What's Happening at the Capitol


Week of July 21, 2014 
by Jason Burruel, Legislative Director 

As we approach the mid-way point of this year’s summer recess, the Governor has been working overtime signing a variety of legislation.  Legislative staff is also beginning to get back into the swing of things as bills are beginning to be amended and last minute legislative proposals are beginning to take shape. 

AB 1591, authored by Assemblymember Achadjian changes the requirement from two court days to one court day of when a court must notify the Department of Justice (DOJ) of specified court actions that would result in the prohibition of a person from possessing a firearm or any other deadly weapon or result in the person no longer being subject to that prohibition.  This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown.
 
AB 1623, authored by Speaker Atkins authorizes a city, county, city and county, or community-based nonprofit organization to establish Family Justice Centers (FJC) to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder and dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking to ensure that victims of abuse are able to access all needed services in one location.  This bill defines FJC’s as multiagency, multidisciplinary service centers where public and private agencies assign staff members to provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder and dependent adult abuse, or human trafficking from one location in order to reduce the number of times victims must tell their story, reduce the number of places victims must go to for help, and increase access to services and support for victims and their children.  AB 1623 Prohibits criminal history searches to be conducted of a victim at a FJC as a condition of receiving services without the victim's written consent, unless the criminal history search is pursuant to a criminal investigation.  Provides that crime victims are not required to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to receive services at a FJC.  This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown.

AB 2397, authored by Assemblymember Frazier would expands the appearances that can be made via two-way video conferences between a defendant housed in a county jail and a courtroom to include specified noncritical trial appearances, if the defendant and defense counsel consent to the defendant's physical absence from court.  This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown. 

AB 2424 authored by Assemblymember Campos, raises the maximum fine for the felony of abducting or fraudulently inducing a person to engage in prostitution from $2,000 to $10,000.  This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown. 

SB 978, authored by Senator DeSaulnier would allow the hospital to notify the local rape victim counseling center when the victim is presented to the hospital for the medical or evidentiary physical examination, upon approval of the victim (this law is already applied to law enforcement).  This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown. 

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