General Legislative News:
The 2014 legislative session was very busy. In fact, it was the busiest legislative year since 2011. More than 930 bills made their way to the Governor’s desk. The Governor vetoed only 143 bills or 13%. Of note, there are two bills that passed at the end of session that will be on the November ballot that will have huge state-wide implications: Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion dollar water bond and Proposition 2, the Rainy-Day Fund, to help the State stock-pile reserves in the event of an economic downturn.
Overall, despite an upswing in the State’s economy and improved tax receipts and general fund outlook, Governor Brown was very conservative in his approach to fiscal bills and vetoed almost all bills that were duplicative, excessive, or impacted the general fund too much.
AOCDS Specific Bills:
AOCDS tracked 18 bills this legislative session. Twelve of these bills were signed by the Governor. Two of these bills were vetoed, and four died during the legislative committee process. Overall this was a good year for law enforcement. Here are the bills that were tracked and the end of year result.
AB 1147 Bonilla: Massage Therapy-SIGNED
Would reenact, revise, and recast specified provisions relating to the California
Massage Therapy Council to, among other things, establish an interim board of directors to govern the council until September 1, 2015, and provide for the appointment of a new board of directors consisting of 13 members, as specified, whose 4-year terms would begin on that date.
AOCDS supported this bill because it will help curtail activities such as human trafficking and prostitution. This bill will create a certification process for massage therapists and searchable database for law enforcement to verify whether these massage therapists have a criminal background or not. The bill also creates a board of directors position for the California Police Chiefs Association.
AB 1517 Skinner: DNA Evidence-SIGNED
Would, with respect to specific sex offenses, encourage a law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the sexual assault offense occurred to submit sexual assault forensic evidence received by the agency on or after January 1, 2016, to the crime lab within 20 days after it is booked into evidence, and ensure that a rapid turnaround DNA program, as defined, is in place to submit forensic evidence collected from the victim of a sexual assault to the crime lab within 5 days after the evidence is obtained from the victim.
AB 1598 Rodriguez: Emergency Response Services: active shooter incidents-SIGNED
Current law requires the Director of Emergency Services to establish a Curriculum
Development Advisory Committee (CDAC) to, among other things, provide advice on the
development of terrorism awareness course curricula and response training. The Commission on
Peace Officer Standards and Training is required to, among other things, adopt rules establishing
minimum standards relating to physical, mental, and moral fitness that govern the recruitment of peace officers and requires the commission to carry out various duties related to the education and training of peace officers.
AOCDS supported this bill because it would require the Director of Emergency Services and the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to consult with each other on how to respond to active shooter incidents to ensure better coordination and communication. This bill was in response to the LAX Shooting in 2013.
AB 2256 Garcia: Civil Procedure: Service and Fees: Sheriffs-SIGNED
AOCDS supported this bill for several reasons. First, it increased the fees for service of process from $35 to $40. Secondly, it permits a sheriff to enter a gated community whether or not there is an attendant at the gate and does not require the sheriff to disclose the person they are serving process to within the gated community. Third, allows a sheriff’s department to post a protective order on their public website therefore providing the adequate notice of process.
SB 702 Anderson: Criminal Law: badges: impersonation-SIGNED
Current law makes it a misdemeanor subject to punishment by up to 6 months imprisonment in a county jail, or a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine, for any person to willfully wear, exhibit, or use any badge, insignia, emblem, device, label, certificate, card, or writing that falsely purports to be authorized for use by a peace officer, as specified. This bill would increase the fine by up to $2000. It would also require a local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction that files charges against a person for a violation of these provisions to seize the item at issue.
SB 955 Mitchell: Interception of electronic communications-SIGNED
This bill would add human trafficking to the list of offenses for which interception of electronic communications may be ordered.
SB 1283 Galgiani: Controlled Substances-SIGNED
This bill would beginning January 1, 2016, make the use or possession of specified synthetic stimulant compounds or synthetic stimulant derivatives, or any synthetic cannabinoid compound or any synthetic cannabinoid derivative an infraction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250.
AB 2603 V. Manuel Perez: Controlled Substances: permissive lawful possession-SIGNED
Would create an exception from specified prohibitions for possession of specified controlled substances by a person other than the prescription holder if the possession of the controlled substance is at the direction or with the express authorization of the prescription holder and the sole purpose of the possession is to deliver the prescription to the prescription holder for its prescribed use or to discard the substance in a lawful manner.
AB 2623 Pan: Peace officer standards and training-SIGNED
Current law requires every city police officer or deputy sheriff at a supervisory level and below who is assigned field or investigative duties to complete an elder and dependent adult abuse training course certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training within18 months of assignment to field duties. Current law also requires the commission to consult with the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse and other subject matter experts when producing new or updated training materials.
This bill would add to that list of subjects the legal rights of, and remedies available to, victims of elder or dependent adult abuse.
SB 505 Jackson: Peace officers: welfare checks: firearms-SIGNED
Would require law enforcement agencies to develop, adopt, and implement written policies and standard protocols pertaining to the best manner to conduct a "welfare check," when the inquiry into the welfare or well-being of the person is motivated by a concern that the person may be a danger to himself or herself or to others.
SB 846 Galgiani: Crimes: Violent Crime Information Center-SIGNED
This bill would clarify that a law enforcement agency is authorized to request a copy of information or data maintained by the Department of Justice relating to the Violent Crime Information Center.
AB 611 Bonta: State Peace Officers’ and Firefighters’ Defined Contribution Plan-SIGNED
Current law requires that moneys in the State Peace Officers' and Firefighter' Defined
Contribution Plan Fund be distributed, as specified and in accordance with federal law, including requiring that amounts payable from the fund be rolled over to the Supplemental Contributions
Program, if not elected otherwise. This bill would require that the plan be terminated effective
June 1, 2014, subject to obtaining appropriate approvals from the Internal Revenue Service.
Bills that were vetoed or died in the committee process
AB 47 Gatto: Emergency services: Hit and Run Incidents-VETOED
Would authorize a law enforcement agency to issue a Yellow Alert if a person has been killed or has suffered serious bodily injury due to a hit-and-run incident and the law enforcement agency has specified information concerning the suspect or the suspect's vehicle.
The bill would require the California Highway Patrol to activate a Yellow Alert within the requested geographic area upon request if it concurs with the law enforcement agency that specified requirements are met.
AOCDS supported this bill. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed this bill because he signed SB 1127 which would add developmentally disabled persons to the missing person’s alert system. Governor Brown suggested this expansion be tested before he adds new categories to the system that could potentially overload it.
AB 2052 Gonzalez: Workers’ Compensation-VETOED
Current law designates illnesses and conditions that constitute a compensable injury for various employees, such as California Highway Patrol members, firefighters, and certain peace officers. These injuries include, but are not limited to, hernia, pneumonia, heart trouble, cancer, meningitis, and exposure to a biochemical substances, when the illness or condition develops or manifests itself during a period when the officer or employee is in service of his or her employer, as specified. This bill would expand the coverage of the above provisions relating to compensable injury, to include all peace officers described under specified provisions of law.
The Governor vetoed this bill stating there was little proof that the peace officers this bill would seek to cover were in fact exposed to these elements. The Governor stated the evidence to support this bill didn’t meet the-beyond a clear and convincing scientific evidence standard.
AB 1486 Committee on Budget: Fireworks: Tax on distribution-DIED
This bill would have required the moneys in the State Fire Marshal Fireworks Enforcement and
Disposal Fund to be used for the training of public safety agencies in the proper handling and management of dangerous fireworks and to further assist in public safety efforts within the general public as well as public safety agencies on the proper and responsible use, seizure, and storage of safe and sane fireworks.
Because this bill was a tax, it would have required a 2/3rds vote of the legislature. The Democrats lacked the supermajority to pass this bill. The Republicans wouldn’t vote for it, therefore it died.
SB 1262 Correa: Controlled Substance-DIED
This bill would have established within the Department of Consumer Affairs a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, under the supervision and control of the Chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to license dispensing facilities, cultivation sites, and manufacturers that, among other things, provide, process, and grow medical marijuana, as specified, subject to local ordinances. The bill would require every city, county, or city and county that permits medical marijuana dispensing or cultivation to submit to the bureau a list of approved entities providing medical marijuana within that jurisdiction.
AB 2662 Gatto: Firearms: buy-back programs-DIED
This bill would have required a city, county, city and county, or state government entity operating a voluntary firearm buy-back program to process functioning handguns received pursuant to the program by either performing ballistics testing, a firearms trace, or by cataloging and storing the handgun.
SB 893 Hill: Automated license plate recognition systems: use of data-DIED