CSAC Bulletin Article

New Laws for 2022: Administration of Justice

Governor Newsom met the October 10 deadline to take action on measures approved by the Legislature and delivered to his desk. To keep counties informed of new laws that impact them, CSAC will be publishing a series of articles to spotlight those laws in each policy area. This week, the Administration of Justice policy area provides information on new laws affecting criminal justice fees, courts, police reform and juvenile justice.

The new laws listed below become effective January 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted.

Juvenile Justice

SB 92 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) – This is a budget trailer bill within the overall 2020-21 budget package with technical changes necessary to implement the realignment of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) that was included in the 2020 Budget Act. This bill establishes the Secure Youth Treatment Facilities track for youth, states the DJJ closure date, and includes various technical changes to effectuate the provisions included in the 2020 Budget Act. SB 92 became effective March 1, 2021.

Criminal Fees

AB 177 (Committee on Budget) – 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 supported this bill after negotiating the terms of the backfill.

Court

AB 143 (Committee on Budget) – This bill provides for statutory changes necessary to enact courts-related provisions of the Budget Act of 2021. Specifically, this bill:

  • Ability to Pay Expansion. Expands upon a pilot program approved in the 2018 Budget Act which implemented online traffic adjudication and ability to pay projects in eight courts. Eliminates the pilot program and makes certain components of the pilot program permanent, and applicable statewide, such as requirements related to the ability-to-pay determinations and to online trials for those trial courts that choose to offer them.
  • Courts’ Design-Build Authority. Authorizes the Judicial Council to use a design-build procurement process in contracting and procuring public works projects and would authorize the Judicial Council to award contracts using either the best value or low bid selection method for all projects.
  • Construction Fund Consolidation. Combines the Immediate and Critical Needs Account and the State Court Facilities Construction Fund which were facing insolvency due to steady decreases in fine and fee revenue.
  • Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP). Creates the Committee to Review Operations and Structure of the Commission on Judicial Performance to study and recommend changes to the structure and operation of the CJP.
  • AB 1869 (Committee on Budget, Chapter 92, Statutes of 2020) Allocation Schedule. AB 1869 eliminated 23 criminal administrative fees.  These statutory changes specify how the backfill amounts will be allocated to counties. 

Police Reform

AB 26 (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 48 (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.

SB 2 (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 16 (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 98 (McGuire) – Allows duly authorized members of the media 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 media for failure to disperse, a violation of a curfew, or a violation of resisting, delaying, or obstructing, as specified.

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