by Jason Burruel, Legislative Director
This week, our Executive Board met with Governor Jerry Brown in Sacramento to discuss a wide variety of issues. Because POST faces a $7.8 million budget shortfall, cuts have been made in several areas including Plan 4 reimbursement. We discussed several ways in which we can fill this gap in order to continue supporting local law enforcement as they obtain necessary training throughout the State.
While meeting with the Governor, we will discuss his budget proposal regarding an additional $500 million in funds for local jails. It is our understanding that Governor Brown will require counties to put in place a pre-trial risk assessment program in order to qualify for these funds. This is a subject that we are seeking clarification on due to no current State law defining pre-trial risk assessments. Another proposal that we want to discuss is the Governor’s proposal of $27.5 million for municipal law enforcement. With the State experiencing such a large surplus, we would like to see this grant receive additional funding beyond what was allocated last year.
While meeting with Governor Brown we will discuss two high-priority bills CPOA is tracking.
AB 1717, authored by Assemblymember Perea. We will be covering this legislation on a weekly basis due to its potential impact on SETNA funding. AB 1717, authored by Assemblymember Perea would enact the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Service Surcharge Collection Act. The bill would establish a prepaid MTS surcharge based upon a percentage of the sales price of each retail transaction that occurs in this state for prepaid mobile telephony services. The prepaid MTS surcharge would include the emergency telephone users’ surcharge, and PUC surcharges. The bill would require a seller to collect the prepaid MTS surcharge from a prepaid consumer and remit the amounts collected to the State Board of Equalization pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law. This legislation is similar to AB 300 of the 2013 session which was heavily opposed by CPOA and vetoed by Governor Brown.
SB 388, authored by Senator Lieu would create a right of representation for an officer who is not the subject of any investigation, but is being asked about the actions of others. We believe that POBRA balances the public interest in maintaining the efficiency and integrity of a law enforcement agency with a peace officer’s interest in receiving fair treatment. POBRA requires protection when an officer faces a formal investigation into matters that are likely to result in punitive action by an employer. In the case of Pasadena Police Officers Assocaition v. City of Pasadena, the court ruled that, “Thus, when allegations of officer misconduct are raised, it is essential that the department conduct a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation. Nothing can more swiftly destroy the community's confidence in its police force than its perception that concerns raised about an officer's honesty or integrity will go unheeded or will lead only to a superficial investigation.” This is why we are opposed to SB 388, because investigation will nearly grind to a halt. By requiring formal representation for every officer that is questioned about the investigation of another officer, it will unduly delay investigations anytime an officer is asked about non-criminal misconduct.
AB 2397, authored by Assemblymember Frazier would allow a court to require the appearance of a defendant held in any state, county, or local facility within the county on felony or misdemeanor charges to be conducted by 2-way electronic audio/video communication between the defendant and the courtroom in lieu of the physical presence of the defendant in the courtroom for noncritical portions of the trial. We perceive noncritical portions to be preliminary hearings and bail hearings and as long as the defendant has the ability to privacy with his attorney, then the defendant’s needs are met. Another important factor regarding telejusctice legislation is it will cut down the amount of interaction inmates have where they pass “kites” back and forth, make threats or pass out contraband. Our Law & Legislation Committee is currently analyzing this legislation to see if we can provide additional language for officers to appear via video, which will cut down on travel costs.
AB 2500, authored by Assemblymember Frazier would make it unlawful to for a person to drive a motor vehicle if his or her blood contains any detectable amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol of marijuana or any other drug classified in Schedules I, II, III, or IV of the California Uniform Controlled Substance Act. CPOA is currently analyzing this legislation.
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