The 2017-18 legislative session was a lively one, as well as the last one ever to overseen by Governor Jerry Brown. To discuss the end of session and some of the historic legislation that came out of it, we talk with Aaron Brieno – Leg. Director to Sen. Ben Hueso – now former lobbyist Lexi Howard – she was a contract lobbyist at the time of recording – and lobbyist and friend of the show Chris Micheli.

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 makes The CAP⋅impact Podcast easier to find and more accessible.

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

The CAP⋅impact Podcast is made possible by the Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. You can learn more about the Capital Center here, and keep up with the Capital Center on Facebook and Twitter.

By: Devinn Larsen

The controversial practice of sexual orientation change efforts–also known as conversion therapy–attempts to change or alter an individual’s sexual orientation through various methods including but not limited to religious intervention, aversion therapy, and hypnosis. Most medical practitioners and professional medical organizations reject conversion therapy as a valid practice due to the financial and psychological risks associated with the practice such as financial burden, emotional trauma, risk of suicide, and depression.

In 2012, California became the first state to pass an outright ban of conversion therapy practices on minors. To further support and embrace California’s LGBTQ community and to protect from any harmful effects conversion therapy may cause, Assembly Member Evan Low (D – San Francisco) proposed AB 2943. The bill set out to extend the prohibition of conversion therapy practices to adults by making any advertisements for, offers to practice conversion therapy, or the actual practice of conversion therapy violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) as deceptive practices. As the CLRA declares services unlawful when represented as having the approval, benefit, or quality they do not have, the lack of substantiated evidence as to the success of conversion therapy after years of medical research sparked the introduction of AB 2943 to expand the ban of conversion therapy practices to all.

In the original version of the legislation, AB 2943 faced harsh criticism from many conservative and religious groups claiming the broad language of the bill infringed on constitutional freedoms of religion and speech. Many attempts to amend AB 2943 to better comply with individual liberties occurred, and in the latest version of the bill the CLRA violations extension included only advertisements for, offers to sell, and the actual sale of conversion therapy services.

Even with the amendments, concerns of conservative and religious groups remained prompting additional challenges relating to the breadth of the language used. After attempts to reconcile the language concerns failed and after passing through many stages on its way to becoming law, Assembly Member Low ordered AB 2943 to the inactive file, effectively killing the legislation for this legislation session.

In a statement made after the withdrawal of AB 2943, Assembly Member Low explained, “The best policy is not made in a vacuum and in order to advance the strongest piece of legislation, the bill requires additional time to allow for an inclusive process not hampered by legislative deadlines.” Only time will tell as to whether any alternative proposals of similar legislation taking such a strong stance on the protections afforded to California’s LGBTQ community will resurface.

To learn more about AB 2943, listen to my interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

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

Legislative Committee Rules (transcript)

Today’s post is on legislative committee rules.

Each standing committee of the California State Senate and the Assembly operate under the Joint Rules of the Legislature, as well as the Standing Rules of the Senate and the Standing Rules of the Assembly. Further, each standing committee may adopt rules governing their committees. These committee rules set forth the procedures and guidelines governing that legislative committee.

As a general rule, many of the committee rules contain some of the provisions that are outlined in today’s podcast, including provisions on committee worksheets, motions, and letters of support and opposition among many others. I hope you find today’s podcast helpful.

By: Trisha Mannie

After the launch of #MeToo and revelations of many allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein became public, the media’s coverage of how common sexual harassment is in the workplace has become more prevalent.  Famous women are sharing their experiences and using their status to encourage other women to do the same, resulting in a drastic rise in awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual harassment. The #MeToo and We Said Enough movements are only a couple of examples of how society is taking a stand to deter sexual harassment in the workplace. Now, more than ever, there is mounting pressure to put a halt to the somewhat normalized behaviors of sexual harassment occurring in the workplace that have hindered the success of many women’s careers for years.

SB 224 represents California’s goal to end sexual harassment in the workplace.  SB 224 acts to emphasize that those in powerful positions are liable for their actions by adding investors, producers, directors, lobbyists, and elected officials into legislation as examples of professional relationships where sexual harassment should not occur. This recognition of a broader scope of potentially liable professionals extends to include professional relationships that do not yet exist, but are offered. Additionally, SB 224 removes the requirement that the victim must prove the relationship was not able to be easily terminated before the harasser can be held liable for his or her actions. Lastly, SB 224 revises two Governmental Codes allowing the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to investigate cases of sexual harassment.

Through these changes, there is indication of a greater awareness for sexual harassment and a clear declaration that victims of these situations are supported by the law.  It promotes the eradication of professional behaviors of sexual harassment dictated by money, status, and power that have manipulated the vulnerable as they fear for their jobs. It removes blame from the victim by acknowledging that it is not up to the victim to terminate the relationship, but that the sexually harassing behavior should not have occurred in the first place. SB 224 makes it clear that victims are not alone as the DFEH plays a role, alongside the individual, in seeking justice.  The enactment of SB 224 unambiguously promulgates that those within professional relationships are entitled to respect, while reinforcing that those who violate this right should be held liable.

With its progressive ideals and underlying aim of achieving equality, SB 224 has faced no opposition. It passed in both the Senate and the Assembly and on September 30th, SB 224 was approved by Governor Brown. SB 224 is one step towards achieving the bigger picture of ending sexual harassment across multiple industries.

To learn more about SB 224, listen to my interview on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

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

 

 

 

Recapping Governor Brown’s Bill Actions in 2018 (transcript)

Today’s post is a summary of the bill actions by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, his last year in office.

While the 2018 legislative session concludes sine die on November 30th, for all practical purposes the session ended on September 30, which represented the last day by the constitution for Governor Brown to act on all the bills sent to his desk in those final weeks of the legislative session.

He actually acted on bills every month of the year – from January with just one bill through September where he acted on 941 bills. So there were well over 1,000 bills that reached his desk. The exact number? 1,217 of those bills.

Now, this year, the 2018 session that began in early January and concluded by the constitution on August 31 dealt with 2,225 bills were introduced between the two houses of the Legislature. The Senate introduced 694 bills in 2018. The Assembly introduced 1,531 bills.

Of those 1,217 that made it down, 55% of the bills introduced made it to the Governor’s desk and 45% of the bills introduced – again that 2,225 number – got signed into law while a mere 9% of the bills that were introduced got vetoed. Of course, of the 1,217 bills a certain number were signed and vetoed.

The Governor this year vetoed 201 bills, which represents 16.5% – the highest he’s ever done. Let’s look a little closer at those bills the Governor signed and vetoed this year. Again, the magical number was 1,217.

I go into a greater detailed breakdown of the bills signed and vetoed by Governor Brown in today’s podcast.

Laura Curtis, who just finished her first year as a lobbyist, sits down with McGeorge alum and adjunct professor Chris Micheli, to talk about her experience as a lobbyist and being a part of the advocacy at the California Chamber of Commerce.

You can also check out last week’s episode where Laura talks about her recent career switch – from working in a legal career in the San Francisco Bay Area to lobbying for the California Chamber of Commerce in California’s capital. The two talk about her experience switching careers and the biggest differences between being a practicing attorney and a lobbyist.

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 makes The CAP⋅impact Podcast easier to find and more accessible.

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

The CAP⋅impact Podcast is made possible by the Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. You can learn more about the Capital Center here, and keep up with the Capital Center on Facebook and Twitter.

The deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to sign or veto bills has come and passed so there are now no more bills in legislative limbo. This is the final rundown of how the bills we looked at this year fared.

Assembly Bills

  • AB 186: Controlled substances: overdose prevention program – Vetoed
  • 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 – Signed into law
  • 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 – Signed into law
  • AB 2780: Family Law: support orders – Signed into law

Senate Bills

  • SB 320: Medication abortion at public universities – Vetoed
  • SB 822: Net Neutrality – Signed into law
  • SB 901: Wildfires – Signed into law
  • SB 906: Mental health service, peer support specialist certification – Vetoed.
  • SB 923: Criminal investigations: eyewitness identification – Signed into law
  • SB 1004: Mental Health Services Act: prevention and early intervention – Signed into law
  • SB 1113: Mental health in the workplace: voluntary standards – Signed into law by Governor Brown
  • SB 1421: Public access to police records – Signed into law

So, now that the Governor has finished acting on legislation that makes the final count 4 bills dead in the Legislature, 9 bills signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, and 2 vetoed bills.

By: Reymond Huang

Divorcing couples often face emotional and financial challenges. Emotions of anger and confusion flood divorce proceedings, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. Furthermore, the parties must inevitably adjust to a new standard of living. Typically, one party is the breadwinner while the other stayed at home and took care of the children. Divorce overturns these roles. The stay at home parent may find a job to support the family while the breadwinner may work less to spend more time with the children.

Eventually, the parties must determine spousal and child support. Each side will jostle for less or more monetary support. Oftentimes parties will purposefully reduce their income or refuse to work. The objective: to pay less or receive more spousal or child support. Vocational evaluators help solve this problem. A vocational evaluator evaluates how much a party can earn given that party’s education, work experience, and other factors. A judge places great weight on a vocational evaluator’s determination and will assign income on a party based on the vocational evaluator’s report.

Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) introduced AB 2780 because vocational evaluators are “underutilized tools in family law cases.” AB 2780 “seeks to increase access to vocational evaluators” by expanding the educational requirements of vocational evaluators. Current state law provides that vocational evaluators must hold a master’s degree in the behavioral sciences. Under AB 2780, a vocational evaluator may possess a master’s degree in the behavioral sciences or any other postgraduate degree that a court will find sufficient to conduct an evaluation. In addition, AB 2780 allows a court to consider the overall welfare and developmental needs of the child along with the amount of time a parent spends with the child in determining the parent’s earning capabilities. AB 2780 included the language ‘the overall welfare and developmental needs of child and the time the parent spends with the children’ into Family Code Section 4058(b).

The Family Law Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association sponsored AB 2780 and the California Protective Parents Association supported this bill as well. AB 2780 did not face any opposition.

However, A.B. 2780’s goal may be stymied by practical hurdles. Divorce is expensive, and parties may completely avoid hiring attorneys or experts. Courts supply ample resources for parties to conduct the divorce on their own. In addition, mediation provides a popular alternative to hiring attorneys for divorces. Furthermore, A.B. 2780 does not define the scope of educational degrees that may qualify a vocational evaluator. Finally, A.B. 2780 re-states many principles that have already been determined by courts such as the time a parent spends with his or her child and the developmental needs of the child.

Governor Brown approved AB 2780 on August 20, 2018 and became Chapter 178.

To learn more about AB 2780, listen to my interview coming soon on “In Session,” a podcast from the University of the Pacific Law Review.

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

 

 

 

Standing Committees and Their Jurisdictions (transcript)

This post is on legislative committees and their jurisdictions.

Both houses of the California legislature provide committees of legislators to do their work based upon subject matter jurisdiction.

With fewer legislators, the Senate naturally has a fewer number of committees than the State Assembly. Nonetheless, both consider legislation from their house of origin as well as the other house.

This is a brief overview of the Senate and Assembly standing committees and their basic jurisdictions. In the Senate, there are 21 standing committees that are provided pursuant to Rule 12 of the Standing Rules of the Senate. Let’s turn to the Assembly and its committees. There are 32 standing committees in the Assembly, pursuant to Rule 11 of the Standing Rules of the Assembly.

I go into greater detail about the committees and their jurisdictions in today’s audio. Thanks for listening.

If we’re being completely honest, the only story any of us were really following this week was the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and today’s news that a new FBI probe of Kavanaugh has been ordered.

There were, however a few other interesting stories that were buried this week that Jon Wainwright tracked down.

 

 

 

New York Times

Tesla Chief ELon Musk is Sued by S.E.C. in Move That Could Oust Him by Matthew Goldstein and Emily Flitter

Jon’s take: It really has not been a good run for Elon Musk lately. First he angered shareholders by smoking marijuana on camera while recording a podcast with Joe Rogan. Now his tweet from last month is coming back to haunt him.

I’m trying to process why he would do something so stupid, just to amuse his girlfriend, and now potentially be on the receiving end of the harshest penalty the S.E.C. can render. Talk about harshing the vibe, man.

Sacramento Bee

‘We have enough mischief:’ Jerry Brown vetoes later bar closing times. by Andrew Sheeler

Jon’s take: I’m going to miss Governor Brown, and I’m especially going to miss his veto messages.