CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Takes Final Action on Public Safety Bills

October 14, 2021

Sunday, October 10 was the deadline for final bill action by Governor Newsom. Following is an update on major bills of interest or concern for the Administration of Justice policy area that were among the 800+ bills awaiting action by Governor Gavin Newsom. For additional questions, please contact Stanicia Boatner at sboatner@counties.org.

Bills Signed By Governor Newsom (in order of action, by date):

AB 177 (Committee on Budget). This bill by the Budget Committee transitioned from SB 586 by Senator Steve Bradford and effective January 1, 2022, eliminates 17 administrative criminal fees; makes past debt for these fees uncollectible; and allocates backfill funding to counties for the associated loss of revenue from these fee repeals. In 2021-22, the backfill will total $25 million for counties.  In 2022-23 and ongoing, the backfill will increase to $50 million for counties. AB 177 also indicates the Legislature’s intent to pursue additional legislation by March 1, 2022, to finalize the funding allocation methodology for distribution. CSAC will continue conversations with stakeholders and share further information as it is available. AB 177 was signed by the Governor on September 23rd (Chapter 257, Statutes of 2021).

AB 48 (Gonzalez). This bill by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez provides that the use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents, as defined, shall only be used by a peace officer that has received training on their proper use by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) for crowd control if the use is objectively reasonable to defend against a threat to life or serious bodily injury to any individual, including any peace officer, or to bring an objectively dangerous and unlawful situation safely and effectively under control, and in compliance with specified requirements. AB 48 was signed by the Governor on September 30th (Chapter 404, Statutes of 2021).

SB 16 (Skinner). This bill by Senator Nancy Skinner increases transparency of peace officer misconduct records pertaining to findings of unreasonable or excessive use of force, discriminatory or prejudiced behavior, failure to intervene when witnessing excessive use of force by a peace officer, or participation in unlawful searches and arrests. SB 16 was signed by the Governor on September 30th (Chapter 402, Statutes of 2021).

AB 26 (Holden). This bill by Assembly Member Chris Holden requires use of force policies for law enforcement agencies to include the requirement that officers “immediately” report potential excessive force, and further describes the requirement to “intercede” if another officer uses excessive force.  Provides additional specifications for law enforcement agency policies on the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force. AB 26 was signed by the Governor on September 30th (Chapter 403, Statutes of 2021).

SB 2 (Bradford). This bill by Senator Steven Bradford creates a system within the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to investigate and revoke or suspend peace officer certification for serious misconduct, including excessive force, sexual assault, demonstration of bias and dishonesty. This legislation creates the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division and the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board within POST to review serious misconduct cases. SB 2 was signed by the Governor on September 30th (Chapter 409, Statutes of 2021).

SB 98 (McGuire). This bill by Senator Mike McGuire allows duly authorized members of the press to enter areas that have been closed by law enforcement due to a demonstration, march, protest, or rally and prohibits officers from interfering with, or citing members of the press for failure to disperse, a violation of a curfew, or a violation of resisting, delaying, or obstructing, as specified. SB 98 was signed by the Governor on October 9th (Chapter 759, Statutes of 2021).

Bills Vetoed By Governor Newsom:

AB 990 (Santiago). This bill by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago would have established the right of visitation as a protected civil right for people that are incarcerated, changed the standard of review for when a custodial authority seeks to limit the civil rights of incarcerated individuals, and restricted the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR’s) power to deny a person visitation rights. AB 990 was vetoed by the Governor on October 6th. The veto message can be found here.

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