July 14th Policy Committee Deadline, Fiscal Bills
July 21st – August 20th Summer Recess
September 1st Policy Committee Deadline, Non-Fiscal Bills
September 5th – 15th End of Session, Floor Session Only
October 15th Governor’s Signature/Veto Deadline
California Legislature Approves On-Time Budget
In accordance with the constitutionally mandated June 15th budget deadline for the Legislature to approve the state budget, the Legislature worked feverishly last Thursday to meet the deadline passing a $183.2 billion package on a 28-10 vote in the Senate and 59-20 vote in the Assembly. The package is focused on increasing school funding, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the working poor, and more. In addition to the main budget bill, the Legislature approved a few of the “trailer bills” that provide greater detail and direction on the budget expenditures and at times even putting forth unrelated policy that is often controversial.
In terms of the criminal justice portions of the FY 17-18 budget, the approved plan includes, among other details, the following:
- Continues $5.5 million, ongoing, for restorative justice and offender responsibility programming targeted at long-term offenders.
- Provides $6.7 million General Fund to implement Proposition 57 for additional case records staff to review and make various changes to inmate classification files related to the new credit earning structure and parole process, parole workload due to additional releases from prison, and Board of Parole Hearings workload for the increased number of inmates considered for release.
- Reflects the accelerated implementation dates proposed in the emergency regulations of Proposition 57, which results in a revised estimated population impact of 2,675 inmates in 2017-18, growing to an inmate reduction of approximately 11,500 in 2020-21.
- Increases the number of Commissioners for the Board of Parole Hearings from 14 to 15 and revises the term of office for existing commissioners.
- Authorizes a person who is committed to a state hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity to petition the court to have the maximum term of commitment reduced to what it would have been had Proposition 36 or Proposition 47 been in effect at the time of the original determination. That said, it would require the petitioner to show that he or she would have been eligible to have his or her sentence reduced under the relevant proposition and to file the petition prior to January 1, 3031, or at a later date with a showing of good cause.
- Includes an increase of $4.4 million (for a total of $15.4 million) for county probation departments to supervise the temporary increase in the average daily population of offenders on Post Release Community Supervision as a result of the implementation of court-ordered measures and Proposition 57.
- Prohibits a person who has an outstanding warrant for a felony from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm, and would make a violation of this prohibition punishable as a felony. Also prohibits a person who has an outstanding warrant for certain misdemeanors from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm within 10 years of the issuance date of the outstanding warrant.
- Revises the structure of the State Penalty Fund to work within limits of current revenues and maintain funding for vital programs, including but not limited to:
o POST – $46.5 million
o BSCC – $17.2 million
o Victims’ Compensation – $9.1 million
o OES Victims’ Programs – $11.8 million
o Internet Crimes Against Children – $1 million
The Governor has until June 30th to sign the budget. More to come….
For more information, please see http://abgt.assembly.ca.gov/sites/abgt.assembly.ca.gov/files/Floor%20Rep....
Assemblyman Gomez Wins LA Congressional Seat
In a hard fought contest, Los Angeles’ 34th District Congressional race was won by state Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) who edged out his competitor, Robert Lee Ahn. Gomez will replace Xavier Becerra who was appointed by Governor Brown as Attorney General earlier this year. Ahn criticized Gomez for being backed by the Democratic Party, attempting to capitalize on the anti-establishment movement. Gomez refuted that argument, however, pointing out that he was endorsed by progressive groups and highlighting his voting record, which includes support for bills expanding family leave and single-payer healthcare. Ahn and Gomez seemed to be in a dead heat early, a sign that Ahn’s aggressive early vote program strategy may have paid off. Both campaigns targeted their cultural base, with Ahn focused on registering Korean American voters and Gomez concentrating on the Latino vote. In the end, Ahn called and conceded to Gomez, but not before promising his supporters that this is just the beginning and there is much to be hopeful for in the future.
Gomez will now head to Washington, DC, leaving an open seat in his 51st Assembly District. The Governor has yet to call a special election to replace Gomez.
Supreme Court Implications for California’s Death Penalty
As you’ll recall, Proposition 66 that sought to reform the death penalty process in California was approved last November by a 51% majority of voters. Despite its passage, it has yet to go into effect as a result of a legal challenge brought forth as soon as its passage was announced. Now, the case is before the California Supreme Court which has a momentous task before them that will ultimately determine the fate of the death penalty in the state.
If upheld, Proposition 66 could allow for executions to begin again in California – a state that has not seen a death row inmate executed since 2006. The court, which has traditionally upheld the will of the voters, must rule on the provisions of the measure, which include lifting a moratorium currently in place on capital punishment, speeding up of the process for future cases – mandating that the state’s high court to decide all death-penalty appeals within five years of sentencing – and expanding the pool of defense lawyers by requiring attorneys to take capital cases if they already accept court appointments to represent defendants in other criminal cases. Heard by the Court this week, a ruling is due within the next three months.
Among the objections raised, opponents argue the speeding up the process by forcing the courts to prioritize a certain type of cases at the expense of all other types of cases, which would happen if death penalty cases were arranged to comply with the five year deadline imposed by the law, is unconstitutional. The proponents of the measure, however, argue that the measure would actually relieve the state Supreme Court of some of its current death-penalty workload by transferring some hearings to trial courts. Both sides intently await a ruling on this high stakes issue…
Assembly Democrats Form Progressive Caucus
In an effort to bolster the party’s left flank in the California Legislature, nearly two dozen Assembly Democrats have signed on to form a Progressive Caucus. The ideology, according to the group, is that the members “value people more than money.” The caucus hopes to be a divergence from the informal group of centrist, business-aligned Democrats known as the Mod Caucus, that have been a pivotal bloc of votes on bills on taxes and environmental regulation. Identified among the group's top issues are mass incarceration, climate change, women's and civil rights, and immigration issues. The group hopes to prove its members’ dedication to progressive legislation and expunge the image of “establishment.” The group has not decided whether it will designate priority legislation or other trappings of traditional caucuses, but one thing is clear – members are planning to band together in one key way to boost their influence: fundraising as a group. Led by Chairman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (AD 59 – Los Angeles), the members of the caucus include:
Kevin McCarty (AD 7 - Sacramento)
Marc Levine (AD 10 – Marin County)
Tony Thurmond (AD 15 - Richmond)
David Chiu (AD 17 –San Francisco)
Rob Bonta (AD 18 – Alameda)
Phil Ting (AD 19 – San Francisco)
Bill Quirk (AD 20 - Hayward)
Marc Berman (AD 24 – Menlo Park)
Kansen Chu (AD 25 –San Jose)
Ash Kalra (AD 27 – San Jose)
Evan Low (AD 28 - Campbell)
Mark Stone (AD 29 – Scotts Valley)
Monique Limon (AD 37 – Santa Barbara)
Laura Friedman (AD 43 – Glendale)
Eloise Reyes (AD 47 – San Bernardino)
Richard Bloom (AD 50 – Santa Monica)
Jimmy Gomez (AD 51 – Los Angeles)
Miguel Santiago (AD 53 – Los Angeles)
Eduardo Garcia (AD 56 - Coachella)
Todd Gloria (AD 78 – San Diego)
Shirley Weber (AD 79 – San Diego)
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (AD 80 – San Diego)
Joseph Galvan, of West Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of the Office of Internal Affairs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he has been acting deputy director since 2016 and has served in several positions since 2005, including chief of field operations, special agent in charge, supervising special agent and special agent. He has been an adjunct professor at Los Rios Community College since 1998. Galvan served in several positions at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control from 1993 to 2005, including supervising investigator and investigator. He was a special agent at the California Department of Justice from 1999 to 2000. This position does not require Senate. Galvan is a Democrat.
Molly Hill, of San Dimas, has been appointed warden at California Institution for Women, where she has been acting warden since 2016 and served as chief deputy administrator in 2016. Hill served in several positions at California Institution for Men from 2005 to 2016, including associate warden, chief deputy administrator, correctional administrator, captain and lieutenant. She served in several positions at California State Prison, Los Angeles from 1992 to 2005, including lieutenant, sergeant and correctional officer. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Hill is a Republican.
William “Joe” Sullivan, of Tehachapi, has been appointed warden at California Correctional Institution, where he has been acting warden since 2017. Sullivan was retired annuitant chief deputy warden at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2011 to 2017, where he was associate director of general population from 2008 to 2010 and correctional administrator from 1994 to 1997. He served in several positions at California Correctional Institution from 1997 to 2008, including warden and chief deputy warden. Sullivan served as supervisor of correctional education programs at California State Prison, Los Angeles from 1993 to 1994 and at Preston School of Industry from 1992 to 1993. He was administrative assistant to the warden at California Correctional Institution from 1990 to 1992, where he was supervisor of vocational instruction from 1988 to 1990. Sullivan served as vocational instructor at California Rehabilitation Center from 1984 to 1988. He earned a Master of Arts degree in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Sullivan is a Democrat.
AB 42 (Bonta): Bail: pretrial release. Defeated, 2-Year Bill
Would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
Location: Assembly, Failed Passage, Two-year Bill
Notes: CVUC worked tirelessly with law enforcement representatives, bail agents and others to defeat this measure on the Assembly Floor. While CVUC indicated to the legislature it wasn’t opposed to discussing bail reform, AB 42 as currently drafted was not bail reform, but instead virtual elimination of bail as a tool available to the criminal justice system to ensure the appearance and accountability of perpetrators in the process. While this measure was defeated, its mirror – SB 10 (Hertzberg) – passed out of the Senate and is now pending hearing in the Assembly. CVUC is also opposed to SB 10 and is working to ensure major revisions to the bill. Absent major amendments that ensure bail remains an upfront option and that victims’ rights are protected, CVUC will remain oppose and work to defeat the measure in the Assembly.
AB 194 (Patterson): Victim restitution: probation: jurisdiction.
Current law requires a court to impose a separate and additional restitution fine in each case in which a person is convicted of a crime. Two state appellate court decisions have held that under state law a court acts in excess of its jurisdiction by ordering restitution or modifying a restitution order after the expiration of a defendant’s probation. This bill would expressly abrogate the holdings in those decisions by requiring the court, in cases in which probation has been granted, to retain jurisdiction over a defendant for purposes of imposing or modifying restitution for a period of 5 years following sentencing, or until the expiration of probation or mandatory supervision, whichever is later.
Location: Senate Public Safety, Failed Passage, Reconsideration Granted
Notes: Despite widespread, bipartisan support from the Assembly, AB 194 faced opposition from the ACLU and others in the Senate Public Safety Committee and failed to pass out of the Committee. That said, Assemblyman Patterson requested reconsideration, which was granted, and CVUC immediately went to work with the author’s office and the District Attorneys Association in an effort to amend the bill to focus on notification of victims prior to a motion to terminate probation being heard by the court. CVUC believes such notification could provide the opportunity for victims who may not have received sufficient restitution to cover the costs associated with the crime (i.e. healthcare or mental health counseling associated with the crime) to go back to court to request additional restitution before the ability to modify the restitution order ends with the termination of probation. CVUC would like to thank Advisory Board member Tony Sarabia for his assistance with the legal and technical aspects of the bill and work on the proposed amendments.
AB 264 (Low): Protective orders
Under current law, the court is required to consider, at the time of sentencing, issuing a protective order, which may be valid for up to 10 years, in a case in which a defendant has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence or of specified sex offenses, restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim. Under current law, contempt of a court order is a misdemeanor, as specified. This bill would require the court to consider issuing a protective order restraining the defendant from any contact with a percipient witness to a crime involving domestic violence, a violation of specified sex offenses, or a violation of laws relating to criminal gangs, if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the witness has been harassed, as specified.
Location: Senate Appropriations Committee
AB 789 (Rubio): Criminal procedure: release on own recognizance.
Existing law prohibits the release of any person on his or her own recognizance who is arrested for a new offense and who is currently on felony probation or felony parole or who has failed to appear in court as ordered, resulting in a warrant being issued, 3 or more times over the 3 years preceding the current arrest, and who is arrested for any felony offense or other specified crimes, until a hearing is held in open court before the magistrate or judge. This bill would allow a court to approve, without a hearing in open court, own recognizance releases under a court-operated or court-approved pretrial release program for arrestees with 3 or more prior failures to appear.
Position: Neutral as Amended
Location: Senate Appropriations Committee
Notes: CVUC thanks Assemblymember Rubio for listening to CVUC’s concerns regarding the lack of consideration for victims’ rights associated with the original version of the bill. Based on our work with her office, CVUC was able to secure amendments that not only narrowed the scope of the bill but also explicit reference Marsy’s Law and ensure that the provisions of the bill are in no way intended to infringe upon the rights afforded to victims under the Constitution.
AB 1448 (Weber): Elderly Parole Program.
Would establish the Elderly Parole Program, for the purpose of reviewing the parole suitability of inmates who are 60 years of age or older and who have served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration, as defined, on their sentence. When considering the release of an inmate who meets this criteria, the bill would require the board to consider whether age, time served, and diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the elderly inmate’s risk for future violence.
Location: Senate Public Safety Committee, pending hearing
SB 8 (Beall): Diversion: mental disorders.
Would authorize a court, with the consent of the defendant and a waiver of the defendant’s speedy trial right, to postpone prosecution of a misdemeanor or a felony punishable in a county jail, and place the defendant in a pretrial diversion program if the court is satisfied the defendant suffers from a mental disorder, that the defendant’s mental disorder played a significant role in the commission of the charged offense, and that the defendant would benefit from mental health treatment.
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Location: Assembly Public Safety, pending hearing
SB 10 (Hertzberg): Bail: pretrial release.
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, and to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
Location: Assembly, pending committee referral
SB 394 (Lara): Parole: youth offender parole hearings.
Would make a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for which a life sentence without the possibility of parole has been imposed eligible for release on parole by the board during his or her 25th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing. The bill would require the Board of Parole Hearings to complete, by July 1, 2020, all hearings for individuals who are or will be entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing by this bill before July 1, 2020.
Location: Assembly, pending committee referral
***NOTE: These measures are just a few of the measures CVUC is tracking. For the full list of bills, please see www.crimevictimsunited.com.