2016 Legislative Review

All of Us or None and Critical Resistance members visit legislators’ offices to advocate for bills during Quest for Democracy Advocacy Day, May 9, 2016.

Every legislative cycle, LSPC staff, interns, and AOUON members track hundreds of bills through the California Legislature. We support bills that advance our mission of releasing incarcerated people, restoring human and civil rights and reunifying families by writing advocacy letters, testifying in hearings in Sacramento, and directly lobbying legislators. We oppose bills that increase the severity and/or length of sentences, or create more barriers to employment, housing, education, or voting in much the same way.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of bills and propositions that LSPC tracked in 2016, and that are already, or will be law in January 2017. This list includes bills and propositions that we supported and opposed. We are making them available in summary form to you because they may have a significant impact on our and other organizations’ criminal and social justice work in 2017:

Propositions Proposition 57: (in effect)

Allows certain state prisoners convicted of nonviolent felonies to be considered for earlier release, requires youth accused of crimes to have a hearing before being transferred to adult court, and allows CDCR to award additional credits for good behavior and rehabilitative or educational achievements.

 

Proposition 64: (in effect)

Allows adults 21 years and older to legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for nonmedical purposes (with some restrictions). The state will regulate nonmedical marijuana businesses, including regulating licensing for sale, and tax marijuana’s growth and sale. Most of the revenue from these taxes will go to youth programs, environmental protection, and police.

 

Proposition 66: (in effect)

Limits appeals for people sentenced to death and speeds up the timeline for executions.

Family Unity, Youth AB 1945: Juveniles: sealing of records

Allows a child welfare agency to access sealed juvenile conviction histories in order to determine an appropriate placement or service for a youth.

 

AB 2380: Defendants: minor children

Requires the court to provide a defendant at a felony arraignment who is the sole custodial parent of one or more minor children information regarding guardianship.

 

SB 882: Crimes: public transportation: minors

Prohibits a minor from being charged with an infraction or misdemeanor for evading the fare on public transit.

Fines and Fees

 

AB 2839: Criminal penalties: nonpayment of fine.

Clarifies that when a defendant is incarcerated for non-payment of a non-restitution criminal fine, only the base fine can be used to determine the term of incarceration.

 

SB 614: Criminal procedure: legal assistance: ability to pay.

Extends the presumption that a defendant sentenced to a state prison has no reasonably ability to reimburse the costs of his or defense to defendants sentenced to county jail for longer than 364 days.

 

SB 881: Vehicles: violations: payment of fines and bail.

Requires the court to issue and file certificates to the Department of Motor Vehicles under the Traffic Court Amnesty Program within 90 days of receiving a participant’s payment.

Immigration AB 2792: Local law enforcement agencies: federal immigration policy enforcement: ICE access.

The Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds (TRUTH) Act, requires local law enforcement agencies to provide people  in custody for civil immigration violations with written consent forms that explain, among other things, the purpose of an interview, that it is voluntary, and that the individual may decline to be interviewed. The bill would require that the records related to ICE access be public records for purposes of the California Public Records Act.

Marijuana AB 2516: Medical cannabis: state cultivator license types: specialty cottage type.

Provides for a specialty Type 1C, or “specialty cottage,” state cultivator license, by the Department of Food and Agriculture.

Policing AB 1705: Jails: searches.

Allows law enforcement personnel to subject a person who has been arrested and taken into custody to a body scanner search for weapons or substances.

 

AB 2298: Criminal gangs

Requires law enforcement to provide notice to a person (and their parent or guardian, if they are a minor) prior to designating that person as a suspected gang member, associate or affiliate in the gang database.

 

SB 443: Forfeiture: assets: controlled substances.

Requires California law enforcement agencies to secure a conviction before seizing the proceeds of drug asset forfeiture in some cases.

 

SB 1389: Interrogation: electronic recordation.

Requires the electronic recording of the entire custodial interrogation of any person suspected of committing murder.

Prop 47 AB 2765: Proposition 47: sentence reduction

Extends the deadline for a person to apply for a sentence reduction under Prop 47 to November 4, 2022, or at a later date upon a showing of good cause.

 

SB 1182: Controlled substances

Makes possession of ketamine, flunitrazepam, or GHB, with the intent to commit a sexual assault, a felony.

Reentry AB 1289: Transportation network companies: participating drivers: penalties.

Requires transportation network companies (TNCs) to conduct a local and national criminal background check on each participating driver. Prevents TNCs from contracting with, employing, or retaining drivers if they are on the DOJ National Sex Offender Public website, or been convicted of a violent felony, among other things.

 

AB 1843: Applicants for employment: criminal history

Prohibits employers from asking applicants about juvenile arrests, detentions, processing, diversions, supervision, adjudications, or court dispositions.

Criminal Justice AB 813: Criminal procedure: post-conviction relief

Establishes a way for a person who is no longer incarcerated to challenge a conviction if they pled guilty without meaningfully understanding the immigration consequences of the conviction, or if there is newly discovered evidence of actual innocence.

 

AB 1761: Human trafficking: victims: affirmative defense

Creates an affirmative defense to a crime that the defendant was coerced as a direct result of being a human trafficking victim.

 

AB 1909: Falsifying evidence

Makes it a felony for a prosecuting attorney to intentionally and in bad faith alter, modify, or withhold evidence, knowing that it is relevant and material to the outcome of the case, with the specific intent that the evidence will be concealed or destroyed.

 

AB 2590: restorative justice

Declares that the purpose of sentencing is public safety achieved through punishment, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. Extends until January 1, 2022, the authority of the court to impose the appropriate term for a felony. After January 1, 2022, the court would be required to impose the middle term, unless there are circumstances in aggravation or mitigation of the crime.

 

AB 2888: Sex crimes: mandatory prison sentence

Prohibits a court from granting probation or suspending the execution or imposition of a sentence if a person is convicted of certain sexual assault crimes.

 

SB 139: Controlled substances

Makes it an infraction or misdemeanor to possess synthetic stimulant or synthetic cannabinoid compounds.

 

SB 759: Prisoners: segregation housing

Requires CDCR to establish regulations to allow people in Segregated Housing Units to earn credits.

 

SB 813: Sex offenses: statute of limitations

Deletes the statute of limitations for the prosecution of certain sexual assault crimes.

 

SB 955: State hospital commitment: compassionate release

Creates a compassionate release provision for defendants who have been committed to state hospitals.

 

SB 1129: Prostitution: sanctions

Deletes the mandatory minimum terms of incarceration for multiple convictions of prostitution.

 

SB 1134: Habeas corpus: new evidence: motion to vacate judgment: indemnity

Allows a writ of habeas corpus to be prosecuted on the basis of new evidence that is credible, material, presented without substantial delay, and of such decisive force and value that it would have more likely than not changed the outcome at trial.

 

SB 1242: Sentencing: misdemeanors

Makes the law that misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days retroactive.

Voting Rights AB 2466: Voting: felons

Allows people serving felony convictions in county jails to vote. Codifies that people on post-release community supervision and mandatory supervision can vote.

To find out more about LSPC’s bill tracking program, email endria@prisonerswithchildren.org.