Committee approves bill allowing penalties for agencies that obstruct requests for records

The Assembly Appropriations Committee announced Friday that AB 1479 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), which would give courts the power to fine government agencies that delay or obstruct requests for information, was passed out of the committee. The vote was unanimous.

There is little doubt that the several editorials published this week by CNPA members urging committee members to approve the measure had an impact.

The measure will be taken up next week on the Assembly floor to meet the June 2 deadline for passage of bills out of the house of origin. Staff urges members who still want to weigh in to editorialize in support of the measure before the Assembly floor vote.

Other bills passed by the committee that are headed to the Assembly floor include:

AB 64, by Assemblyman Bonta (D-Alameda), would create strict liability for publishers and broadcasters on the advertising or marketing of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products.

AB 1428 by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose) would require each county district attorney’s office that conducts an investigation into an incident involving the shooting of a civilian by a peace officer to report the findings of that investigation on a publicly accessible internet website within 30 days of the conclusion of the investigation. It would also require each department or agency that employs peace officers to post reports about serious uses of force by peace officers on its website within 30 days of completing any investigation or adjudication related to the use of force and to, at least quarterly, post a report on its website containing aggregate statistical information on serious uses of force for which any investigation, adjudication or both have been completed.

AB 1542 by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Glendale), as introduced, would have made it unlawful to record a video of the commission of a violent felony. The bill would make a violation of this provision a felony, punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years, or by both that fine and imprisonment. The bill would authorize the submission of that video by the person recording the video to a law enforcement agency at the first reasonable opportunity to be considered as evidence that the person lacked the intent to encourage the commission of the underlying violent felony. It has since been amended to address concerns raised by CNPA.

The committee decided to hold one bill on suspense: AB 155 by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), which would require the Instructional Quality Commission to develop, and the state board to adopt, revised curriculum standards and frameworks for English language arts, mathematics, history-social science, and science that incorporate civic online reasoning, as defined.

Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee also decided the fate of several bills that CNPA is attempting to influence.

Bills passed by the Appropriations Committee include:

SB 244 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-South Gate) would prohibit disclosure of any personal information collected or obtained by any state or local agency that was provided by an applicant for public services or programs contained in records in the possession of these agencies.

SB 345 by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Compton) would require, on and after July 1, 2018, each state and local law enforcement agency to post on its internet website, in a text searchable format, all of its manuals and policies not exempt from disclosure pursuant to the act.

SB 393 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-South Gate) would allow a court to seal an arrest that did not result in a conviction by issuing a written ruling and order that, among other things, states that the arrest is deemed not to have occurred. The bill would prohibit the sealing of arrest records if there is a possibility that the arrestee could still be prosecuted.

SB 347 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) would require any person using, operating or renting a remote piloted aircraft and every commercial operator of a remote piloted aircraft to maintain adequate liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility, as specified. The bill would authorize the department to adopt rules and regulations governing the conditions under which remote piloted aircraft may be operated for the purpose of protecting and ensuring the general public interest and safety and the safety of persons operating remote piloted aircraft.

SB 21 by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) would, beginning July 1, 2018, require each law enforcement agency to submit to its governing body at a noticed hearing, open to the public, a proposed plan for the use of all surveillance technology and the information collected, as specified. The bill would require that the law enforcement agency submit an amendment to the surveillance plan, pursuant to the same open meeting requirements, for each new type of surveillance technology sought to be used.

SB 135 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Davis) would require the State Board of Education, for grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to include media literacy as part of the curriculum. The bill would require the State Department of Education to make available on its internet website a list of resources and materials on media literacy and to ensure that media literacy training opportunities are made available for use in professional development programs for teachers.

Held by the committee on its suspense calendar was SB 203 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), which would require, on or before Dec. 1, 2018, the superintendent of Public Instruction, in consultation with the executive director of the State Board of Education, to identify best practices and recommendations for instruction in digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy and to report to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on strategies to implement the best practices and recommendations statewide. The bill would require the superintendent to convene and consult with an advisory committee consisting of specified representatives in developing the best practices and recommendations.