In March, CALCASA and the CA Partnership to End Domestic Violence invited advocates from across California to come to the Capitol and urge legislators to support our statewide policy priorities.
As a reminder, here is the list of our priority legislation:
AB 322 (Portantino) Rape Kit Backlog: This bill originally would have set hard deadlines for local law enforcement and crime labs to process backlogged rape kits. However because of budgetary restrictions it was amended to require local jurisdictions to annually report to the CA Department of Justice the number of rape kits backlogged. We believe these reports will bring transparency to backlogs across the state and allow local advocates to hold law enforcement accountable for inaction.
AB 898 (Alejo) Increase Restitution Fines to match inflationary changes: This bill would increase restitution fines for the first time in twenty years. AB 898 proposes to increase the fine by 50%. This increase will assist in the long term solvency of the Restitution Fund, the main source of funding for the Victim Compensation Program.
SB 534 (Corbett) Violence Against Women Act of 2005 Compliance: This bill would codify in CA law that a survivor of sexual assault is not required to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to receive a forensic medical exam.
We are happy to report that because of your advocacy this year, the relationships you continue to build at the local level, and the Capitol networks established by CALCASA, we were able to achieve significant milestones to protect important survivor services, secure federal funds, and bring transparency to rape kit backlogs! Our ongoing policy strategy and political outreach was able to garner wide bipartisan support for each of our priority bills. In fact, AB 898 and SB 534 were approved unanimously!
However our work is not done! AB 322 and AB 898 will now head over to the State Senate and SB 534 will move to the State Assembly for further review. We will need your help to ensure this essential legislation makes its way to the Governor’s desk. Sign up for Action Alerts at our CALCASA Take Action Center to stay updated on our latest campaigns to protect important survivor services.
Please contact Phillip Ung at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about our policy agenda.