Use of Force Bills Now Linked

By Shaun Rundle, Deputy Director. 

In the final week for bills with fiscal impacts to be heard in their house of origin, the Senate Public Safety Committee heard SB 230 (Caballero). Groups who support Asm. Weber’s AB 392 oppose SB 230, so the Senate Public Safety Committee asked for amendments that drastically change SB 230 by removing all changes to PC 196. That leaves SB 230 as basically a training bill. One amendment states that “The provisions of this bill [SB 230] shall not become law absent the signing of AB 392 (Weber).” In other words, if Weber’s bill doesn’t pass in 2019, neither does SB 230.

The amendments made in Senate Public Safety, which can be viewed here, surprised many stakeholders. Various law enforcement groups, including CPOA, supported SB 230 when it was heard last week. Our support was for the version of the bill which made effective changes to PC 196 regarding use of deadly force, and the committee passed the bill under the assurance that the amendments above would be made.

Strategy and policy negotiations are currently taking place with regard to next steps now that both AB 392 and SB 230 have passed their first committees. 230 is awaits hearing in Appropriations Committee, while on the Assembly side, AB 392 awaits its fate in the Rules Committee. Rules will determine a date to send the bill to the Assembly floor for a full vote of 80 members. For CPOA’s strategy, our Law & Legislation Committee and our Board of Directors are reviewing the amended language to provide feedback on the next steps.

Different outcomes still are on the table for both use of force bills. One outcome is that both bills could be signed into law this year by Governor Newsom. Another is that AB 392 passes, and lawmakers decide to hold SB 230, which would favor the “accountability bill,” which is how many legislators view AB 392. Either way, what final version of 392 makes its way through the legislative process is yet to be seen. Members of the Senate Public Safety Committee did suggest that training is a crucial component to these conversations, which serve in SB 230’s favor.