October 11th marked the last day for Governor Schwarzenegger to sign or veto legislation that had made its way to his desk. After a long session fraught with protracted battles over the budget deficit, water and other divisive issues, many associations and institutions are counting themselves among the lucky few to have survived the process.
For CALCASA, this year has been challenging though we have had tremendous success in light of political and economic turmoil. Eleven pieces of legislation that CALCASA had sponsored or chosen to support were ultimately signed by the Governor.
- SB 588 (Committee on Public Safety) Sex Offender Management Board. SB 588 ensures the continued existence of the state’s SOMB –created to assess the practices in managing adult sex offenders under supervision, identify best practices and make recommendations on how to implement changes – past its January 1, 2010 sunset date.
- SB 325 (Alquist) Sex offenders: assessments. SB 325 expands the breadth of existing sex offender risk assessment practices – strengthening the process to help ensure these assessments are reliable enough to be held up in court challenges.
- SB 432 (Runner) Crime victims: restitution. SB 432 authorizes the court and the counties, whenever a person who has been ordered to pay restitution to a victim to provide the victims contact information to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, along with the restitution order. This will enable the department to distribute restitution collected on the victim”s behalf.
- SB 447 (Yee) Criminal records: custodian. SB 447 requires the Department of Justice to establish, implement, and maintain a confirmation program to process fingerprint-based criminal record background clearances for such professionals designated as the custodian of record.
- SB 314 (Calderon) Crime victims. SB 314 works to ensure the solvency of the Victims Restitution Fund by giving higher priority to cases where penalties are owed in order to speed collection.
- SB 583 (Hollingsworth) Sex offenders. SB 583 requires the Department of Justice to record each address at which a registered sex offender resides with a unique identifier and the nature of the dwelling.
- SB 668 (Hollingsworth) Sex offenders. SB 668 requires that the registration, preregistration, or reregistration be signed under penalty of perjury.
- SB 669 (Hollingsworth) Sexually violent predators. SB 669 requires that, at the hearing on the issue of whether the committed person should be conditionally released or unconditionally discharged, where the person’s failure to participate in or complete the State Department of Mental Health Sex Offender Commitment Program may, if proved, be considered evidence that his or her condition has not changed.
- AB 17 (Swanson) Human trafficking. AB 17 increases fines on these crimes to $20,000 per count. Additionally, abduction or procurement of a minor would be categorized as a criminal profiteering activity, which could force those convicted of human trafficking to forfeit assets connected to those crimes.
- AB 73 (Hayashi) Marriage licenses: vital records: fees: domestic violence. AB 73 authorizes the Alameda Country Board of Supervisors to use a certain percentage of fees, from marriage licenses and vital records, for domestic violence programs.
- AB 595 (Adams) Placement of children: criminal background checks. AB 595 prohibits placement of foster children with individuals convicted of certain crimes, including sex crimes.
Any bill with an associated cost to the state was under significant scrutiny and most never made it out of committee for that reason. With that in mind, the inclusion of so many CALCASA sponsored and supported bills is a testament to the important work our members are doing and the support you’ve shown in the process. We are thankful to all of our members of the Grassroots Online Advocacy Center. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so now so you can help make a difference in California and US policy.
For a complete list of legislation tracked by CALCASA this year, you can review the 2009 Bill Tracking page.