Public Sentiment Lifts Bills of Concern Past Legislative Hurdles

By Shaun Rundle, Deputy Director.

There were several bills that CPOA was hoping would be defeated in the Senate or Assembly Appropriations Committee’s Suspense File hearing last week. These high-cost bills would cause administrative and procedural nightmares for local agencies. Public tide, however, lifted these pieces of legislation passed those committees despite law enforcement lobbying, and now they have even surpassed floor debate. Although there are still plenty of steps to go in the legislative process, these bills of concern are on a path to signature by Governor Jerry Brown.

The below three bills were heavily discussed with legislators in 2018, with the last two causing severe concern (and opposition) from CPOA. All bills were heard on Suspense File at the end of May.

SB 905 (Wiener-D) Alcoholic beverages: hours of sale

This bill authorizes the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), beginning January 1, 2021, to issue an additional hours license to an on-sale licensee in a qualified city that would allow the selling, giving, or purchasing of alcoholic beverages at the licensed premises between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., upon completion of specified requirements. CPOA expressed concerns to Senator Wiener that SB 905 may impact DUI drivers in early-morning commute times, and impact department staffing to account for later alcohol sale hours.

SB 1186 (Hill-D) Law enforcement agencies: surveillance: policies

Requires specified law enforcement agencies to have a policy, approved by their governing bodies, in place before the use of surveillance technology. There are many problems with this bill, including the fact that a public presentation of such technology could open criminal elements in the communities up to public knowledge of how these surveillance tools are used to solve crimes. CPOA has opposed since the bill’s introduction.

SB 1437 (Skinner-D) Accomplice liability for felony murder

This bill revises the felony murder rule to prohibit a participant in the commission or attempted commission of a felony that has been determined as inherently dangerous to human life to be imputed to have acted with implied malice, unless he or she personally committed the homicidal act. SB 1437 serves as another attempt to favor offenders over victims and provides little to no accountability for persons involved in homicidal acts. CPOA strongly opposes this bill.

After being passed off the Suspense File, all these bills passed the full Senate and now awaiting hearing in the Assembly. They will first be sent to a policy committee (Public Safety, Judiciary, etc.) but if passed could reach the Governor’s desk by August.

CPOA’s Law & Legislation Committee is actively reviewing and discussing any amendments to the bills in order to update our lobbying arguments against them when heard in the Assembly.