CSAC Bulletin Article

Additional AOJ Bills of Interest

August 11, 2016

The Assembly Appropriations Committee met today to hear bills that were placed on the Suspense File. Below are summaries of these bills and their outcome. Please contact staff regarding your concerns with this legislation.

SB 881 (Hertzberg) Vehicle Violations – Oppose.
As Amended June 29, 2016

SB 881 by Senator Bob Hertzberg would eliminate the court’s ability to suspend a driver’s license for failure to pay on specific court ordered debt. In addition, SB 881 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by July 2017, to restore all driving privileges after six months that have been suspended due to a note of a Failure to Appear (FTA) or Failure to Pay (FTP). 

This provision eliminates any incentive for individuals to pay outstanding debt for traffic violations they received and failed to pay.  CSAC opposes SB 881 because the bill removes a tool for the courts to collect fines and fees, eliminates an incentive for individuals to pay outstanding debt, and does not address the underlying problem of exorbitant fines and assessments. CSAC is in favor of devising a more comprehensive solution to this problem. SB 881 passed off of the Suspense File with amendments likely to extend the amnesty program and will now be heard on the Assembly Floor.

SB 1289 (Lara) Law Enforcement: Immigration – Oppose.
As Amended June 30, 2016

SB 1289 by Senator Ricardo Lara, would prohibit local law enforcement agencies and local governments from contracting with for-profit entities to detain immigrants.   CSAC opposes SB 1289 because it would limit a county’s authority to contract with a facility that detains offenders whether they are immigrants, felons, or misdemeanants.  Almost half of California’s county jails have some sort of capacity order limiting the number of offenders they can hold before they must be released because of overcrowding. 

This measure ties local law enforcement’s hands and exposes local governments to state civil liability.  While the objective of SB 1289 is to reduce the probability of individuals whose immigration status is in question from being held in custody, the bill does not accomplish this goal.  Instead, SB 1289 could result in individuals being held in other states like Arizona and Texas because California would be prohibited from contracting with these types of in-state facilities.  SB 1289 passed off of the Suspense File and will now be heard on the Assembly Floor

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