Administration of Justice Bills of Interest
May 4, 2017
SB 222 by Senator Ed Hernandez would increase access to critical health care services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries immediately after incarceration. This measure would provide individuals who were previously enrolled in Medi-Cal with immediate access to Medi-Cal benefits after their release from local or state detention facilities. Immediate access to benefits upon release can assure continuity of care while reducing the demand for intensive, costly health care services down the road, which could ultimately save money for state and local government agencies.
SB 222 passed out of the Senate Health Committee 7-1 and is set to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 8, 2017.
AB 789 by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio would provide courts with discretion to approve own recognizance (OR) releases for individuals arrested for certain offenses who have three prior failures to appear (FTA), without holding a hearing in open court, under a court-operated or court-approved pretrial program. Existing law requires a hearing in open court before an offender arrested for certain offenses, who has previously failed to appear in court three or more times over the preceding three years, may be granted OR release.
In counties where a sizeable portion of those arrested already have multiple FTAs due to jail overcrowding and other factors, the restriction within the law limits judicial discretion and court’s efficient use of pretrial release programs. AB 789 will encourage more efficient processing of criminal cases, more appropriate levels of offender supervision, and a reduction in jail overcrowding.
AB 789 passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee 5-2, passed off of the Assembly Floor and is awaiting committee assignment in the Senate Rules Committee.