CNPA Mission Statement

To protect and serve the common interests of its newsmedia members, to help members inform and thereby strengthen their communities, and to foster the highest ideals, ethics and traditions of journalism, a free press and the news profession.

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Legislative Priorities

Each year as we approach the beginning of a new legislative session, the CNPA Legal team, led by General Counsel, Brittney Barsotti, begins the important task of promoting legislative priorities deemed most critical to our CNPA members.

The bills listed here have been identified by CNPA to be top priorities.

If you have any questions or would like to know how you can support our efforts please contact Britney Barsotti directly, by email or by phone (916) 288-6006.

AB 268 (Irwin) - OPPOSE

AB 268 (Irwin) Courts: Sealing Records: Autopsy Reports.

Position – OPPOSE

The Borderline shooting in 2018, devastated Assembly woman Irwin’s district and continues to be a gut-wrenching issue for the district, for any area that experiences a mass shooting. However, this bill seeks to make autopsy reports exempt from the CPRA, unless the family or next of kin authorize the disclosure or the requester can obtain a court order for good cause. These reports are commonly available nationwide and have been instrumental to better informing the public on many issues of importance including police involved shootings, deaths of inmates or those in police custody, mass shootings, and COVID-19. Additionally, the burden for demonstrating the information in not subject to the CPRA on the party denying the request to show it should not be disclosed. CNPA is opposed to this bill.

View Our Letter of Opposition

View Our Fact Sheet

SB 98 (McGuire) - SUPPORT

SB 98 (McGuire) Public peace: media access

Position – SUPPORT

Last year the legislature passed, but the governor vetoed SB 629 (McGuire), which would have protected a member of the media from attacks by the police while covering protests. This bill is very similar and prohibits an officer from assaulting, interfering with or obstructing a journalist from covering a protest or demonstration. It also allows a journalist that has been detained to speak to the supervisory officer to immediately challenge their detention. CNPA strongly supported this bill last year and will continue to support it this year. Senator McGuire has and continues to be a zealous advocate for the news industry and is greatly appreciated.

AB 48 (Gonzalez) - SUPPORT

AB 48 (Gonzalez) Law enforcement: kinetic energy projectiles and chemical agents.

Position – SUPPORT

The use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other projectiles by police in response to protests following the slaying of George Floyd and left protesters and journalists beaten and bruised. Assemblywoman Gonzalez has introduced this bill to prohibit the use of these methods, except in very specific and limited circumstances. CNPA strongly supports this bill because journalists stand side by side with protestors to chronicle events as they unfold. While risks can be necessary for accurate and in-depth coverage, no one deserves to be injured by these methods for exercising their first amendment rights.

View Our Letter of Support

AB 253 (Patterson) - OPPOSE

AB 253 (Patterson) Animal Welfare

Position – OPPOSE

Back again from last year, Assemblymember Patterson has introduced a bill to eliminate all public notices for animals confiscated in dog or cock fighting raids. This bill sponsored by the Fresno Sheriff’s association would instead allow for postings these animals have been seized and are scheduled to be destroyed on social media or in some location on their websites. This bill was defeated last year in senate public safety and CNPA will continue to oppose this bill.

View Our Letter of Opposition

SB 16 (Skinner) - SUPPORT

SB 16 (Skinner) Police Officers: Release of Records

Position – SUPPORT

This bill seeks to expand on Senator Skinner’s landmark legislation SB 1421 to increase the types of misconduct that is subject to the CPRA, including completing investigations whether or not an officer resigns, all uses of force to detain individuals, incidents of prejudice of discrimination, wrongful arrests and searches, and sexual assaults. The bill as drafted will also impose a 45 day time limit to respond to requests. CNPA is in strong support of this bill and commends Senator Skinner’s dedication to increasing transparency on police misconduct.

View Our Letter of Support

AB 361 (R. Rivas) - NEUTRAL

AB 361 (R. Rivas) Open Meetings: Local Agencies: Teleconferences

Position – NEUTRAL

Since the Governor’s executive orders last year suspending certain provisions of the Brown Act’s teleconferencing provisions our legal helpline has received a number of calls sorting out just what local governments can and cannot do. This bill seeks to establish guidelines for when states of emergency are declared that would prevent local legislative bodies from meeting safely in person. CNPA has been negotiating with the sponsors of the bill to address our concerns early on in the process including, limiting the scope of circumstances this provision can be triggered, solidifying the public’s access to meetings, the right to comment, and an automatic sunset to limit duration without a renewal vote.

AB 339 (Lee) - SUPPORT

AB 339 (Lee) State and Local Government: Open Meetings

Position – SUPPORT

The ACLU and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability are co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation to expand access to local government by requiring a call-in or internet-based service for public participation and comment during the meeting. Additionally, this bill would require translation for jurisdictions that govern a substantial number of non-English-speaking people. The bill also states that these requirements remain in a declared state of emergency or public health crisis.

View Our Letter of Support

View Our Fact Sheet

SB 285 (McGuire) - SUPPORT

SB 285 (McGuire) California Tourism Recovery Act

Position – SUPPORT

Senator McGuire has introduced this bill to dedicate $45 million of visit California advertisements to be spent within the state to aid in the recovery of the tourism industry, by starting with in state travel in a safe and mindful way.  These advertising dollars should help struggling publications and businesses alike.