Legislative Letters

 

California Legislation 

Access to Justice

AB 2520 would create an Office of Access to Justice in the California DOJ to increase the availability of meaningful access to justice programs for all Californians.

 

Bail

AB 2043 would increase oversight and professionalism in the bail/bond industry by requiring bail fugitive recovery persons (bounty hunters) to become licensed by the California Department of Insurance (CDI). 

 

Catalytic Converters

AB 2407 would require a core recycler who accepts a catalytic converter for recycling to report specified information about any transaction involving the sale/purchase of a catalytic converter to their local police or sheriff’s department. AB 2407 would also require a core recycler to obtain a thumbprint of the seller and to preserve the thumbprint in hard copy or electronic format for a period of two years after the date of sale.

SB 986 would close two legal loopholes in the effort to combat catalytic converter thefts by requiring car dealers to mark the catalytic converter of a vehicle with its VIN prior to selling the vehicle and by strengthening the record-keeping requirements of core recyclers who buy and sell used catalytic converters.

 

Controlled Substances

AB 1598 would exclude any testing equipment that is designed, marketed, used, or intended to be used, to analyze for the presence of fentanyl or any analog of fentanyl, ketamine, or gamma hydroxybutyric acid from the definition of drug paraphernalia.

AB 1706 would require the court to resentence, redesignate, or dismiss specified cannabis-related convictions as authorized by Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, on or before March 1, 2023. 

 

Corrections

AB 2023 would provide that a person incarcerated in, or recently released from, a county jail shall have access to up to three free telephone calls to plan for a safe and successful release.

AB 2343 would require the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to develop standards for mental health care in local correctional facilities. AB 2343 would also add a licensed health care provider and a licensed mental health care provider, both to be appointed by the Governor, to the BSCC and would require the BSCC to develop and adopt regulations setting minimum standards for mental health care at local correctional facilities that either meet or exceed the standards for health care services in jails established by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

AB 2632 would limit the use of segregated confinement and require specified correctional facilities to follow specified procedures related to segregated confinement.  AB 2632 would also require a correctional facility to document the facts and circumstances when an individual is placed in segregated housing. 

AB 2717 would establish the California Health Start Act which would expand the community prison mother treatment program within CDCR to individuals regardless of their term of imprisonment or prior criminal history.   AB 2717 would also require CDCR to provide parenting classes, transportation for minor children to visit on a monthly basis in a dedicated child-friendly location on the prison grounds, and overnight family visits.  Further, AB 2717 would establish an additional family visiting day and an additional family visiting opportunity for mothers with children. 

AB 2730 would establish the California Antirecidivism and Public Safety Act which requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish a pilot program to provide opportunities for job training and work experience to individuals during their last two years of incarceration. The primary purpose is to provide opportunities for job training and work experience to individuals during their incarceration to ensure their readiness for employment upon release from prison.

SB 1304 proposes to increase the allowance a person gets upon release from prison to $1300.

 

Court

AB 1803 would provide that court fees are waived if a petitioner seeking expungement meets the requirements of Government Code §68632. An individual would qualify for a fee waiver if the individual receives any of the following services: Medi-Cal; Food Stamps, i.e. California Food Assistance Program, CalFresh Program, or SNAP; State Supplemental Payment (SSP) and State Supplemental Security Income (SSI); County Relief (CR), General Relief (GR), or General Assistance (GA); In-Home Supportive Services; Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, or Disabled Legal Immigrants. Individuals whose monthly income is 125% or less of the current poverty guidelines would also qualify. 

 

COVID

AB 1637 would specify that fraud offenses relating to COVID-19 pandemic-related insurance programs administered by the California Employment Development Department are criminal profiteering activities from which a prosecutor can seek asset forfeiture pursuant to the California Control Profits of Organized Crime Act.

 

Crimes

SB 357 would repeal the crime of loitering with intent to commit prostitution and would allow a person to petition the court to recall and dismiss the sentence if the person is currently serving a sentence for that offense or to seal the conviction for a prior conviction.
Signed into law in July 2022.

AB 1290 would eliminate any potential confusion in California law by amending Penal Code Section 484 to provide that “personal property” includes, but is not limited to, all companion animals. A “companion animal” is defined as meaning an animal including, but is not limited to, a dog or a cat, that a person keeps and provides care for as a household pet or otherwise for the purpose of companionship, emotional support, service, or protection.  

AB 1700 would require the Attorney General to establish an online marketplace of suspected stolen goods reporting location on its website so people can report items found online that they suspect have been stolen. AB 1700 will aid law enforcement and regional property crime taskforce efforts to investigate crimes where stolen goods end up on online marketplaces. While many online marketplaces already instruct users to report suspected stolen goods to law enforcement, AB 1700 would make the reporting of stolen goods easier by requiring online marketplaces to clearly and conspicuously display on their platforms a link to the Attorney General’s reporting system.

AB 1899 would modernize existing law to reflect changes in technology and ensures that the false impersonation of a peace officer, firefighter, public utility employee, state or local government agency employee or officer, and a member of a search and rescue team via an internet website, or by other electronic means for purposes of defrauding another is prohibited under California law. 

AB 2000 would expand the crimes of motor vehicle exhibition of speed and speed contest to include parking lots.

AB 2167 would declare the intent of the Legislature to be that the disposition of any criminal case use the least restrictive means possible, and requires the court presiding over a criminal matter to consider alternatives to incarceration, including, without limitation, collaborative justice court programs, diversion, restorative justice, and probation.

AB 2294 would clarify that law enforcement can take a person into custody on a misdemeanor if the person has been cited, arrested, or convicted of theft from a store in the past 6 months or if there is probable cause to believe that the person is guilty of committing organized retail theft. The bill also allows a court to issue a bench warrant for a defendant if similar factors apply and the defendant has failed to appear in court.   Additionally, AB 2294 would authorize a prosecuting attorney’s office or county probation department to create a diversion or deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) program for persons who commit a theft or repeat theft offense. 

AB 2546 would prohibit sideshows from taking place on off-street parking facilities not open for use by the public and private property not used for parking (e.g. agricultural or recreational land) without the consent of the owner, operator, or agent thereof. 

AB 2374 would increase the maximum mandatory fine for illegally placing, depositing, dumping, or causing to be placed, deposited or dumped, waste matter in commercial quantities by a person employing more than 10 full-time employees and would also require the court to order persons convicted of illegal dumping to remove, or pay the cost of removing, any waste matter which the convicted person dumped or caused to be dumped on public or private property.

SB 1081 clarifies the vagueness in the existing “revenge porn” statute by specifying that the concept of intentional distribution includes a person who intentionally “causes to be distributed” the objectionable images.

 

Domestic Violence

AB 2185 would provide domestic violence victims access to medical evidentiary exams, free of charge, by Local Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART) or other qualified medical evidentiary examiners.

AB 2660 would require every county in California to establish an interagency child death review team no later than January 1, 2025, to assist local agencies in identifying and reviewing suspicious child deaths.

SB 863 would authorize interagency domestic violence death review teams to assist local agencies in identifying and reviewing domestic violence near-death cases.

 

DUI

AB 2198 would replace the term “accident” with “crash” in the Vehicle Code when used to describe collisions involving one or more persons driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and removes provisions of the Youth Drunk Driver Visitation Program authorizing a court to require supervised visitation by defendant or ward at a chemical dependency hospital.
Signed into law in July 2022.

 

Emergency Services

AB 1732 would reestablish the “Yellow Alert” system, which authorizes a law enforcement agency to issue a “Yellow Alert” if a person has been killed due to a hit-and-run incident and the law enforcement agency has specified information concerning the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle.
Signed into law in June 2022. 

 

Firearms

AB 1621 would combat the proliferation of ghost guns in California by restricting the ability to manufacture “ghost guns” by redefining one of the definitions of “firearm” to include a precursor part, redefines “firearm precursor part” and prohibits a person from possessing or manufacturing a firearm precursor part without authorization.
Signed into law in June 2022.

AB 1842 would provide that a firearms dealer licensee shall not charge a restocking or other return-related fee of more than 5% of the purchase price of a firearm if the buyer decides to cancel the purchase of the firearm during the 10-day background check waiting period. Studies have shown that waiting period laws reduce firearm suicides by 7-11% and firearm homicides by nearly 17%. However, costly restocking fees deter purchasers who would like to cancel their order after having time to reconsider their purchase.
Signed into law in July 2022.

AB 2156 would reduce the number of firearms that a person, firm, or corporation may manufacture in a calendar year without having a state license to manufacture firearms from 50 to 3.  It also prohibits a person, firm, or corporation from using a three-dimensional printer to manufacture any firearm, including a frame or receiver, or any firearm precursor part, without having a state license to manufacture firearms.
Signed into law in July 2022.

AB 2239 would establish a 10-year firearm prohibition for individuals convicted of misdemeanor child abuse and elder and dependent adult abuse involving violence.
Signed into law in July 2022.

AB 2551 would require the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to notify local law enforcement and local mental health authorities in the jurisdiction in which the individual was last known to reside, that a person prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition attempted to purchase a firearm or ammunition.
Signed into law in July 2022.

AB 2870 would expand the family members who can file a petition to include any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the 4th degree who has had substantial and regular interactions with the subject for at least one year.  AB 2870 would also authorize the following person to file a petition for a GVRO: 

  • A roommate of the subject of the petition. 
  • A classmate of the subject of the petition. 
  • A dating partner of the subject of the petition. 
  • An individual who has a child in common with the subject of the petition. 

SB 915 would prohibit the sale of firearms, firearm precursor parts and ammunition on state property.

Signed into law in July 2022.

SB 1327 would allow private citizens to bring a lawsuit against those who manufacture, distribute, transport, import, or sell assault weapons, .50 BMG rifles, ghost guns, or ghost gun kits in California.
Signed into law in July 2022.

 

Grand Jury

AB 1972 would increase the pay of a grand juror from $15 a day to an amount equal to 70% of the county median daily income for each day’s attendance as a grand juror and to be reimbursed for reasonable travel and other costs associated with the performance of duties. AB 1972 also would require the list of persons selected by the court to serve as grand jurors filed in the jury commissioner’s office to contain each juror’s name, gender, age, race or ethnicity, and residential zip code or supervisorial district. 

 

Hate Crimes

AB 557 would establish a pilot grant program for District Attorney offices to create or expand vertical prosecution units for hate crimes. In addition to providing funding for vertical prosecution DDAs, AB 557 would provide funding to connect victims of hate crimes with victim advocates. 

AB 2282 would equalize the penalty for the crimes of hanging a noose, displaying a symbol of hate, including a Nazi swastika, and burning or desecrating religious symbols, on specified property, for the purpose of terrorizing, and expands and aligns the places where this conduct is prohibited.

 

Health Care

AB 1242 would prohibit a California peace officer from arresting any person for performing or aiding in the performance of an abortion within this state, or obtaining an abortion in this state, if the abortion falls within the protections of the Reproductive Privacy Act. AB 1242 also provides that a California peace officer shall not cooperate with or provide information to any individual or agency or department from another state regarding a lawful abortion protected under the Reproductive Privacy Act.

SB 1245 would establish the Los Angeles County Abortion Access Safe Haven Pilot Program for the purpose of expanding and improving access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, in Los Angeles County.

 

Homelessness

SB 914 would require cities, counties, and continuums of care that receive state funding to address homelessness to include domestic violence survivors and unaccompanied women within the vulnerable populations for whom specific system supports are developed.

SB 1427 would create a competitive grant program for counties that establish “homeless or mental health courts” for homeless individuals who commit specified types of misdemeanor crimes and would create a “Transition Home” grant program under which the Board of State and Community Corrections would allocate grants to county sheriffs for re-entry planning for inmates at risk of becoming homeless.

 

Human Trafficking

AB 1820 would establish the Labor Trafficking Unit (LTU) within the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to receive and investigate complaints alleging labor trafficking and refer them for criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice or for civil action by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. 

AB 2169 would clarify that when a person demonstrates, for purposes of vacatur relief, that they committed an offense because they were the victim of human trafficking, intimate partner violence or sexual violence, it means the person lacked the requisite intent to commit the offense and that the conviction is legally invalid and must be set aside. AB 2169 also eliminates the requirement that: a court find the victim was engaged in a good-faith effort to distance themselves from the human trafficking scheme or the perpetrator of the harm and the vacatur relief be in the best interest of the petitioner.

AB 2553 would establish the California Multidisciplinary Alliance to Stop Trafficking Act (California MAST) to examine and evaluate existing programs and outreach for survivors and victims of human trafficking and provide recommendations to strengthen California’s response to supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable.

 

Immigration

AB 2195 would give the prosecution the ability to offer an alternative plea to a defendant charged with unlawfully cultivating, manufacturing, transporting, giving away, selling, or possession or use of a drug, or possession or use of drug paraphernalia.

SB 836 would preclude an attorney in a civil or criminal proceeding from disclosing a person’s immigration status in open court without first requesting an in camera hearing and obtaining a ruling that the disclosure is admissible.

 

Internet Marketplaces

SB 301 would require high-volume online sellers to provide verification and certification information to the online marketplace and prohibit them from engaging in sales without complying with the new requirements. 

 

Juveniles

AB 2321 would redefine the exception to room confinement in juvenile facilities for brief periods to a brief period lasting no more than two hours when necessary for institutional operations, and ensures that minors and wards confined at juvenile facilities are provided reasonable access to toilets at all hours, including during normal sleeping hours.

AB 2361 would require a juvenile court to find that a minor is not amenable to rehabilitation while under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court in order to transfer the minor to a court of criminal jurisdiction.

AB 2417 would expand the provisions of the Youth Bill of Rights and make these provisions applicable to youth confined in any juvenile justice facility.

AB 2629 would help facilitate the dismissal of juvenile court petitions when the court terminates jurisdiction over the matter.

AB 2644 prohibits an officer from using threats, physical harm, deception, or psychologically manipulative interrogation tactics when questioning a youth 25 years of age or younger about the commission of a felony or misdemeanor. AB 2644 provides that this prohibition does not apply to interrogations where the officer reasonably believes the information sought is necessary to protect life or property from imminent harm and the questions were limited to those reasonably necessary to obtain information related to that imminent threat. 

AB 2658 would ensure parity for youth in the juvenile justice system by granting them the same good time credits towards their sentence as adults receive now.

 

LGBTQ+

SB 107 would enact various safeguards against the enforcement of out-of-state anti-transgender laws to protect individuals seeking and providing gender-affirming health care in California.

 

Local Government

AB 1608 would remove the authority of a county board of supervisors to combine the duties of the sheriff with the duties of the coroner.

 

Mandated Reporters

AB 2274 would extend the statute of limitations for the failure of a mandated reporter to report suspected child abuse or severe neglect not involving sexual abuse to within one year of the discovery of the offense, but in no case later than four years after the commission of the offense.

 

Minors

AB 1737 would add the term “children’s camp” to the Health and Safety Code and define the term as “a camp that offers daytime or overnight experiences administered by adults who provide social, cultural, educational, recreational, or artistic programming to more than five children between 3 and 17 years of age for five days or longer during at least one season.”  While overnight camps are regulated to some degree in California, child day camps are not. Under state law, a camp is defined as a site established for the primary purpose of providing an outdoor group living experience for five days or more during one or more seasons of the year, which crucially leaves out day camps. California heavily regulates child day care centers where children enjoy low-risk activities like finger painting or sing-alongs but provide little to no regulation for day camps that provide a variety of high-risk activities. 

AB 2654 would reconvene the State Child Death Review Council by removing the requirement that funds are appropriated for it in the Budget Act in order to be operative. Read the fact sheet.

 

Peace Officers

AB 1836 would establish the Officer Wellness and Mental Health Grant Program within the Board of State and Community Corrections to award funds to local law enforcement agencies and associations to develop wellness and mental health programming for peace officers.

AB 2229 would reenact the requirement that peace officers be found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of their powers, including bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. 

AB 2429 would implement several recommendations of the Little Hoover Commission related to peace officer training. It would require the POST Commission to develop, with the input of academics, science-based training standards for peace officers in California that are more likely to prepare officers for the pressure and demands of their jobs.

AB 2547 would require POST to develop a definition of biased conduct which must be used in law enforcement investigations into bias-related complaints and develop guidance for local law enforcement agencies on performing effective internet and social media screening of officer applicants. 

 

Resentencing

SB 1178 would eliminate the November 2022 deadline to file petitions for relief for persons seeking to have their prior felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor as authorized by Proposition 47 of 2014. By eliminating the statutory deadline to seek relief under the resentencing provisions of Proposition 47, SB 1178 will help ensure that all Californians will have equitable access to the benefits they are entitled to under the law. 

 

Sentencing

AB 2657 would authorize California courts to act in a timely fashion to remove permanently incompetent people, who are ineligible for execution, from death row, and instead resentence them to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

 

Sex Offenders

AB 1636 would require the Medical Board of California to deny an initial license application, automatically revoke a license, or deny a petition to reinstate a license for individuals who have committed acts of sexual abuse or misconduct with a patient.

AB 1641 would require a Sexually Violent Predator placed on conditional release or outpatient status to be monitored by a global positioning system until the person is unconditionally discharged.
Signed into law in June 2022.

 

Sheriffs

AB 2791 would require, on or after January 1, 2024, a marshal or sheriff to accept an electronically signed notice or other court documents issued by a superior court in a civil action.

 

Transparency

AB 2418 would establish the Justice Data Accountability and Transparency Act which would enhance transparency and accountability in criminal prosecutions by requiring district attorneys to collect and report data about their cases such as demographic information about the defendant and the victim, charging information, information about plea offers, and case disposition. 

AB 2761 would require a death certificate to state whether a person died through use of force by a peace officer, while in the custody of a peace officer, or while in the custody of state or local law enforcement, including a city or county jail or state prison, if the death was precipitated by law enforcement conduct.

 

Vehicles

AB 2746 would lower the penalties for driving without a license and removes the ability to suspend a person’s driver’s license for failure to appear in court.

 

Victims

AB 2137 would require family justice centers to provide clients with educational materials relating to gun violence restraining orders.
Signed into law in June 2022.

SB 877 would authorize the CA Victim Compensation Board to reimburse a crime victim for psychiatric or mental health counseling services provided by an out-of-state provider who operates in the state in which the crime victim lives.

SB 916 would amend the Sexual Assault Victims’ DNA Bill of Rights to specify that sexual assault victims have the right to access the SAFE-T database for information involving their own forensic evidence kit and provides that the card given to a sexual assault victim shall also include a clear statement that under Section 1219 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a court may not imprison or otherwise confine or place in custody a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence for contempt if the contempt consists of refusing to testify about the crime.

SB 1003 would require the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) training program which would approve TIC providers and certify TIC training courses.

 

Federal Legislation

House Resolution 8 would prohibit a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm while conducting a background check.

House Resolution 1446 would extend the initial firearm background check review period from three business days to 10 business days.

The official position of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office on legislation is subject to change.