For today’s podcast, I sat down with Erinn Ryberg (McGeorge Class of ’13), Leg Director for Asm. Cristina Garcia, to discuss one of the bills her office worked on last year, AB 1033, which addressed the issue of stealthing. As Erinn describes it, “It’s a new name for something that’s been going on for decades.” The bill did not make it out of the Senate last year, but will very likely be coming back in 2018.

Stealthing is when, during sex, one partner – without the consent of the other partner – lies about using a condom or birth control, tampers with a condom, or removes a condom. It’s an issue that affects heterosexual and same-sex relationships, and again, it’s not a new issue. It’s only just being addressed now due to a combination of the practice having a name and continued rise in STD rates. AB 1033, initially, made stealthing an act of rape. That was later dropped down to sexual battery. You’ll need to listen to the podcast to learn why.

That said, AB 1033 was, at first, not about stealthing. It did not have anything to do with sexual battery or rape. It was an Indian gaming bill. This makes it a clear cut example of a gut-and-amend bill. It also raises the issue of germaneness, which is a rule that states amendments to a bill have to address the same issues as – or be germane to – the original bill. It was an issue that was flagged on AB 1033, but didn’t stop it from moving forward. It would not have necessarily stopped the bill dead in its tracks either in terms of its ability to get passed – from a rules perspective. However, the germaneness issue would come up were the bill to be challenged in court. Erinn and I talked for a while about the numerous issues that opponents had with the bill, and given our conversation, I think it would be safe to assume that germaneness might just be the beginning of the legal challenges AB 1033 would’ve faced.

We also talked at length about the procedural hurdles that the bill faced, the most notable of which was a committee amendment that bordered on being a poison pill.

Undoubtedly, this will be an issue to keep an eye on in 2018.