We all know, public safety was front and center last year, and will continue to be a big issue this year. This includes things like officer records, officer training, and oversight, to name a few.
The Covid outbreak within our prison system was not handled well, with well-reported outbreaks and deaths amongst prison staff, including correctional officers, and those incarcerated.
In an attempt to reduce drug addiction and repeat offenses, one of my bills, AB 653 will create a county grant for substance use treatments in county jails and for those on supervised parole. I am also introducing AB 1225, aimed at providing better trauma-informed care and health services for women in prison to enhance communication with their families and to help them reintegrate into society once released.
A few major bills that will be hotly contested, but that I want to make you aware of, are AB 48 (Gonzalez) providing limits on the use of “kinetic energy projectiles” (e.g., rubber bullets) and “chemical agents” (e.g, tear gas) to disperse any assembly, protest, or demonstration. AB 89 (Jones-Sawyer) would require that, to be a peace officer, a person would either have to be at least 25 years of age or have a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree from an accredited college or university. Consequences for Failure to Intervene when Excessive Force is Used, AB 26 (Holden) which is a result of the George Floyd death. And lastly, regarding California being one of only five states that lacks a process where a peace officer can have his or her certification as a peace officer revoked for misconduct that falls short of a felony conviction (SB 2 Bradford).
Public safety is vital, and these are just a few of the important bills to be debated in the Legislature this year.