CSAC Bulletin Article

Administration of Justice Legislation

April 27, 2017

Bail Reform Legislation

AB 42 (Bonta) – Bail: Pre-Trial Release
As Amended March 27, 2017 – Concerns

Assembly Bill 42 by Assembly Member Rob Bonta, as amended, would revise the pretrial release system by limiting pretrial detention to specified persons, eliminating the use of bail schedules, and establishing county pretrial services agencies tasked with conducting risk assessments on arrested person and preparing reports with recommendations for conditions of release. The mandate requiring counties to establish pretrial services agencies would cause negative fiscal impacts to counties ranging from $2M to $6M. This measure does not offer counties a way to fund the pretrial services agencies mandated by the bill. AB 42 passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee with a vote of 4-2 and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 10 (Hertzberg) – Bail: Pre-Trial Release
As Amended March 27, 2017 – Concerns

Senate Bill 10 by Senator Bob Hertzberg, as amended, would revise the pretrial release system by limiting pretrial detention to specified persons, eliminating the use of bail schedules, and establishing county pretrial services agencies tasked with conducting risk assessments on arrested person and preparing reports with recommendations for conditions of release. The mandate requiring counties to establish pretrial services agencies would cause negative fiscal impacts to counties ranging from $2M to $6M. This measure does not offer counties a way to fund the pretrial services agencies mandated by the bill. SB 10 passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee with a vote of 5-1 and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1146 (Flora) – Cities and Counties: Contingency Fee Contracts
As Amended April 18, 2017 – Oppose

Assembly Bill 1146 by Assembly Member Heath Flora, as amended, would establish vague, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions that will only hamper the ability of local governmental entities to use contingency fee counsel when needed to protect the public. This measure is unnecessary because the issues it purports to address have been addressed elsewhere. Longstanding case law and rules already ensure that local governmental entities have exclusive settlement authority. There is no evidence that local governmental entities use contingency fee counsel to bring frivolous lawsuits, no evidence that these same entities fail to exercise adequate oversight over counsel, or that these entities even use contingency fee counsel very often. AB 1146 attempts to deter local government from pursuing litigation necessary to protect the public. AB 1146 is set to be heard in the Assembly Local Government Committee on May 3, 2017.

SB 421 (Wiener) – Sex Offender Tiered Registration System
As Amended April 17, 2017 - Support

Senate Bill 421 by Senator Scott Wiener would establish a statewide three-tiered sex offender registry system. California has over 100,000 registered sex offenders and is in need of a registry system reform that focuses on high risk and violent sex offenders. Law enforcement agencies cannot effectively protect the community when they are in the office handling monthly or annual administrative paperwork for low risk offenders. By implementing a tiered sex offender registry system, SB 421 would be a proactive public safety policy that allows law enforcement agencies to concentrate their investigative efforts on ensuring that high risk and violent offenders comply with the law. In addition, SB 421 was created after many years of work by the Sex Offender Management Board and discussions with District Attorneys and law enforcement agencies. SB 421 passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee 6-1 and has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. * SB 695 by Senator Ricardo Lara was amended to SB 421.

AB 1401 (Maienschein) – Juveniles: Protective Custody Warrant
As Amended April 19, 2017 – Support

Assembly Bill 1401 by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, as amended, would make changes to the issuance of protective custody warrants. Under existing law, the juvenile court is allowed to order the removal of a child from his or her home when a petition is filed simultaneously, or if social workers investigate child abuse and neglect and find that there is imminent danger or bodily harm. There is some ambiguity in existing law regarding the issue of obtaining warrants without filing a petition. AB 1401 would clarify this ambiguity by allowing social workers, under certain circumstances, to seek a court order to remove a child without filing a petition while still retaining the judge’s discretion as to whether a warrant is appropriate or needed as a precondition. AB 1401 passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee 11-0 and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 503 (Lackey) – Vehicle Parking Violations
As Amended April 4, 2017 – Oppose

Assembly Bill 503 by Assembly Member Tom Lackey would require local agencies to decrease parking violation fees according to the driver’s ability to pay. Additionally, as amended, this measure would remove a courts ability to use wage garnishment as a tool to collect unpaid fines and penalties. AB 503 removes the option of intercepting a tax refund and the ability of courts to garnish an individual’s wages to pay for outstanding parking violation fees. Without these tools, local agencies would have fewer options to collect unpaid fines and fees that assist in funding numerous local government programs.

AB 503 passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee 13-0 and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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