Legislative Report 2019-02-04

All proposals intended for introduction in the 2019 Session have been submitted to the attorneys in the office of Legislative Counsel. This is the precursor to the actual introduction of that proposal into bill form.

A large percentage of these submissions are in the form of “spot bills.”

Spot Bills are non-substantive pieces of legislation, which can be amended after remaining in print for 30 days.  Once a bill is in print for 30 days it is available for public consumption. Only then can it be altered or brought for a hearing in front of the appropriate policy committee.

Thus far, approximately 500 bills are in print, have been introduced and put into print since the new Session began.  By the time they are finished, we can expect nearly 3,500 bills to be put into play. The vast majority of these will be introduced in the days prior to the deadline, which is Friday, February 22nd.

From now until the deadline, John Lovell, CCUPCA’s Legal Counsel, will review introductions and amendments. The goal will be to ascertain which measures’ content and subject matter affect our institutions, directly and indirectly. He will sort the bills into a report with recommendations.  The CCUPCA weekly report will contain information about the high-profile bills of interest, including known sponsors, intent, and/or useful background on the bill.

These reports will serve as a guide to discussing potential positions on individual bills. While many of the bills in the report will be informational, high-priority bills will require active lobbying and advocacy to guide the bill where CCUPCA wants it to go. The reports will offer recommendations on which bills require supporting, opposing or amending.

The Legislature gets the Committee process running by late-March or early-April.  Since most bills will be introduced around the 2/22 deadline plus the requisite 30-day wait, the Committees typically wait for a critical mass to become eligible for hearing prior to launch.

Legislative Report 2019-01-28

This past week has been relatively quiet on the Legislative front, with only a few bills directly impacting public safety.

Two such bills from this past week include Senate Bill 136 and Senate Bill 161.

Senate Bill 136, by Senator Wiener, will abolish the one year enhancement for prior felony convictions when a defendant is convicted of a felony in the current proceeding.

Senate Bill 161, by Senator Bates, will make trafficking fentanyl subject to California’s quantity enhancement law.

Most other public safety bills introduced thus far are so-called “spot” bills which enunciate intent to enact legislation in a particular subject matter area but lack specific detail.  For example, Senate Bill 120 by Senator Stern states the ambiguous intent of the Legislature to enact Legislation to ensure public safety.

Also this past week Governor Newsom used his authority to overturn the grant of parole for Jesus Cecena.  CCUPCA was part of a law enforcement coalition that asked the Governor to use his Constitutional authority to overturn the parole grant. Back in fall 2018, the Board of Parole Hearings had voted to grant Jesus Cecena parole. Cecena was convicted of the brutal murder of San Diego Police Officer Archie Buggs in 1978.

In the past, CCUPCA had gone to Governor Brown and was successful in persuading the then Governor to overturn similar parole grants for Cecena.  We are pleased that our latest request to the newly minted Governor Newsom was also successful.

With the deadline for bill introductions on February 22, legislative activity is expected to pick up in the coming weeks.

Legislative Update 2019-01-14

The highlight of last week was the newly sworn in Governor Newsom’s presentation of the Governor’s 2019-2020 Budget.  This is the first budget proposal that emanates from Governor Newsom.  Although most of the media attention focused on his education, youth services and health care proposals, the budget did contain some public safety related matters:

  1. Realignment – The budget proposal updates revenue assumptions for 2011 Realignment programs created by the passage of AB 109 in 2011, with growth funding including at $ 30 million increase, which will be revisited and revised in the Governor’s May revision.
  2. Incompetent to Stand Trial Issues – The increasing number of Incompetent to Stand Trial Commitments has placed a corresponding burden on the Department of State Hospitals. The budget includes funding to expand beds at their facilities and also includes an additional $ 12.3 million to allow for contracting for up to 74 county jail-based competency restoration treatment beds through the county jail treatment programs.
  3. Post Release Community Supervision – The budget includes $ 11.8 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 implementation of Proposition 57.
  4. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – the Governor’s budget funds $ 12.6 billion for CDCR, prioritizes inmate literacy and reentry, invests in aging infrastructure and inmate mental health and medical care, and also proposes moving the Division of Juvenile Justice from CDCR to a dew department under the Health and Human Services Agency.
  5. DOJ Forensic Services – The budget includes $ 25 million in order tor DOJ to continue processing forensic evidence for counties.
  6. Human Trafficking – The budget includes $ 10 million ongoing General Fund for the Office of Emergency Services to continue funding for the Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program. The program assists trafficking victims in recovering from the trauma they have experienced through comprehensive safety and supportive services, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, temporary housing, emergency food and clothing, counseling, transportation and referrals to local resources.  There are currently 21 projects providing these services.

The Budget will now be broken into its subject matter parts and assigned to the various budget sub-committees in each house where it will be examined and modified on the Legislative side.

Only about three hundred bills have been introduced at this point, with no major public safety bills currently in print.

Legislative Update 2019-01-07

The Legislature returned for the 2019-2020 Legislative session today.  January 7 also marked the first day in office of Governor Gavin Newsom who took the oath as California’s  40th Governor.  The Legislative session will run through September 13, 2019, with a Spring recess from April 11 through April 20 and a Summer recess that will run from July 12 through August 12.

Although policy committee hearings have yet to begin, those committees have already  been constituted in both houses.

The Assembly Public Safety Committee will expand to an eight member committee, with six Democrats and two Republicans – which is reflective of the 60-20 advantage enjoyed by Democrats in the entire Assembly.

Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer returns to Chair the Assembly Public Safety Committee for a third year.  He is a Democrat from Los Angeles.

Assembly Member Tom Lackey, a Republican from the Lancaster area, also returns to be Vice-Chair of the Committee.  Mr. Lackey, a former CHP officer, has been a consistent supporter of law enforcement.

Other members of the Committee include Tyler Diep, who is a Republican from Huntington Beach.  Mr. Diep was elected in 2018; Democrat Buffy Wicks, from Oakland, is also a newly minted member of the Assembly; returning Committee members Sydney Kamlager-Dove, from Los Angeles, Miguel Santiago, also from Los Angeles, and Bill Quirk, of Hayward, are all Democrats.

The Senate Public Safety Committee will have seven members.  The Democratic members of the Committee are all hold-overs from last year:  Senator Nancy Skinner, from Berkeley, remains as Committee Chair; she is joined by Senator Steven Bradford of Gardena, Senator Holly Mitchell from Los Angeles, Senator Scott Wiener from San Francisco, and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson from Santa Barbara, all of whom are Democrats.  The two Republican members are Senator John Moorlach from Costa Mesa (who will have the honorific role as vice-Chair) and Senator Mike Morrell from Rancho Cucamonga.

Both Committees, given their respective configurations, will present us with significant challenges.

Although his unprecedented four terms as California’s Governor have, on this day, drawn to a close, Governor Brown promises to remain an active force in so-called retirement.  To the chagrin of law enforcement, his initial parting gift is a lawsuit aimed at the law enforcement backed Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act from appearing on the November 2020 ballot.  Brown’s argument seems to be that because portions of the initiative amend the State Constitution the initiative’s proponents must reach a higher threshold of signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.  Since the Secretary of State has already certified the measure as being approved for the 2020 ballot, and since the measure contains a severability clause, it would appear that this lawsuit will not prevent the measure from going before the voters in 2020.  Nevertheless, the fact that the out-going Governor has a significant political warchest would suggest that the 2020 campaign to secure approval of the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act will be an expensive one.

Spring Conference 2019

We are excited to announce our Annual Spring Conference will be from Wed. April 24 through Friday April 26th and will be held at the University of Southern California in beautiful Los Angeles.

To register for this event, click here.

There is a room block for the conference dates at the USC Hotel. In order to receive the group rate you must call the reservation line: 800.333-3333. (Parking charges are a separate from room rate and are $12/day.) The last day to get the group rate is April 2nd!

Itinerary*

4/23 Tues.: 1730-1900 Meet & Greet Reception at USC Hotel (optional)

4/24 Wed.: 0800-1145 Welcome/Instruction
1200-1315 Sponsored Luncheon
1315-1530 Vendor Product Show
1540-1700 Round Table Symposium

4/25 Thurs.: 0800-1700 Instruction
1800-2100 Recognition Banquet (happy hour, dinner, & keynote speaker)

4/26 Fri.: 0830-1030 New Legislature Impacting Higher Education
1045-1200 Open discussion & Closing remarks

*Instruction for Thurs 4/25 will be posted by 3/1.

For questions regarding this event, feel free to reach out to our Executive Director, Jenny DiMaggio via email: ccupca@gmail.com.