As we near the end of the 2019 Legislative cycle, we are excited that several of our co-sponsored bills have made it through the Legislature and await the Governor’s signature. These bills represent work from many LSPC staff members, All of Us or None organizers and community members, and all of our coalition partners.
Those bills are:
AB 942 (Weber) – CalFresh Meals Program. This bill would extend the ability to use food stamps for hot meals at supermarkets. Passed out of Assembly 72-0 in May, 2019. Passed out of the Senate 78-0 on September 10, 2019. Now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Call Governor Newsom 916.445.2841 and ask him to sign AB 942!
AB 1282 (Kalra) – No private ICE. This bill would prohibit ICE from using private contractors to detain and transfer people from prisons following the completion of their sentences. The bill passed the Assembly 59-15 in May. Amended and passed the Senate 29-10 on September 5. Assembly voted 61-16 concurrence to Senate amendments September 9. Now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Call Governor Newsom 916.445.2841 and ask him to sign AB 1282!
ACA 6 (McCarty) – Restore voting rights to Californians on parole. Our last minute advocacy & calling legislators got ACA 6 passed with just the necessary 54 votes!
ACA 6 now has to repeat the process in the Senate, moving through the committees and to another Floor Vote. Contact your CA Senator and tell them you support ACA 6 and want to restore voting rights for 50,000 Californians on parole!
SB 136 (Wiener) – Ending Ineffective 1-Year Sentencing Enhancements. By the skin of its teeth, passed the Senate Floor vote 21-11 in May. Amended and just barely passed the Assembly Floor Vote 41-37 on September 11, 2019. The bill eliminates the 1-year mandatory sentencing enhancement for priors except for “sexually violent offense” priors.
SB 144 (Mitchell) – Eliminate Imposition & Collection of Most Court Fees. This bill has become a 2-year bill, as we wait for courts and counties to share with us how eliminating the court fees would fiscally impact them. They have yet to respond, probably because there is no fiscal impact since they often spend more trying to collect from low-income Californians than they bring in. We look forward to continuing the fight to eliminate oppressive court fees again in January!
SB 310 (Skinner) – Jury Service. The bill, which would restore the right of jury service to people with felony convictions, was amended to exclude people currently on parole or on the sex offenders registry. Received a 47-26 vote on the Assembly Floor on September 9, and then a Senate concurrence vote of 29-10 on September 11. Call Governor Newsom 916.445.2841 and ask him to sign SB 310!
Other legislation of interest includes:
AB 32 (Bonta) – Ban CA Private Prison Contracts. Prohibits new or renewal contracts between CDCR and private prison companies, including ICE detention centers. As many current contracts are on 1-year “bridge” contracts, the bill effectively ends private prisons and ICE detention prisons in CA after 2020. People currently incarcerated in ICE detention prisons will probably be transferred to county jails with ICE contracts, until those contracts are also banned.
AB 45 (Stone) – Prison Co-Pays. Ends the co-pays people incarcerated in prison must pay to access medical treatment. Currently people incarcerated in CDCR prisons must pay a $5 co-pay to access medical treatment.
AB 484 (Jones-Sawyer) – Eliminate Mandatory Confinement during Probation. This bill would, for certain drug convictions, give judges granting probation the discretion to impose the current 180-day confinement condition mandatory with current convictions.
AB 1076 (Ting) – Automatic Relief. Will automatically seal arrest/conviction records for certain low-level offenses after diversion program.
ACR 91 (Jones-Sawyer) – Second Chances Month. This measure designates June 2019 as Second Chances Month in California, highlighting existing services and events to support reentry from incarceration.
SB 42 (Skinner) – Getting Home Safe Act. Requires sheriffs to release people from county jails between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M. or at sundown (whichever is later), as well as track the time and number of people released. Will end the practice of releasing people at midnight with no public transportation available.
SB 394 (Skinner) – Diversion for Primary Caregivers of Minor Children. Creates a pretrial diversion program for defendants who are primary caregivers of a child under 18 years of age, as specified, and who are charged with a misdemeanor or a nonserious, nonviolent felony.
SB 575 (Bradford) – Cal Grants for Students Incarcerated in Prison. Will allow students currently incarcerated to be eligible to receive a Cal Grant award.
Thank all of you for your tireless efforts and support for all of our legislation. Stay tuned for updates on our website as well. For more information, contact Policy Fellow Katie Dixon: firstname.lastname@example.org