Policy Points from CPOA Advocate

From: Matthew Siverling, Legislative Advocate

From now until April 26th, the policy committees in the Senate and Assembly will be grinding bills through their first hearings for 2024.  Being set for a hearing instigates amendments and analyses and “showing of the cards” for the proposals, but since these hearings are in the House of Origin there is often a wide berth given to bills to continue moving as “works in progress” or with the commitment to “work with the opposition” if there is vociferous objection to a bill.

Pursuant to the House Rules, each measure that is introduced is required to remain in print, untouched, for 30 days until it can be amended or heard in Committee. The next step in the process is for the Rules Committees in each House to refer each bill to the appropriate policy committee for its first analysis, hearing, debate and vote. Spot bills cannot be referred to committee until they are deemed to amend the law in a substantive manner, so we should expect another onslaught of new content to review after the 30 day waiting period has passed.

Deadlines to Note

That “30 day” deadline has now passed, and several hundred spot bills have now been amended into substantive bills that we have reviewed.

The next step in the process after April 26th Policy deadline will be the Appropriations Committees.  These hearings deal with the cost to the General Fund of each bill, which this year will be a steep hill to climb.

The next major deadline of interest is:

April 26th: Last Day for measure that is deemed fiscal to be heard in policy committee

May 3rd: Last day for measure that is deemed non-fiscal to be heard in policy committee


  • There are over twenty different measures on “retail theft” and various approaches on how to reverse the trend of shoplifting or widespread “smash and grab” activities in California stores. In recent weeks, the pressure to act on crime has risen to the top levels of leadership in each House, with the Speaker of the Assembly and Pro Tem of the Senate each rolling out respective sponsored bill packages to appease the public.  These bills can only amend aspects of the issues cemented into law by Prop 47 but cannot alter many of the fundamental tenets of the Initiative.  The only way to substantively amend Prop 47 is to return that issue to the voters through the ballot. Otherwise, anticipate a flurry of bills to amend policies around the edges.
  • Also in the Public Safety Committee, the ongoing effort to prohibit deployment of K9 officers for pursuit, apprehension or arrest will be heard on April 9th. Assembly Bill 2042 (Jackson) is being carried by the same Author that led the unsuccessful fight in 2023.  In the meantime, law enforcement advocates have secured a vehicle to proactively legislate the minimum guidelines, training requirements and policies around deployment which will be housed in Assembly Bill 3241 (Pacheco).  Both will be presented to Assembly Public Safety Committee where the issues will be debated and determined by the members.

As mentioned there has been a request for CPOA to lend support to a variety of issues that have been recently over-legislated and need to be reeled back…or issues that have been creating outrage in the District that need to be addressed…

Laws to police AI child pornography (2 bills)

Fentanyl (half dozen bills on sentencing and enhancements/firearms)

Vehicle speed contests (seizing property, policing the attendance, planning and participation) (at least 6)

Reinstating laws to combat prostitution

            Scot Weiner bill to eliminate the crime of loitering

Human trafficking tool

Many bills on this, again, at least half dozen


What is CPOA Working On? 

Lastly, we are working on several of the recently amended spot bills:

AB 3021 (Kalra) Interrogations

This measure would require a “Miranda” type disclosure to family members of the deceased to inform them that they are not required to speak or share information with law enforcement.

AB 2168 (Kalra) Prison to Jail

This measure would route those convicted of crimes that carry a sentence of less than 365 days in State Prison to instead serve the sentence in a county jail.

SB 1264 (Grove) Cannabis for cops

This is a cleanup bill that will clarify that peace officers are not included in the employee protections provided by SB 700 (Bradford, ’23) which prohibited employers from disciplining or firing employees for off-duty (or personal time) cannabis use.