By Shaun Rundle, Deputy Director.
By February 16th all 2018 bills needed to be introduced in the Legislature. From the thousands that were put across the desk this year in both the Assembly and Senate, CPOA’s Law & Legislation Committee has reviewed and taken positions on handful of legislation. Bills that we support cover the important topics of sex offense registration, recidivism tracking, controlled substances, emergency vehicle notification, and others. CPOA-opposed bills include legislation attempting to lessen parole, create cannabis festivals, impede on agency surveillance technology use, and reduce drug crimes.
We begin with Prop 64. Since that CPOA-opposed ballot measure was approved by voters in 2016, various lawmakers at the Capitol have taken their turn to respond to potential loopholes with legislation, often ridiculous. One such bill that quickly garnered our Law & Legislation Committee’s attention was AB 1793 (Bonta-D). The Oakland Assemblyman’s bill would allow for the automatic expungement or reduction of cannabis convictions prior to January 1, 2017. AB 1793 is basically a crime forgiveness bill, and sadly it is joined by many similar bills in 2018. Shortly after it was introduced, I met with Assemblyman Bonta’s staff and let them know that we have some serious problems with this bill, but he wants to see an across-the-board clean slate (mostly because he heard from constituents in Oakland who are experiencing long court wait times to have their sentences reduced). AB 1793 is still waiting to be heard in committee. When it does, CPOA will be there in opposition.
Another poor cannabis-related bill is AB 2020 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-San Leandro). This bill would essentially create weed festivals, or “Weedstock,” as I like to call it. AB 2020 allows for county fair-style temporary events where cannabis can be consumed and sold by persons 21 years of age or older. The serious issues for CPOA, and reason for our opposition to this bill, are that without a known level of impairment this bill and others like it may be too premature and public safety may be at risk. Also, combining these types of events with other legislative proposals to extend alcohol sales from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. could mean more adults under the influence of both cannabis and alcohol.
Crimes & Recidivism
There are a few legislative proposals that CPOA has voted to support this year. They include AB 1738 (Cunningham-R), and AB 1783 (Gallagher-R). Mr. Cunningham’s bill adds the crimes of soliciting or agreeing to engage in prostitution with a minor suspected to be involved in human trafficking. Assemblyman Gallagher’s bill is a great response to the recent criminal justice trends of AB 109 and Prop 47. AB 1783 sets a standard definition for recidivism and directs the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to collect and analyze data regarding recidivism rates for persons serving a felony sentence in county jail or who is placed in post release community supervision (PRCS). Both these bills are awaiting committee hearing dates as well.
For a complete list of current CPOA bill positions, please click here.