On today’s episode of The The CAP·impact Podcast, we talk with Lexi Howard (JD ’15) and Erinn Ryberg (JD ’13) – two McGeorge alumna – who worked to kill AB 638, a bill that would have outlawed immigration consultants in California.

We go over what immigration consultants do, where they fit in the immigration law ecosystem, the actual problem that AB 638 was trying to fix, and why ultimately the bill needed to be killed.

As always, if you enjoyed today’s episode, please take the time to leave us a five-star rating on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher Radio, and subscribe to our show wherever you listen to podcasts. All of that helps other people find the show.

You can stay in touch with us and let us know what you think about the show on Facebook and Twitter. Just like CAP impact on Facebook or follow @CAPimpactCA on Twitter.

And last but not least, you can learn more about the Capital Center for Law and Policy at McGeorge School of Law here.

Another week has gone by, and Governor Brown has worked his way through more bills that were sent to his desk in the flurry of activity that came at the end of session. I’ve also added in a few more bills to this list, updating it with bills that have been discussed on In Session, and a bill we’ll be talking about on tomorrow’s episode of The CAP⋅impact Podcast.

Assembly Bills

  • AB 638: Immigration consultants – Dead, died on the Senate floor (13 Ayes, 17 Noes)
  • AB 931: Use of force by peace officers – Dead, held in Senate Rules Committee.
  • AB 1436: Suicide prevention training – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • AB 1784: Pilot program for support services for resource families – Dead, held on Suspense file in Senate Appropriations. Will be revived next session.
  • AB 1971: Reform of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act – Dead, ordered to inactive file by coauthor
  • AB 2018: Loan forgiveness program for public mental health professionals – Dead, held on Suspense File in Senate Appropriations
  • AB 2551: Forestry and fire prevention – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor

Senate Bills

  • SB 320: Medication abortion at public universities – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 822: Net Neutrality – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 901: Wildfires – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 906: Mental health service, peer support specialist certification – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 1004: Mental Health Services Act: prevention and early intervention – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 1113: Mental health in the workplace: voluntary standards – Signed into law by Governor Brown
  • SB 1421: Public access to police records – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor

For those of you keeping score at home, that leaves us with an updated count of 1 bill signed into law, 6 dead before reaching the Governor, and 8 waiting for Governor Brown to either sign, veto, or pocket sign them.

By: Katie Young

The 2017 California wildfires were some of the largest and most destructive on record. The Tubbs fire in Sonoma burned 5,643 structures and was responsible for twenty–two deaths. The Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties burned 281,893 acres and was the largest in California’s history until this summer’s Mendocino Complex fires overtook it at 459,102 acres. This destruction is occurring despite California’s investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in fire suppression over the last five years.

Assembly Members Jim Wood (D – Healdsberg) and Jim Patterson (R – Fresno) proposed AB 2551 as a response to these fires. The bill addresses one of underlying problems leading to California’s wildfire epidemic – forest health. Scientists and policy makers are realizing that the policy of the total suppression of fire in California has contributed to the conditions necessary for the recent trend of huge catastrophic wildfires. California forests burn regularly as part of the ecosystem’s natural function. The suppression of natural wildfire and other poor forest management decisions has led to densely packed forests with unhealthy trees that are less resilient to drought, climate change, pests, and fire.

In its original form, the bill served the dual purpose of promoting more “prescribed fire” through cooperative agreements between CalFire and private landowners and by creating a new Forest and Wildland Health Improvement and Fire Prevention Program. The latter program was intended to promote forest and wildland health, restoration, and resilience as well as improve fire outcomes, prevention, and preparedness throughout the state.  The latest amended version of the bill eliminated the program focused on forest health, likely due to budget concerns, and AB 2551 now focuses solely on making it slightly easier for landowners to work with CalFire to bring low intensity fire back on to their land, and hopefully reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the future.

AB 2551 is supported by a variety of groups including: environmental organizations such as the Nature Conservancy and Defenders of Wildlife, land trusts and conservation districts, state parks, local business interests, and insurance organizations. There are no groups opposing this bill.

AB 2551 has been enrolled and was presented to the Governor on September 10th, 2018.

To learn more about SB 822, listen to my interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

Katie Young is a staff writer for the University of the Pacific Law Review and law student student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

 

 

 

Today’s post is on types of legislative committees.

In both the California State Assembly as well as the California State Senate, there are several types of committees that operate to conduct the business of the two houses of the California Legislature.

Committee information is available online for the Assembly at assembly.ca.gov, and for Senate at senate.ca.gov. These websites include the committee members, the staff, the address, the phone number, when and where they meet, their policy committee jurisdictions, etc.

In terms of the standing committees, there are 32 in the Assembly and 21 in the Senate. These committees are created pursuant to the Assembly Rules for Assembly committees – obviously – and the Senate Rules for the Senate committees.

The standing committees consider legislation, the state budget, internal legislative matters, and all of these are determined by the jurisdictions that’s set forth in those rules. Again, the two rules committees, the Assembly Rules Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, determines the jurisdictions and the composition of those committees.

The standing committees have to meet specific standards for providing notice, bill analyses, the quorums, the method of voting, etc. Note that both the Assembly and the Senate have select committees, which are technically subcommittees of each house’s respective general research committee.

Now, pursuant to two joint rules, that’s 36.5 and 36.7, there are a number of joint committees of the Legislature. Note that joint committees have membership from both houses and consider issues of joint concern. A number of these committees were actually established pursuant to state statute or resolution that were adopted by the two houses.

Now that the California Legislature’s two-year legislative session has come to a close the drama around the bills that have worked their way through the legislative process has switched gears from “Will it pass?” to “Will the governor sign it?”. While we’re not completely through the period of time that the Governor has to sign or veto legislation, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how some of the bills we’ve followed here on CAP·impact – either on the blog or on The CAP·impact Podcast – have fared so far. Below is a list of some of the bills we’ve tracked with what their status is – alive, dead, or waiting for action by the Governor.

Assembly Bills

  • AB 931: Use of force by peace officers – Dead, held in Senate Rules Committee.
  • AB 1436: Suicide prevention training – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • AB 1784: Pilot program for support services for resource families – Dead, held on Suspense file in Senate Appropriations. Will be revived next session.
  • AB 1971: Reform of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act – Dead, ordered to inactive file by coauthor
  • AB 2018: Loan forgiveness program for public mental health professionals – Dead, held on Suspense File in Senate Appropriations

Senate Bills

  • SB 320: Medication abortion at public universities – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 901: Wildfires – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 906: Mental health service, peer support specialist certification – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 1004: Mental Health Services Act: prevention and early intervention – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor
  • SB 1113: Mental health in the workplace: voluntary standards – Signed into law by Governor Brown
  • SB 1421: Public access to police records – Enrolled, awaiting final action from the Governor

So at this point one of the bills we looked at this year has become law, six have passed both houses of the California Legislature and are waiting to be acted on by Governor Brown, and 4 are dead.

By: Molly Alcorn

Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old African American man, was in his grandparent’s backyard late one night when Sacramento police officers shot and killed him. National news screamed about police brutality. Protests against police flooded the streets and the internet.

AB 931 was an attempt to combat the rise of deadly police shootings in California. Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) introduced AB 931 in order to raise the standard for deadly force when used by peace officers. However, as it moved through the California Legislature, more and more pieces of the bill were left behind.

AB 931 was notable in a few ways.

First, AB 931 would have changed California law so that “Homicide is justifiable when committed by public officers and those acting by their command in their aid and assistance . . . when necessary given the totality of the circumstances . . . unless committed by a public officer whose gross negligence substantially contributed to making it necessary.”

AB 931 would have additionally amended the California Penal Code to, “Notwithstanding any other law, a peace officer may use deadly force only when such force is necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death to the officer or to a third party.”

The legislation defined “Necessary” as “given the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable peace officer would conclude that there was no reasonable alternative to the use of deadly force that would prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury to the peace officer or to a third party.”

This is where the opposition began. AB 931 prohibited officers from using deadly force if the officers were at fault for creating the need to use force. Basically, if an officer provoked someone and then had to use deadly force to stop them, the officer would be liable. This provision was similar to the “provocation rule” from City of Los Angeles, California v. Mendez, a previous California court decision. However, this provision conflicted with the Supreme Court’s finding that liability could not be placed on officers involved in deadly shootings if they were reckless or provoked the need to use deadly force. The provision was removed.

Additionally, AB 931 stated that officers could still be liable for using deadly force if they failed to meet the reasonable standard under the Penal Code § 196. This meant that if an officer acted in a way that was incompatible with proper regard to human life or where a reasonable officer would have foreseen that their conduct would create a likelihood for death or serious bodily harm, they could be held liable. Officers and interested parties protested this, citing that the Supreme Court held in Graham v. Connor that hindsight could not be used to establish liability. The provision was removed.

Additional amendments were made due to arguments over the impact of AB 931. Proponents, such as Professor Seth Stoughton, civil rights groups, and members within the legislature, argued that the bill would not harm officers following the law and would benefit the public. Opponents, such as police interest groups, argued that AB 931 would adversely affect peace officers and their training and liability.

Amendments aside, AB 931 was held in committee in the Senate effectively killing the legislation. Thus, the standard of care for police officers remains unchanged since enacted in 1872.

To learn more about SB 822, listen to my interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

Molly Alcorn is a staff writer for the University of the Pacific Law Review and law student student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

 

 

 

Today’s post is on the effective dates of statutes.

In the California Legislature legislation that contains an urgency clause take effect immediately upon the Governor signing the bill and it being chaptered by the Secretary of State – which occurs the same day.

With the exception of measures which take immediately, tax levies and bills calling an election, bills enacted in the first year of the legislative session before the Legislature adjourns all go into effect on January 1 of the following year. This same rule applies to the second year of the legislative session as well.

A statute enacted in a special session goes into effect on the 91st day after that special session has adjourned.

A statute – now there are some exceptions – for those that establish boundaries of the legislative, congressional, or election district enacted by a bill passed by the Legislature before adjourning for joint recess and in the possession after that date go into effect on January 1 unless a copy of a referendum petition effecting the statute is submitted to the Attorney General – in accordance with Section 10(d) of Article II of the state constitution – and then the statute goes into effect the 91st day after the enactment unless the Secretary of State receives that petition for the referendum.

Note that in Section 9(c), statutes calling elections, statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for the usual and current expenses of the state, and urgency statutes go into effect immediately upon enactment.

The exceptions to this general rule are set forth in Section 9600b of the Government Code, which again reiterates that constitutional provision that statutes calling elections, those statutes calling for tax levies or appropriations for expenses of the state, and urgency statutes go into effect immediately.

 

Enrolled Bill Reports and Gubernatorial Actions on Bills (transcript)

Today’s podcast on enrolled bill reports and gubernatorial actions on bills.

Once an enrolled bill reaches the Governor’s desk for final action, enrolled bill reports, or EBRs are produced for the Governor and his senior staff to consider the merits of the bill pending on the Governor’s desk. An enrolled bill is the final version of the bill that has passed both houses of the Legislature and is pending final action by the Governor.

California’s Governor has three choices with a bill that reaches his or her desk: sign the bill, veto the bill, or allow the bill to become law without his or her signature. The enrolled bill report, or again most often referred to as an EBR, is the analysis of a bill with information and a recommendation for action by the Governor written by staff.

EBRs are prepared for bills but not for constitutional amendments or resolutions because these measures are not acted upon by the Governor. Generally, there are at least three EBRs that are prepared for the Governor’s review with each bill that reaches his or her desk. The first is from the Department of Finance, the second is the relevant agency that has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the bill, and the third is by the Legislative Counsel.

The Governor’s bill file normally contains letters from outside parties that are urging the Governor to sign or veto the particular bill. They’re often submitted by interest groups that have supported or opposed the bill as the measure traveled through the legislative process. The Governor’s staff may have their own notes from meetings they’ve held with proponents and opponents of the bill.

All of these documents are clearly intended to provide the Governor and his or her staff with the information that they need to make an educated decision about whether to sign or veto the bill. Depending on the bill and how the particular Governor approaches decisions on pending legislation, these EBRs can be the critical basis for whether the bill gets signed or vetoed that year.

Thank you for joining today.

By: Camille Reid

Should the internet be open? This question is on the minds of many internet users, startups, and internet service providers (ISPs), like Verizon or AT&T. Those individuals who believe the internet is meant to be open are termed net neutrality supporters. Net neutrality refers to the concept that the internet should be equal to all who access it, and not controlled by ISPs who can slow down, speed up, or otherwise disturb user access.

Consumers and small startups demand net neutrality because of the potential for an ISPs potential to favor its own applications over others it does not own. This and other concerns over the open internet mounted after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” in 2017. The order created a much less regulated Internet by classifying it as an information service. The FCC reasoned that classifying the internet in this way will result in better investment and competition that benefits the consumer. The order rolls back Obama-era net neutrality regulations that many internet users and small companies came to rely on. In response to the FCC’s annihilation of those net neutrality protections, many states responded with lawsuits and legislation. California’s response to the FCC’s order comes in the form of Senate Bill 822 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). Senator Wiener introduced the bill to ensure that all customers have access to the open internet.

SB 822 attempts to restore the regulations contained in the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order. In keeping with that ideal, this legislation prohibits ISPs from blocking, speeding up or slowing down websites and applications. The bill also requires ISPs to engage in disclosure of its performance and management practices. One part of SB 822 that goes further than the FCC’s 2015 order are the provisions prohibiting zero-rating.

“Zero-rating” is a provider activity where the ISP excludes a majority of websites from a consumer’s usage allowances, while allowing other applications to squeak by without affecting a user’s data caps. For example, T-Mobile allows its user to stream unlimited video and audio from select services like Netflix, and AT&T gives its users the opportunity to access DirectTV for free. T-Mobile and AT&T could then slow down the stream from Netflix or another competing streaming service, thereby giving preferential treatment to its networks. This legislation would disallow ISPs from such obvious favoritism. Most importantly, SB 822 authorizes sanctions and penalties against an ISP for violations, and it also provides the California Public Utilities Commission authority to oversee the quality of internet service that ISPs offer consumers.

Supporters for SB 822 include more than 200 organizations ranging from websites – like Reddit – to business groups – like the California Association of Realtors – to public safety organizations – like CalFire. These organizations argue that SB 822, and protecting net neutrality, is extremely necessary based on the egregious network discrimination done by ISPs. Recently, Verizon slowed internet connections while firefighters battled the Mendocino Complex Fires. Firefighters said that because they were unable to access items like weather forecasts, lives were jeopardized. Supporters of SB 822 focus on its goal to ensure that each Californian is able to connect, invent, and participate online no matter the amount of money they have or where they live.

Opposition to SB 822 hinges on the notion that Senator Wiener’s net neutrality legislation would throttle investment in parts of California and that it is preempted by the FCC’s 2017 order. Those in the camp opposing SB 822 – which includes members of California’s business community, cell phone companies, ISPs, and organizations like the California State Conference of the NAACP and California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) – argue that ISPs have a specific budget, and any additional regulations brought on by this bill would stop advancement by stifling investment. Opponents also reference preemption as a blockade to SB 822 and rest their rationale on the preemption clause found in the FCC’s 2017 order, which stops states from regulating the internet if it conflicts with the FCC’s objectives.

Despite strenuous opposition and legal issues, SB 822 continues to move forward, having passed both houses of the California Legislature last week. The bill is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. Senator Wiener’s enthusiasm and belief in the bill is unwavering: “[w]e are moving closer and closer to enacting the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation. Much work remains… but we have momentum.”

To learn more about SB 822, listen to my interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

Camille Reid is a staff writer for the University of the Pacific Law Review and law student student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

On today’s podcast, McGeorge Capital Lawyering adjunct professor Chris Micheli breaks down the different vote requirements different types of legislation have to clear, and there’s more than just the majority and 2/3 requirements most folks know about. Chris also goes over the different kinds of legislative publications. And to wrap up today’s show, we talk with Kim Barnes – the Chief Legislation Editor for University of the Pacific Law Review’s Greensheets Edition and host of the podcast In Session – to talk about what to expect from the second season of In Session.

If you aren’t subscribing to In Session already, you can find it on Apple Podcasts and you will start seeing new episodes every week starting on Tuesday, September 4. You can also follow University of the Pacific Law Review on Facebook and Twitter.

As always, if you enjoyed today’s episode, please take the time to leave us a five-star rating on iTunes or Apple Podcasts and subscribe to our show wherever you listen to podcasts. All of that helps other people find the show.

You can stay in touch with us and let us know what you think about the show on Facebook and Twitter. Just like CAP impact on Facebook or follow @CAPimpactCA on Twitter.

And last but not least, you can learn more about the Capital Center for Law and Policy at McGeorge School of Law here.