Administration of Justice Bills of Interest
June 7, 2018
SB 1303 (Pan): This bill mandates that non-charter counties with a population of 500,000 or greater abolish the office of the coroner or the sheriff’s coroner’s office and replace it with the office of the medical examiner—which the county boards of supervisors already have the statutory power to do. This bill would have a significant fiscal impact on at least five counties—including Riverside, Contra Costa, Kern, Stanislaus and Sonoma. On April 24, 2018, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted to create an independent Office of the Medical Examiner. The initial estimated cost to create this new office is an additional $1.3 million in ongoing costs to their current budget. An expenditure of this size could prove to be detrimental to a county’s budget and the county board of supervisors is in the best position to determine if their county has the fiscal ability to absorb such an expense. SB 1303 is waiting to be heard in the Assembly.
AB 2720 (Waldron): This bill authorizes county probation departments to use unexpended funds from the Juvenile Reentry Grant Special Account for rehabilitative services for persons who have been discharged from a juvenile court’s jurisdiction for up to two years after dismissal. CSAC is very concerned about how the funds would be allocated, overseen, and managed to ensure the funding is meeting its intended use. AB 2720 is set to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 19th.
Support and Sponsor Bills
AB 372 (M. Stone): This bill, as amended, would create a pilot program that would allow the counties of Napa, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Yolo to offer an alternative to the batterer intervention program. AB 372 would allow the pilot counties to take an alternative and innovative approach to the current, statutorily required 52 week batterer intervention program and is the first step in assessing whether there are treatment programs that do not necessarily comply with current statutory requirements, that more effectively address the criminogenic needs of batterers and result in reducing recidivism. AB 372 is set to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 12th.
SB 931 (Hertzberg): This bill would amend the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act to specify that custody status cannot be used as the sole reason to postpone the psychiatric conservatorship evaluation process. Under existing law and practice, individuals suffering from severe mental illness often find themselves confined in the county jail for substantial periods of time, and are not evaluated for conservatorship status and appropriate treatment options until the conclusion of their criminal case. Delaying conservatorship evaluations often has the effect of keeping these persons in custody longer than necessary. SB 931 seeks to address this issue by prohibiting a conservatorship investigator from failing to schedule an investigation based solely upon the custody status of the individual. SB 931 is set to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 12th.
SB 347 (Jackson): This bill, as amended, would establish a regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft technology and operations in California. The increased use of drones in recent years offers a variation of benefits, but also presents a series of challenges for state and local government regulatory authorities. This measure creates a comprehensive set of practical and intelligent drone regulations that protect local and state drone regulating authority. SB 347 is set to be heard in the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee on June 19th.
SB 1106 (Hill): This bill would extend the operative date of the existing Transitional Age Youth pilot program to January 1, 2022, and expands the scope of the program to include Ventura County. The Transitional Youth Age pilot program allows young adult offenders age 18-21 to be housed in a local juvenile detention facility, instead of county jail where they will be able to access various services such as mental health, vocational, and education. SB 1106 is set to be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 12th.
AB 2073 (Chiu): This bill provides that any property owner, or agent thereof, who participates in a program to abate lead-based paint created as a result of a judgment or settlement in any public nuisance or similar litigation shall be immune from liability in any lawsuit seeking to recover inspection, abatement, or any other costs associated with that abatement program and the activities conducted pursuant to that abatement program. AB 2073 is set to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 12th.
AB 2803 (Limón): This bill clarifies existing public nuisance law in California as applied to lead-based paint, including codifying several aspects of the Court of Appeal’s decision in People v. Conagra Grocery Products Company (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 51. AB 2803 is waiting to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AB 2934 (Stone, M.):This bill amends the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program to authorize the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to authorize a local health department to implement and administer the program that certifies individuals doing lead-related construction work. AB 2934 is waiting to be heard in the Senate.