Legislative Update, What Happened This Week:
The next two weeks will be floor votes and budget hearings only. The deadline to pass bills to the secound house is June 4th. The budget must be passed by June 15th at Midnight.
This bill passed 5-2 the Senate Appropriations Committee.
This bill would, commencing July 1, 2022, make every incident involving use of force to make a member of the public comply with an officer, force that is unreasonable, or excessive force subject to disclosure. The bill would require records relating to sustained findings of unlawful arrests and unlawful searches to be subject to disclosure. The bill would also require the disclosure of records relating to an incident in which a sustained finding was made by any law enforcement agency or oversight agency that a peace officer or custodial officer engaged in conduct involving prejudice or discrimination on the basis of specified protected classes.
The bill would require the retention of all complaints and related reports or findings currently in the possession of a department or agency. The bill would require that records relating to an incident in which an officer resigned before an investigation is completed to also be subject to release. For purposes of releasing records, the bill would prohibit assertion of the attorney-client privilege to limit the disclosure of factual information provided by the public entity to its attorney, factual information discovered by any investigation done by the public entity’s attorney, or billing records related to the work done by the attorney. The bill would expand the authorization to redact records to allow redaction to preserve the anonymity of victims and whistleblowers. The bill was amended to temporarily delay the application of penalties, but keep the necessary enforcement mechanism.
Next Step: Senate Floor
Action: Share our tweets in support on social media or let your Senator know we support the bill.
AB-48 (Gonzalez, Garcia & Kalra) Law enforcement: kinetic energy projectiles and chemical agents
AB-48 passed the Assembly Appropriations by a vote of 10-4.
This bill would prohibit the use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents by any law enforcement agency to disperse any assembly, protest, or demonstration, except in compliance with specified standards set by the bill, and would prohibit their use solely due to a violation of an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or noncompliance with a law enforcement directive. The bill would include in the standards for the use of kinetic energy projectiles and chemical agents to disperse gatherings the requirement that, among other things, those weapons only be used to defend against a threat to life or serious bodily injury to any individual, including a peace officer. The bill would define chemical agents to include, among other substances, chloroacetophenone tear gas or 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile gas. The bill would make these provisions inapplicable within a state prison facility.
Next Step: Assembly Floor
Action: Share examples of your reporters or protestors being injured by these projectiles on twitter and tag @cnpaservices and @LorenaAD80 in support of AB 48.
AB-268 (Irwin) Courts: sealing records: autopsy report
AB-268 passed the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 15-0.
This bill would require the court, upon the request of a qualifying family member, to seal the autopsy report and any evidence associated with the examination of a person who was killed as a result of a criminal act when the above conditions apply or when a prosecutorial agency has concluded all persons who could have been prosecuted for the criminal act have died. The bill would also include within the definition of “qualifying family member” the victim’s next of kin, personal representative, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
Next Step: Assembly Floor
Action: Contact your Assemblymember to tell them we strongly oppose this bill or customize and run our sample editorial. Our fact sheet, letter of opposition and sample editorial can all be found here.
SB-98 (McGuire) Public peace: media access
SB-98 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee 6-0. This bill would, if peace officers close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or establish any other command post, police line, or rolling closure at a demonstration, march, protest, or rally where individuals are engaged primarily in constitutionally protected activity, as described, require that a duly authorized representative of any news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network, as described, be allowed to enter those closed areas and would prohibit a peace officer or other law enforcement officer from intentionally assaulting, interfering with, or obstructing a duly authorized representative who is gathering, receiving, or processing information for communication to the public.
The bill would also prohibit a duly authorized representative who is in a closed area from being cited for the failure to disperse, a violation of a curfew, or a violation of other, specified law. The bill would require that if a representative is detained by a peace officer or other law enforcement officer, the representative be permitted to contact a supervisory officer immediately for the purpose of challenging the detention.
Next Step: Senate Floor
Action: Share stories or images of reporters being injured or detained by police while covering protests and tag @cnpaservices.
AB-339 (Lee & Garcia) Local government: open and public meetings
This bill passed the Appropriations Committee 11-2.
AB-339 This bill would, until December 31, 2023, require all open and public meetings of a city council or a county board of supervisors that governs a jurisdiction containing at least 250,000 people to include an opportunity for members of the public to attend via a telephonic option or an internet-based service option. The bill would require all open and public meetings to include an in-person public comment opportunity, except in specified circumstances during a declared state or local emergency. The bill would require all meetings to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed legislation in person and remotely via a telephonic or an internet-based service option, as provided.
AB-361 passed the Assembly Floor 62-4.
This bill would authorize a local agency to use teleconferencing without complying with the teleconferencing requirements imposed by the Ralph M. Brown Act when a legislative body of a local agency holds a meeting for the purpose of declaring or ratifying a local emergency, during a declared state of emergency or local emergency, as those terms are defined, when state or local health officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing, and during a declared local emergency provided the legislative body determines, by majority vote, that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
The bill would require legislative bodies that hold teleconferenced meetings under these abbreviated teleconferencing procedures to give notice of the meeting and post agendas, as described, to allow members of the public to access the meeting and address the legislative body, to give notice of the means by which members of the public may access the meeting and offer public comment, including an opportunity for all persons to attend via a call-in option or an internet-based service option, and to conduct the meeting in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties and the public appearing before the legislative body. The bill would require the legislative body to take no further action on agenda items when there is a disruption which prevents the public agency from broadcasting the meeting, or in the event of a disruption within the local agency’s control which prevents members of the public from submitting public comments, until public access is restored.
Next Step: Senate Rules