce races and political spending that is said to have exceeded $1 billion statewide.  The goal?  Democrats intent on gaining ground.  Republicans fighting to hold their ground.  And while some races continue to be counted, as of late November we note a host of trends:

 

  • Moderate Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein retains her seat against former Democratic state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon who sought to unseat her with a more progressive agenda, arguing it was time for change and someone with an approach more in line with the increasingly left-facing interests of California voters
  • Congress will be driven by the Democratic majority
  • Former San Francisco Mayor and Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom wins the day
  • Senate Republicans have lost two state Senate seats and another remains close where former Assemblyman Tom Umberg narrowly leads incumbent Republican Senator Janet Nguyen
  • Assembly democrats now have 60 out of 80 seats
  • Californians overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 6, an effort to overturn the gas tax approved by the Legislature and Governor and supported by labor and the business community to pay for infrastructure repairs across the state

 

All in all, California – as expected – doubled down overall on its Democratic-leaning roots by electing a Governor from San Francisco with an ambitious agenda that is generally supportive of Governor Brown’s agenda and efforts to date, but goes beyond in a number of significant areas. More specifically, Governor-Elect Newsom has touted priorities that include addressing homelessness, healthcare for all, early education and poverty.  Each of the priorities comes with a significant price tag to make progress that will be in large part dictated by the economy and ensuring continued growth over recession.  In contrast to when Governor Brown took office under a time of severe budget deficits, Newsom is slated to inherit a fairly solid fiscal situation in the state with revenues coming in well over projections.  Such dynamics will inevitably lead to the desire by the Legislature, dominated by Democrats now with a supermajority in both houses, to spend big on new and expanded programs that conceptually align with that of the incoming governor. That said, Newsom has argued he will retain the fiscal restraint demonstrated by Brown…even though his priorities are seemingly at odds with that approach.  Time will tell….

 

Statewide Ballot Measures

 

Prop 1: Bonds to Fund Housing Assistance Programs. 

PASS (54.1% to 45.9%)

Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill, and transit-oriented housing.

 

Prop 2: Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness.

PASS (61.2% to 38.8%)

Amends Mental Health Services Act to fund No Place Like Home Program, which finances housing for individuals with mental illness.

 

Prop 3: Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage.

FAIL (47.6% to 52.4%)

Authorizes $8.877 billion in state general obligation bonds for various water infrastructure projects.

 

Prop 4: Bonds to Fund Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care

PASS (60.6% to 39.4%)

Authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds, to be repaid from state’s General Fund, to fund grants for construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of qualifying children’s hospitals.

 

Prop 5: Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property.                

FAIL (41.8% to 58.2%)

Removes certain transfer requirements for homeowners over 55, severely disabled homeowners, and contaminated or disaster-destroyed property.

 

Prop 6: Eliminates Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by The Electorate.                       

FAIL (44.7% to 55.3%)

Repeals a 2017 transportation law’s taxes and fees designated for road repairs and public transportation.

 

Prop 7: Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period.    

PASS (59.9% to 40.1%)

Gives Legislature ability to change daylight saving time period by two-thirds vote, if changes are consistent with federal law.

 

Prop 8: Regulates Amounts Outpatient Kidney Dialysis Clinics Charge for Dialysis Treatment.                                                               

FAIL (38.4% to 61.6%)

Requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients or patients' payers for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements.

 

Prop 9: On July 18, 2018, Proposition 9 was removed from the ballot by order of the California Supreme Court.

 

Prop 10: Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property.                                                                       

FAIL (38.3% to 61.7%)

Repeals state law that currently restricts the scope of rent control policies that cities and other local jurisdictions may impose on residential property.

 

Prop 11: Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Work Breaks.                                                         

PASS (60.5% to 39.5%)

Law entitling hourly employees to breaks without being on-call would not apply to private-sector ambulance employees.

 

Prop 12: Establishes New Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals; Bans Sale of Noncomplying Products.                        

PASS (61.0% to 39.0%)

Establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals.  Prohibits sales of meat and egg products from animals confined in noncomplying manner.

 

Governor

 

(Brown, D) – Gavin Newsom (D) vs. John Cox (R)

            **Newsom defeated Cox by a margin of 61.7% to 38.3%

 

Lieutenant Governor

 

(Newsom, D) – Ed Hernandez (D) vs. Eleni Kounalakis (D)

            ** Kounalakis defeated Hernandez by a margin of 56.6% to 43.4%

 

Secretary of State

 

(Padilla, D) – Alex Padilla (D) vs. Mark P. Meuser (R)

 ** Padilla defeated Meuser by a margin of 64.2% to 35.8%

 

Controller

 

(Yee, D) – Betty Yee (D) vs. Konstantinos Roditis (R)

             ** Yee defeated Roditis by a margin of 65.2% to 34.8%

 

Treasurer

 

(Chiang, D) – Fiona Ma (D) vs. Greg Conlon (R)

            ** Ma defeated Conlon by a margin of 63.9% to 36.1%

 

Attorney General

 

(Becerra, D) – Xavier Becerra (D) vs. Steven Bailey (R)  

            ** Becerra defeated Bailey by a margin of 63.3% to 36.7%

 

Insurance Commissioner

 

(Jones, D) – Ricardo Lara (D) vs. Steve Poizner (NPP)

** Lara defeated Poizner by a margin of 52.4% to 47.6%

 

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

(Torlakson, D) – Marshall Tuck vs. Tony Thurmond

** Thurmond defeated Tuck by a margin of 50.9% to 49.1%   

 

Board of Equalization Member District 1

 

(Runner, R) – Ted Gaines (R) vs. Tom Hallinan (D)

            ** Gaines defeated Hallinan by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%

 

Board of Equalization Member District 2

 

(Ma, D) – Malia Cohen (D) vs. Mark Burns (R)

            ** Cohen defeated Burns by a margin of 72.7% to 27.3%

 

Board of Equalization Member District 3

 

(Horton, D) – Tony Vazquez (D) vs. G. Rick Marshall (R)

** Vazquez defeated Marshall by a margin of 69.6% to 30.4%

 

Board of Equalization Member District 4

 

(Harkey, R) – Mike Schaefer (D) vs. Joel Anderson (R)

** Schaefer defeated Anderson by a margin of 51.5% to 48.5%

 

US Senate

 

(Feinstein, D) – Dianne Feinstein (D) vs. Kevin de León (D)

            ** Feinstein defeated De Leon by a margin of 54.4% to 45.6%

 

Congressional Races

 

CD 4 (McClintock, R) – Tom McClintock (R) vs. Jessica Morse (D)

** McClintock defeated Morse by a margin of 54.3% to 45.7%

 

CD 8 (Cook, R) – Paul Cook (R) vs. Tom Donnelly (R)

** Cook defeated Donnelly by a margin of 60.2% to 39.8%

 

CD 10 (Denham, R) – Jeff Denham (R) vs. Josh Harder (D)

** Harder defeated Denham by a margin of 51.6% to 48.4%.  **Incumbent Upset, Seat/Party Change**

 

CD 21 (Valadao, R) – David G. Valadao (R) vs. TJ Cox (D)

** Valadao leading Cox by a margin of 50.5% to 49.5% and 447 votes.  **Close Race**

 

CD 22 (Nunes, R) – Devin Nunes (R) vs. Andrew Janz (D)

** Nunes defeated Janz by a margin of 53.5% to 46.5%

 

CD 24 (Carbajal, D) – Salud Carbajal (D) vs. Justin Fareed (R)

** Carbajal defeated Fareed by a margin of 58.0% to 42.0%

 

CD 25 (Knight, R) – Steve Knight (R) vs. Katie Hill (D)

** Hill defeated Knight by a margin of 53.9% to 46.1%.     **Incumbent Upset, Seat/Party Change**

 

CD 39 (Royce, R) – Young Kim (R) vs. Gil Cisneros (D)

** Cisneros defeats Kim by a margin of 51.4% to 48.6%.  **Seat/Party Change**

 

CD 45 (Walters, R) – Mimi Walters (R) vs. Katie Porter (D)

** Porter defeated Walters by a margin of 51.8% to 48.3%.  **Incumbent Upset, Seat/Party Change**

 

CD 48 (Rohrabacher, R) – Dana Rohrabacher (R) vs. Harley Rouda (D)

** Rouda defeated Rohrabacher by a margin of 53.4% to 46.6%. **Incumbent Upset, Seat/Party Change**

 

CD 49 (Issa, R) – Diane L. Harkey (R) vs. Mike Levin (D)

** Levin defeated Harkey by a margin of 56.1% to 43.9%.  **Seat/Party Change**

 

CD 50 (Hunter, R) – Duncan Hunter (R) vs. Ammar Campa-Najjar (D)

** Hunter defeated Campa-Najjar by a margin of 51.8% to 48.2%. 

 

Senate Races

 

SD 08 (Berryhill, R) – Paulina Miranda (D) vs. Andreas Borgeas (R)

** Borgeas defeated Miranda by a margin of 60.1% to 39.9%

 

SD 12 (Cannella, R) – Anna Caballero (D) vs. Rob Poythress (R)

**Caballero defeated Poythress by a margin of 53.8% to 46.2%.  **Seat/Party Change**

 

SD 14 (Vidak, R) – Andy Vidak (R) vs. Melissa Hurtado (D)

** Hurtado defeated Vidak by a margin of 55.1% to 44.9%.  **Incumbent upset, Seat/Party Change**

 

SD 16 (Fuller, R) – Ruth Musser-Lopez (D) vs. Shannon Grove (R)

** Grove defeated Musser-Lopez by a margin of 64.7% to 35.3%

 

SD 22 (Hernandez, D) – Mike Eng (D) vs. Susan Rubio (D)

** Rubio defeated Eng by a margin of 52.0% to 48.0%.

 

SD 24 (de León, D) – Peter Choi (D) vs. Maria Elena Durazo (D)

** Durazo defeated Choi by a margin of 66.8% to 33.2%

 

SD 32 (Delgado, D) – Bob Archuleta (D) vs. Rita Topalian (R)

** Archuleta defeated Topalian by a margin of 66.6% to 33.4%

 

SD 34 (Nguyen, R) – Janet Nguyen (R) vs. Tom Umberg (D)

**Umberg leading Nguyen by a margin of 50.4% to 49.6% and 1,958 votes. **Close Race, Possible Incumbent upset, Seat/Party Change**

  

SD 36 (Bates, R) – Pat Bates (R) vs. Marggie Castellano (D)

** Bates defeated Castellano by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%.

 

SD 38 (Anderson, R) – Jeff Griffith (D) vs. Brian Jones (R)

** Jones defeated Griffith by a margin of 53.4% to 46.3%.

 

Assembly Races

 

AD 15 (Thurmond, D) – Jovanka Beckles (D) vs. Buffy Wicks (D)

** Wicks defeated Beckles by a margin of 54.0% to 46.0%

 

AD 16 (Baker, R) – Catharine Baker (R) vs. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D)

** Bauer-Kahan defeated Baker by a margin of 50.7% to 49.3%.  **Incumbent Upset & Seat/Party Change**

 

AD 26 (Mathis, R) – Devon Mathis (R) vs. Jose Sigala (D)

**Mathis defeated Sigala by a margin of 58.8% to 41.2%

 

AD 30 (Caballero, D) – Robert Rivas (D) vs. Neil Kitchens (R)

** Rivas defeated Kitchens by a margin of 68.0% to 32.4%

 

AD 32 (Salas, D) – Rudy Salas (D) vs. Justin Mendes

** Salas defeated Mendes by a margin of 55.9% to 44.1% and 7,712 votes.

 

AD 35 (Cunningham, R) – Jordan Cunningham (R) vs. William Ostrander (D)

** Cunningham defeated Ostrander by a margin of 56.3% to 43.7%

 

AD 36 (Lackey, R) – Tom Lackey (R) vs. Steve Fox (D)

** Lackey defeated Fox by a margin of 53.5% to 46.5%

 

AD 38 (Acosta, R) – Dante Acosta (R) vs. Christy Smith (D)

** Smith defeated Acosta by a margin of 51.2% to 48.8% and 4,418 votes.  **Incumbent Upset & Seat/Party Change**

 

AD 40 (Steinorth, R) – James Ramos (D) vs. Henry Gomez Nickel (R)

** Ramos defeated Nickel by a margin of 58.9% to 41.1%      **Seat/Party Change**

 

AD 42 (Mayes, R) – Chad Mayes (R) vs. Deniantionette Mazingo (D)

** Mayes defeated Mazingo by a margin of 56.1% to 43.9%

 

AD 55 (Chen, R) – Philip Chen (R) vs. Gregg D. Fritchle (D)

** Chen defeated Fritchle by a margin of 55.2% to 44.8%

 

AD 58 (Garcia, D) – Cristina Garcia (D) vs. Mike Simpfenderfer (R)

** Garcia defeated Simpfenderfer by a margin of 70.1% to 29.9%

 

AD 60 (Cervantes, D) – Sabrina Cervantes (D) vs. Bill Essayli (R)

** Cervantes defeated Essayli by a margin of 52.0% to 48.0%.

 

AD 65 (Quirk-Silva, D) – Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) vs. Alexandria Coronado (R)

**Quirk-Silva defeated Coronado by a margin of 56.8% to 43.2%

 

AD 66 (Muratsuchi, D) – Al Muratsuchi (D) vs. Frank Scotto (R)

** Muratsuchi defeated Scotto by a margin of 60.2% to 39.8%

 

AD 72 (Allen, R) – Josh Lowenthal (D) vs. Tyler Diep (R)

** Diep defeated Lowenthal by a margin of 51.7% to 48.3%

 

AD 74 (Harper, R) – Matthew Harper (R) vs. Cottie Petrie- Norris (D)

** Petrie-Norris defeated Harper by a margin of 52.5% to 47.5% and 9,544 votes.  **Incumbent Upset & Seat/Party Change**

 

AD 76 (Chavez, R) – Tasha Boerner Horvath (D) vs. Elizabeth Warren (D)

** Horvath defeated Warren by a margin of 55.3% to 44.7% and 14,324 votes – ** Seat/Party Change**

 

AD 77 (Maienschein, R) – Brian Maienschein (R) vs. Sunday Gover (D)

** Maienschein leading Gover by a margin of 50.7% to 49.3% and 2,563 votes.  **Close Race**

 

**This list of races is not exhaustive, but a review of some of the more competitive races.  For a full list of all race results, please see http://vote.sos.ca.gov/.

 

 

 

 

Important Dates & Deadlines

 
Nov. 6th                 General Election
Dec. 3rd                 2019-20 Regular Session Convenes 
Jan. 1st                 2018 Statutes Take Effect Unless Otherwise Provided 

 

2018 Legislative Session Officially Comes to a Close

 
As of September 30th, the 2017-18 legislative session officially came to an end with the Governor taking final action on the bills sent to him by the Legislature before they adjourned on August 31st.  The issues debated this year were diverse and, at times, controversial ranging from wildfire liability to privacy to sexual harassment and more.  Impacting much of the debate and shaping policy proposals were actions taken at the federal level by the Trump Administration and also by the #MeToo movement.  
 
In the final weeks of the legislative session, hundreds of bills were heard and ultimately, many received enough support to pass.  Further, this session was Governor Brown’s final round as he moves towards the end of his fourth and final term as governor.  In terms of a historical perspective, since 2011 Governor Brown vetoed 10.7% to 15% of the bills he was presented.  This year’s totals were at 1,016 bills signed and 201 vetoed, with his highest veto rate ever at 16.5%.  Shortly after his office released the final update, Brown tweeted, “16 years — and nearly 20,000 bills — later, the desk is clear. #Eureka.”   Throughout his four terms in office, Brown signed more measures into law than any other California governor.  
 
 
Legislation Aiming to Increase Law Enforcement Transparency Signed 
 
In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown, during his first term, signed the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights.  Since then, statute and case law provided enhanced privacy protections for peace officer personnel records.  However this year, amid public uproar over the death of Stephon Clark and other well-publicized incidents involving law enforcement, there was significant discussion within the Legislature about increasing police accountability.  
 
Ultimately, the Governor signed two measures, SB 1421 by Senator Nancy Skinner and AB 748 by Assembly member Phil Ting, related to the public release of law enforcement records.  SB 1421 requires that law enforcement agencies provide public access to records related to officer shootings and misconduct investigations.  AB 748 requires that departments release body-worn camera and other video and audio recordings of officer shootings and serious uses of force within 45 days unless doing so would interfere with an ongoing investigation.  Both bills were opposed by law enforcement groups, who, among other concerns, expressed that transparency must be balanced with the privacy of those involved.  A third closely watched proposal, to change the legal standard for use of force, failed to pass in August.  However, commitments were made to work during the fall recess to have new legislation ready to introduce on this topic when lawmakers return in January.

 

Industry Seeks Referendum on New Bail Law

 
Following the passage of and signature on SB 10 (Hertzberg) related to bail reform, several bail bonds companies filed referendum paperwork in an attempt to overturn the measure otherwise known as the California Money Bail Reform Act.  Specifically, the law establishes a new system for determining a defendant’s custody status while they await trial based on an assessment of risk to public safety and probability of missing a court date rather than their ability to pay cash bail.  This measure is set to take effect in October of 2019 and would eliminate the monetary bail system in the state.
 
CVUC opposed the measure as constructed, arguing the criminal justice system should have a variety of tools available to ensure public safety.   That said, CVUC was not opposed to bail and pretrial system reforms.  As a matter of fact, CVUC noted serious concerns with the current system and its failures to adequately provide for victims’ rights provided under Proposition 9.  Nevertheless, CVUC was steadfast in its support for maintaining monetary bail as a means of accountability to their victim(s) and public, as a backstop to ensure offenders’ appearance at hearings, and as a deterrent to further victimization.  
 
Notwithstanding the concerns and deficiencies with the current system as they relate to victims, CVUC also voiced its overarching concern about the increasing interest in relying almost exclusively on pretrial release in our criminal justice system.  Of the utmost importance as part of any reform is it must ensure victim and overall public safety are the primary considerations and the defendant’s appearance at court proceedings. We are concerned that SB 10 and other proposals that were under consideration earlier this year failed to sufficiently ensure these critical priorities are addressed.  To argue that the new proposed framework is better for victims than the current system is and victims should therefore be less concerned fails to consider that both the current and proposed systems are flawed when it comes to victims – it shouldn’t be a matter of leveraging one over another.  They both need to be revised.  Victims are made such based on another’s actions against them – not of their own will.  This is lost in the current debate in favor of considerations for the offenders’ who victimized them in the first place.
 
That said, we must commend the author for hearing CVUC’s concerns regarding the prior versions of the bill and better accounting for victim rights under Proposition 9, Marsy’s Law, within the final statutory provisions of SB 10.  While not perfect, the final adopted language does provide for victim notification at each step in the process, as requested, and for the opportunity for the victim to be heard – whether in person or in writing. 
 
With regard to risk assessment under the bill, CVUC voiced and remains highly concerned it will not sufficiently assess the risk to the victim or public safety posed by an offender. There is currently no tool that we are aware of that sufficiently incorporates as factors things such as serious injuries inflicted, multiple victims, a victim’s impact statement, an offender’s use of a weapon, or an offender’s prior criminal history.  
 
All of this said, the bail industry is moving rapidly to collect the necessary 365,880 signatures for submission within 90 days of when the bill was signed (August 28th) to earn a place on the November 2020 ballot to repeal the law.  Ballot measure strategists have suggested the industry will need to spend around $3 million to qualify their measure.  However, many would agree that this anticipated figure is a small price to pay considering that the referendum would suspend the enactment of the law in question and create a delay giving bail companies more time to pursue legal action.  Plus, at the very least, a referendum would ensure that these companies could remain in business for another two years.  Stay tuned… 
 

 

Legislature Passes, Governor Signs Felony Murder Rule Legislation

 
On Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1437 (Skinner and Anderson) that will make felons charged with first-degree murder eligible for re-sentencing.  The bill limits prosecutor’s ability to use “felony murder rule,” which allows prosecutors to charge a defendant with first-degree murder for a homicide that occurred during a dangerous felony, even if the defendant is not the killer, or did not know a homicide took place.  Under the new law, the defendant can only be charged with felony murder if they directly assist with a homicide or if they were “major” participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life. 
 
While CVUC agreed that reform was worthwhile, we were concerned that this bill went too far.  One of the purposes of the felony murder rule is to discourage people from participating in committing felonies in which it is foreseeable that someone could get killed.  That deterrent effect is essentially annihilated with the enactment of SB 1437.  The bill draws no distinction in cases where the participation in a dangerous felony results in death and where it does not.  Further, the bill applies retroactively impacting convictions reached by jury and bench trials as well as negotiated plea bargains.  The resentencing provisions under the bill could result in participants in murders who should not qualify receiving relief.  The bill requires the district attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual falls into one of the categories that precludes resentencing.  For those plea-bargained cases, a full court record upon which such a case could be made will not exist and therefore provide virtually all individuals the opportunity for resentencing – regardless of their culpability and intent.  
 
From a victim perspective, CVUC is concerned this process will have significant consequences for crime victims.  More specifically, this bill may result in victims being called back to court so as to substantiate the case and in doing so force them to relive their victimization in an effort to ensure the culpable, premeditated individual is not provided this measure of relief where unwarranted or unintended.
 
CVUC is highly disappointed the Legislature passed and Governor signed this version rather than addressing the outstanding issues and need for certainty.  It is estimated that 400-800 felons would be eligible for re-sentencing. 
 

 

Restructuring Juvenile Sentencing 

 
Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that restructures how minors can be prosecuted.  SB 439 (Mitchell) will now make 12 years old the minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court unless the child is charged with murder or rape.  Children that are charged with less of a crime such as a curfew violation, truancy, vandalism, theft, and trespassing will instead be referred to alternative social services departments for help.  
 
SB 1391 (Lara) was also signed into law limiting prosecutors’ ability to try a 16-year-old or younger as an adult.  Currently, prosecutors have the ability to petition a transfer of a minor from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction if they are charged with a serious crime such as murder, arson, robbery, rape or kidnapping.  Under new rules, a juvenile that is charged even of a serious crime will remain in juvenile facilities to serve their sentence instead of adult prisons. 
 
CVUC opposed SB 1391 as Proposition 57 specifically addressed this issue, providing discretion to the courts to decide whether a juvenile was fit to be tried as an adult or whether he/she was more appropriately prosecuted in juvenile court.  The irony is that under that initiative, proponents argued the court should have discretion to make the best determination and yet less than two years later they are back to eliminate the discretion.  CVUC strongly believes that prosecutors should have, under certain circumstances, the ability to charge a juvenile as an adult, especially in a case where it can be proven that, irrespective of his or her age, the person knew and understood the nature and consequences of his or her actions.  This is an appropriate part of the decision making process as to the propriety of an adult prosecution, particularly in heinous crimes such as murder, kidnapping, or rape.
 
Instead, SB 1391 would completely eliminate this fair judicial process for minors 14 or 15 who commit these serious 707(b) offenses, such as murder, based on statistics that the brains of 14 and 15 year olds are not as developed as an adult brain.  Such minors could not be tried as adults even if it could be proven that a 14 or 15 year old minor was a psychopath who deliberately, intentionally and with premeditation killed numerous people, was intending to kill many more people and was not capable of being rehabilitated.   Further, under this bill, dangerous minors who would otherwise have been transferred to the adult court based on the above criteria, will now have to be kept within the juvenile court system.  Since the juvenile court system was designed for minors who could be rehabilitated in a relatively short period of time, it doesn’t have many public safety protection options.  Consequently, even if such minors are housed in some juvenile facility, it is generally not for a long period of time.  Plus, their presence in these facilities will inevitably cause other minors and adults within these facilities to be at risk of harm from them. In any event, the juvenile court system only has jurisdiction over such minors up until age 25.  At that age, these minors must be released even if it would be dangerous to release them. 
 
Finally, as appropriately identified by a few pro-public safety Democrats in the Assembly, most gangs recruit their younger members to commit serious crimes on behalf of the gang as they know that the criminal consequences for juveniles are potentially much less than those for adults unless the minor is deemed unfit for juvenile court and transferred to adult court.   With the enactment of this bill, it will be a “green light” for gangs to use their 14 and 15 year old members to do more serious crimes, knowing that it will be impossible for them to be tried as adults or to be incarcerated for a long time.  
 
SB 1391 is yet another example of California turning its back on public and victim safety.  Balance in public policy is important, but more and more California’s criminal justice policy is not only imbalanced but becoming increasingly dangerous for all of its citizens.
 

 

In Top Contests, Democratic Candidates Have Outraised Republican Opponents 

 
Democrats not only enjoy a significant advantage over Republicans when it comes to voter registration, but they also have better fundraising numbers.  With about a month until the November 6th general election, the latest campaign finance reports show that Democrats running statewide have raised more than their GOP challengers.  
 
In the race for governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom leads both financially and in the polls.  As of September 22nd, the Newsom campaign had $16.2 million cash on hand compared with the $1.7 million Cox had in the bank.  Despite the large war chest, some have cautioned Newsom to avoid being overly confident.  While candidates need financial backing to help increase their visibility and promote their message, having the most money does not always result in a winning bid for office.  
 
The monetary advantage Democrats have extends beyond the Governor’s race, however.  Financial reports show that the four other Republican candidates on the ballot are also not in the best financial shape.  Here is a closer look at how much money has been raised in each contest:  
 
Secretary of State – Alex Padilla (D) $496,640, Mark Meuser (R) $11,562
Controller – Betty Yee (D) $1.4 Million, Konstantinos Roditis (R) $93,633
State Treasure – Fiona Ma (D) $1.2 Million, Greg Conlon (R) $13,002
Attorney General – Xavier Becerra (D) $1.5 Million, Steven Bailey (R) $15,138  
 
For more information, please see http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Campaign/Candidates/

 

PPIC Survey Shows Smaller Margins for Frontrunners Newsom and Feinstein 

 
In the governor’s race, Democrat Gavin Newsom maintains a double-digit lead over Republican John Cox.  However, it should be noted that in the latest poll the 24 point lead Newsom had in July has narrowed to 12 points.  Specifically, the survey found that 51 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Newsom, while 39 percent would vote for Cox and 7 percent are undecided.
 
Similarly, US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s lead over state Senator Kevin de León has slipped.  The recently released PPIC poll shows Feinstein, who is seeking her fifth full term, ahead by only 11 points.  In July, she led by 22 points.  The specific findings suggest that, among all likely voters, 40 percent now support Feinstein, while de León trails with 29 percent.  Based on these recent figures, the US Senate race could be closer than the initial polling suggested…stay tuned…  
 

 

Audit Concludes Some Correctional Facilities Could Better Protect Officers

 
The California State Auditor’s office recently issued a report detailing their review of the health and safety of correctional staff who were subject to a gassing attack at one of three correctional facilities—the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s California Institute for Men, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Men’s Central Jail, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s Santa Rita Jail.  This report concluded that each of the three correctional facilities should improve their processes to ensure that they provide all available aftercare to victims of gassing attacks, investigate such attacks more quickly and thoroughly, and better prevent and respond to gassing attacks.  
 
Additionally, the report found that none of the facilities adequately informed victims immediately following the gassing attacks of aftercare services, such as medical and counseling services.  Further, these facilities did not consistently document that they advised victims of their right to request that the inmate who committed the gassing attack be tested for a communicable disease.   Finally, the three correctional facilities did not provide officers sufficient training about how to respond to gassing attacks.
 
For more information, please see http://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2018-106.pdf.

 

Supreme Court Rules to Keep DNA Samples

 
In late August, the California Supreme Court ruled that juveniles who were reclassified under Proposition 47 are not entitled to have their DNA removed from the state database.  The issue was brought into question in two cases that involved juveniles that were convicted of a felony for theft charges in 2011.  
 
In 2014, under Proposition 47, which reduced many drug and theft-related crime from felonies to misdemeanors, juveniles were able to have such crimes reclassified as misdemeanors.  The court, however, refused to remove their DNA samples from the database.  Proposition 69 allowed for samples to be taken from juveniles as the 2009 measure required the collection of DNA samples from convicted felons and those arrested on a felony charge. Samples were to be discarded only if the defendant was proven innocent or if the charges were dropped.  Justice Carol Corrigan explained that removing the juveniles DNA sample did not advance Proposition 47’s goals of reducing the prison population and they therefore could be retained. 
 
Overall, the impact Proposition 47 has had on crime rates in the state has been a heated debate – one that CVUC has argued is prompting a significant and dangerous rise in crime and victims.  In this regard, CVUC and other stakeholders, including Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Sacramento) are working on an initiative on the 2020 ballot that would repeal portions of Proposition 47 by reclassifying some theft crimes back to felonies, and expand DNA sampling requirements. 
 

Legislation

 
AB 931 (Weber): Criminal Procedure: Use of Force by Peace Officers        DEAD
Current law authorizes a peace officer to make an arrest pursuant to a warrant or based upon probable cause, as specified. This bill would, notwithstanding that provision, require peace officers to attempt to control an incident by using time, distance, communications, and available resources in an effort to deescalate a situation whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so.
Status:  Senate Rules Committee
Position:  Oppose
 
AB 1735 (Cunningham): Protective orders: human trafficking.    SIGNED
Current law requires a court to consider issuing a protective order restraining the defendant from contact with the victim for up to 10 years in all cases in which a criminal defendant has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, or any crime requiring registration as a sex offender, including, but not limited to, pimping or pandering a minor, and human trafficking to effect or maintain a violation of specified sex offenses. This bill would additionally require the court to consider issuing a protective order, as provided above, in all cases in which a criminal defendant has been convicted of human trafficking with the intent to obtain forced labor or services, and pimping or pandering without regard to whether the victim is a minor.
Position: Support
 
AB 1746 (Cervantes): Criminal procedure: jurisdiction of public offenses.    SIGNED
Current law provides that if more than one violation of certain specified offenses occurs in more than one jurisdictional territory, and the defendant and the victim are the same for all of the offenses, jurisdiction for any of those offenses and any other properly joinable offenses may be in any jurisdiction where at least one of the offenses occurred. This bill would add the offenses of sexual battery and unlawful sexual intercourse to the list of specified offenses to which that jurisdictional preference applies. This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 784.7 of the Penal Code proposed by SB 1494 to be operative as specified.
Position: Support
 
AB 2013 (Cunningham): Crimes: public records: disclosure of information                 DEAD
Would require, subject to exceptions, disclosure of specified information regarding persons involved in criminal investigations, including the full name of a victim, unless a law enforcement agency determines that disclosure of a particular item of information would endanger the completion of the investigation or a related investigation, or would endanger the safety of a person involved in an investigation, including a victim or witness, pursuant to the California Public Records Act. The bill would authorize a law enforcement agency, when determining if disclosure of a particular item of information would endanger a person involved in the investigation, to consider a request by the person that a particular item of information be withheld from disclosure if the person presents evidence that disclosure would endanger the person’s safety.
Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 
Position: Support
 
AB 2124 (Rubio): Human trafficking: vertical prosecution program.       DEAD
Current law establishes the Office of Emergency Services, which is required to, among other things, allocate and award funds to communities developing and providing ongoing citizen involvement and crime resistance programs. This bill would require the office, to the extent funds are available for this purpose and until January 1, 2023, to allocate and award funds to up to 11 district attorney offices that employ a vertical prosecution methodology for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes and that meet other specified criteria, including minimum staffing levels for the program.
Status: Held on Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File 
Position: Support
 
AB 2201 (Mayes): Court fees: name changes: exemption.    SIGNED
When a proceeding for a change of name is commenced by the filing of a petition, current law requires the court to issue an order reciting the filing of the petition, the name of the person by whom it is filed, and the name proposed. Current law provides that if a petition for a change of name establishes that the petitioner is an active participant in an address confidentiality program, as specified, and the petition alleges the reason for the change of name is to avoid domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, the action for a change of name is exempt from this publication requirement. This bill would add avoiding human trafficking as a reason to exempt an action for a change of name from the publication requirement. The bill would prohibit a court from charging a minor a court fee for a proceeding for a change of name if the action is exempt from the publication requirement.
Position: Support
 
AB 2290 (Gallagher): Restraining orders: minor witness: visitation        DEAD
Would require the court to consider issuing an order restraining a criminal defendant who has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence from any contact with a minor who is a witness, as defined. The bill would allow the order to include an order authorizing a family or juvenile court to make a subsequent order for safe and appropriate visitation with the defendant’s minor child who is a witness, as provided, and would require this order to have precedence in enforcement over a civil court order against the defendant, except as provided. Because a violation of the protective order would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File
Position: Support
 
AB 2768 (Melendez): Threats: Schools & Places of Religious Worship.        DEAD
Would make it a crime to willfully threaten to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily injury to persons at any school or place of religious worship, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes the administrators of that school or place of religious worship reasonably to be in sustained fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate membership.
Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File
Position: Support
 
AB 2823 (Nazarian): Violent Felonies       DEAD
Current law generally imposes an additional one-year term for a felony and a 3-year term for a violent felony for each prior separate prison term served for a felony or a violent felony, respectively. The Legislature may amend these initiative statutes by a statute passed in each house by a 2/3 vote. This bill would additionally define human sex trafficking as a violent felony. By changing the sentence of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Status: Held on the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File
Position: Support
 
AB 3118 (Chiu): Sexual assault: investigations.    SIGNED
This bill would require all law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, crime laboratories, and any other facilities that receive, maintain, store, or preserve sexual assault evidence kits to conduct an audit of all untested sexual assault evidence kits in their possession and report certain data to the Department of Justice by no later than July 1, 2019.
Position: Support
 
AB 3129 (Rubio): Firearms: Prohibited Persons.    SIGNED
Current law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm. A violation of that prohibition is a felony. Current law also prohibits a person who has been convicted of a specified misdemeanor from possessing a firearm for a period of 10 years. A violation of that prohibition may be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This bill would prohibit a person who is convicted on or after January 1, 2019, of a misdemeanor violation of willful infliction of corporal injury upon a spouse, cohabitant, or other specified person, from ever possessing a firearm. The bill would make the violation of that prohibition punishable as either a misdemeanor or as a felony.
Position: Support
 
SB 10 (Hertzberg): Bail: Pretrial Release    SIGNED
Creates a risk-based non-monetary pre-arraignment and pretrial release system for people arrested for criminal offenses, including preventative detention procedures for persons determined to be too high a risk to assure public safety, if released.  Assembly amendments made a host of changes from prior versions of the bill, including requiring booking and release for most people charged with misdemeanors within 12 hours; requiring release by a pretrial pre-arraignment release for some medium risk defendants, high risk defendants may be released at arraignment if conditions are found safe for release; preventative detention of high risk defendants is permitted if no conditions of supervision can reasonably assure public safety and return to court; providing a person cannot be charged for conditions of release; requiring courts to establish a pretrial assessment service and adopt local rules of court; requiring courts to provide Judicial Council data related to the implementation of the law; and more.
Position: Oppose
 
SB 757 (Glazer): Prostitution: sex offender registration and DNA collection.       DEAD
Would add the offense of soliciting, or agreeing to engage in, or engaging in, an act of prostitution with a minor in exchange for providing money or compensation to the minor, except as specified, to the list of offenses requiring registration as a tier one offender on the sex offender registry commencing January 1, 2021. By imposing additional duties on local authorities, and by expanding the scope of persons who would be committing a crime by failing to register as a sex offender, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
Status: Held in the Assembly Public Safety Committee 
Position: Support
 
SB 1146 (Stone): Prisoners Rights             DEAD
Current law authorizes a court to issue a restraining order or protective order enjoining the restrained party from contacting the protected party, as specified. Under current law, violation of the terms of a restraining order is punishable as a misdemeanor and subsequent violations are punishable as a misdemeanor or felony. This bill would authorize prison authorities to open and inspect outgoing mail for purposes of enforcing a restraining order or protective order against an inmate, but would prohibit prison authorities from opening or inspecting outgoing confidential correspondence between a prisoner and his or her attorney.
Status: Held in the Assembly Public Safety Committee
Position: Support
 
SB 1242 (Newman): Parole       DEAD
Would establish additional requirements for parole hearings for an inmate with a life sentence that are required to be met before parole is granted. The bill would require the inmate to have, among other things, remorse and insight into the nature of the crime the inmate committed, that the inmate has been free from disciplinary actions for a reasonable period of time prior to the hearing, and that the inmate has developed realistic post release plans, as specified.
Status: Held in the Assembly Public Safety Committee
Position: Support
 
SB 1279 (Bradford): Sentencing: Double the Base Term.        DEAD
Existing law requires a person convicted of 2 or more felonies to be sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment for all convictions at a sum of the principal term, the subordinate term, and any additional term imposed for applicable enhancements, prior convictions, and prior prison terms. This bill would, with exceptions, as specified, limit the maximum term of imprisonment to twice the number of years imposed by the trial court as the base term.
Status: Assembly Second Reading File – Assembly Floor
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1391 (Lara): Juveniles: Fitness for Juvenile Court    SIGNED
Would repeal the authority of a district attorney to make a motion to transfer a minor from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction in a case in which a minor is alleged to have committed a specified serious offense when he or she was 14 or 15 years of age, unless the individual was not apprehended prior to the end of juvenile court jurisdiction, thereby amending Proposition 57. By increasing the number of minors retained under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1392 (Mitchell): Sentencing       DEAD
Current law imposes an additional 3-year sentence for each prior separate prison term served by a defendant where the prior and current offense was a violent felony, as defined. If that provision does not apply, current law instead imposes a one-year term for each prior separate prison term or county jail felony term under the law, except under specified circumstances.This bill would delete the provision that requires an additional one-year term. The bill would make additional technical, nonsubstantive changes.
Status: Held on the Senate Floor 
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1393 (Mitchell): Sentencing    SIGNED
Current law requires the court, when imposing a sentence for a serious felony, in addition and consecutive to the term imposed for that serious felony, to impose a 5-year enhancement for each prior conviction of a serious felony. Existing law generally authorizes a judge, in the interests of justice, to order an action dismissed, but precludes a judge from striking any prior serious felony conviction in connection with imposition of the 5-year enhancement. This bill would delete the restriction prohibiting a judge from striking a prior serious felony conviction in connection with imposition of the 5-year enhancement described above and would make conforming changes.
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1437 (Skinner): Accomplice liability for felony murder.    SIGNED
Current law defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought. Current law defines malice for this purpose as either express or implied and defines those terms. This bill would prohibit malice from being imputed to a person based solely on his or her participation in a crime. The bill would prohibit a participant in the commission or attempted commission of a felony inherently dangerous to human life to be imputed to have acted with implied malice, unless he or she personally committed the homicidal act.
Position: Oppose
 
***NOTE: These measures are just a few of the measures CVUC was tracking and taking action on in 2018.  For the full list of bills, please see www.gov.ca.gov/legislation

 

 

Important Dates & Deadlines

 

Feb. 22nd Last day for bills to be introduced

March 29th Cesar Chavez Day (Legislature Observed)

April 11th Spring Recess begins upon adjournment

April 22nd Legislature reconvenes from Spring Recess

April 26th Last day for Policy Committees to hear and report to fiscal

committees fiscal bills introduced in their house

 

Amid Negotiations, Two Police Use-Of-Force Measures Introduced 

 

According to the latest reports, law enforcement and civil liberties groups are introducing separate police use-of-force bills.  As you may recall, last year Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Shirley Weber tabled AB 931, a proposal which would have revised use-of-force standards by peace officers.  At the time, commitments were made to bring the stakeholders together in an effort to negotiate a proposal.  These conversations now appear to be on hold, but not completely dead.  Even with both sides presenting their own legislation, Brian Marvel, the president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) has suggested that there are ample opportunities for potential compromise.

 

Assemblymembers Weber, Kevin McCarty and Chris Holden, along with Senator Holly Mitchell, released their proposal, AB 392.  The bill will have the support of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.  The law enforcement coalition is throwing its support behind a bill by Senator Anna Caballero.  Details about the proposals are forthcoming.  Stay tuned…

 

Proposed Ballot Measure Would Allow Felony Parolees to Vote

 

Convicted felons on parole could soon be granted the right to vote under a new proposal unveiled in the last few weeks.  Assemblymember Kevin McCarty’s ACA 6, dubbed the Free the Vote Act, aims to do just that.  ACA 6 is sponsored by the Secretary of State Alex Padilla and jointly authored by McCarty and Assemblymembers Shirley Weber, Rob Bonta, Lorena Gonzalez, Ash Kalra, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove.  Existing law suspends a person’s right to vote when they are incarcerated or on parole for a felony conviction.  Currently, nearly 50,000 people are on parole throughout the state.

 

The proposal has already garnered an endorsement from Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who visited the State Capitol recently advocating for criminal justice reforms.  However, ACA 6 will need to be approved by a 2/3rd vote in the Legislature before it can make its way to the voters in 2020.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://a07.asmdc.org/press-releases/20190128-assemblymembers-mccarty-kamlager-dove-kalra-bonta-and-california-secretary.

 

Newsom Calls for Reorganization of the Division of Juvenile Justice

 

In addition to the announcement in his January Budget proposal, Governor Gavin Newsom also recently toured the O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton to promote his interest in to “ending the juvenile justice system as we know it.”  More specifically, he is seeking to move youth correctional facilities from the purview of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to a new department under the Health and Human Services Agency.  As a point of reference, in 2019-20, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is projected to have a population of 759 young offenders. 

 

Newsom’s plan, described in a single paragraph in his budget proposal, notes that the change will enable the state to better provide juvenile offenders with services needed to be successful upon release.  Further, the announcement comes amid a growing body of literature that is increasingly looking at incarceration through the lens of health care.  The Administration has yet to provide specifics or additional details on the reorganization other than to share the intent to reorganize DJJ under Health and Human Services by July 1st

 

Whether Newsom's overhaul works depends on the details.  As an example, Chuck Supple, director of DJJ, has said it would be crucial for Newsom to preserve a role for corrections officers in the juvenile system.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-juvenile-justice-plan-20190122-story.html.

 

Kamala Harris Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

 

California Senator Kamala Harris is running for president in 2020. The first-term Democratic senator made the announcement during an interview on ABC's Good Morning America on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  She is scheduled to hold a more formal campaign launch in Oakland on Sunday where she will give a speech outlining her candidacy.  Harris' campaign manager will be Juan Rodriguez, who was the manager of her 2016 Senate campaign and was also a senior adviser to Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign. It was reported that her campaign raised $1.5 million in its first 24 hours.

 

This year, California will join Texas, Virginia and at least a half-dozen other states holding primaries on March 3rd —on what is known as “Super Tuesday”—instead of in June.  Early voting will begin on Feb. 3rd.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://kamalaharris.org/.

 

Special Elections for 1st and 33rd Senate Districts Scheduled

 

Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued proclamations declaring special elections for the 1st and 33rd Senate Districts.  The primary elections will be March 26th and the general elections June 4th.  However, a runoff will not be needed if any candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in March.

 

The seats were vacated when Democrat Ricardo Lara was elected Insurance Commissioner and Republican Ted Gaines won a seat on the Board of Equalization.  In both districts, several candidates have already announced their intent to run.  In the 33rd Senate District, the list includes Long Beach councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Al Austin; Lynwood Councilman Jose Solache; South Gate Councilwoman Denise Diaz; Bell councilmembers Ali Saleh and Ana Maria Quintana; and Central Valley Water District member Leticia Vasquez-Wilson.  In the 1st Senate District, the list includes former Assemblymember Beth Gaines; Assemblymember Kevin Kiley; Assemblymember Brian Dahle, and Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://www.gov.ca.gov/2019/01/15/1st-and-33rd-senate-districts/.

 

Senator Shannon Grove Named Republican Leader-Elect

 

Senate Republicans recently selected Senator Shannon Grove of Bakersfield to succeed Senator Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel as the new Senate Republican Leader.  First elected to the Assembly in 2010, Grove will be the third woman to lead the Senate Republican Caucus.

 

In the Assembly, Republicans recently moved to make Assemblymember Marie Waldron their leader after former Minority Leader Brian Dahle stepped down to run for state Senate.  Also, it should be noted that the state Republican Party will elect their next chairman at the party’s February convention.  As the California GOP undergoes changes, they will be faced with the question of whether to move in a more moderate direction or embrace a conservative platform.  Stay tuned…

 

For more information, please see https://cssrc.us/content/senate-republicans-announce-leadership-transition-0.

 

Under Newsom Administration, California's Chief Justice Seeks Financial Certainty

 

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke with reporters in San Francisco for over an hour on a wide range of topics recently.  During this discussion, she noted a need for increased court funding.  Cantil-Sakauye mentioned already having met with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom on multiple occasions and further suggested she is hopeful that under his direction the court system will fare better than it has in recent years.  Referring to Governor Jerry Brown's first few budgets, Cantil-Sakauye said "in the Great Recession the branch was cut numerous times, over and over, oftentimes mid-year. We had no ability to plan. We had no ability to attempt to serve those who were already in our court system — not to mention those who were coming in at a time when foreclosures were high and unemployment was high."   The state Constitution requires Newsom to present a budget by January 10th, so we will need to wait until then to see if he restores funding to the courts.  Stay tuned…

 

Legislation Seeks to Better Protect Correctional Officers from Gassing Attacks

 

Last September, the California State Auditor’s office issued a report detailing their review of the health and safety of correctional staff that were subject to a type of assault in which an inmate throws bodily fluids at them commonly known as a gassing attack.  The report concluded that three correctional facilities — the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s California Institute for Men, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Men’s Central Jail, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s Santa Rita Jail — needed to do more to adequately protect against these types attacks, which can expose officers to communicable diseases and psychological trauma. 

 

In response, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriquez has introduced AB 294 which would codify the recommendations outlined in the audit.  Specifically, his legislation would provide more information to officers about their rights following an attack, increase the availability and accessibility of protective gear, and require facilities to replace soiled uniforms.  Further, the bill aims to augment training on how to prevent and mitigate the harm from gassing attacks and strengthen investigations when these incidents occur.  In speaking about his proposal, Rodriguez said, “No one should be put at unnecessary risk while on the job, sadly these employees have not been afforded that right.”