This January marks the second year of a two-year legislative session. This means that we will see many of our 2019 priority bills moving through committee and floor hearings once again. Last year, there were over 3,000 bills introduced in the state Assembly and state Senate. On average, each bill is amended three or four times, so that means PORAC leadership, along with Aaron Read & Associates, reviewed over 10,000 bills, looking for those that have an impact on our members.
For four years now, we have talked about how drastically the pendulum has swung from California’s “tough on crime” stance of the 1980s and ’90s to the current position of releasing violent criminals, full officer transparency, increased use of body cameras and the intent to prosecute officers and send them to prison. But nothing speaks more to that swing than the high-profile election of Chesa Boudin, the new district attorney in the City and County of San Francisco.
On September 13, the Legislature adjourned the first half of the 2019–2020 session. Governor Newsom had until midnight on October 13 to sign or veto the multitude of bills that were sent to him. If he did not take action on a bill, it automatically became law without his signature. This year, 3,033 bills were introduced, of which 1,169 have been chaptered (signed by the governor) and 172 were vetoed. The remaining 1,692 bills are either inactive, dead, made into two-year bills or are resolutions that, by law, do not have to go to the governor. If a bill was made into a two-year bill, it means the measure is taken out of consideration during the first year of a regular session with the intent of taking it up again during the second year.
On September 12, Governor Newsom signed into law PORAC’s sponsored bill, SB 230 by Senator Anna Caballero (D–Salinas). PORAC, along with ARA and other stakeholders in our state, was there to witness the signing of the bill, which was 15 months in the making. SB 230 builds on California’s already rigorous officer training requirements and is the first bill to mandate additional statewide training in specific categories such as de-escalation, interacting with vulnerable populations and an officer’s duty to intercede.
This past year, our law enforcement coalition has worked tirelessly with our elected leaders to ensure the passage of SB 230 (Caballero). Today’s passage of SB 230 in the State Assembly solidifies the hard work and our commitment to serving California’s law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Election season has begun, as candidates are scrambling for campaign contributions and endorsements. The primary election is March 3, 2020, rather than the usual June primary date. In 2018, Governor Brown moved up the date to coincide with our presidential election primary, or “Super Tuesday.” This change was made because historically, the presidential nominees had already been determined by the time Californians cast their votes. A March primary gives California a more integral role in the presidential race.
Aaron Read and Randy Perry Legislative Advocates Aaron Read & Associates, LLC AB 392 by Assembly Member Weber (D-San Diego), the use-of-force bill we have been working against (but, as amended, we are neutral), passed the Senate floor on July 10. It was approved by both houses and is now enrolled and sent to the […]
Since Assembly Bill 931 by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D–San Diego) was first amended to create a new “necessary” standard for the use of deadly force in April 2018, PORAC and the law enforcement community have come together to proactively address the issue in California. The effort this legislative session has included actively opposing AB 392 (Weber’s resurrected AB 931) and drafting and sponsoring SB 230 by Senator Ana Caballero (D–Salinas). This has been a highly complex and dynamic process that has involved numerous meetings with the governor’s office, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senator Caballero and many other legislators, as well as meetings with the author and sponsors of AB 392, Weber and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In addition, PORAC has enlisted the guidance of use-of-force experts, lawyers and stakeholders from around the state to develop SB 230, our comprehensive legislation that would minimize use of deadly force in California.
On May 16, both the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees held their suspense hearings where all bills with an annual fiscal impact of $150,000 or more were voted on to determine their fate moving forward. Suspense bills are considered after the governor’s state budget revision has been submitted following the April 15 tax filings so that the committees have a better sense of available revenue. The goal of the committees is to provide sound, responsible and affordable fiscal policy, but there are often more political issues at play when the members cast their votes.