SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) announced today that Gov. Jerry Brown approved all of the 11 measures Block authored in 2012 and which were passed by the legislature. In 2011, Block sent 14 bills to the governor and all were signed into law. The bills ranged from ensuring life-saving screening of newborns for congenital heart disease to aiding troops and their families to giving law enforcement a new tool to battle human trafficking and protecting the privacy of crime victims.
Below is a summary of the bills by issue area:
- AB 1731 (Newborn Screening): Requires hospitals to screen newborns for critical congenital heart disease before they are discharged from the hospital. Inspired in part by a San Diego area family – Casey and D.J Peltier and their toddler, Caleb. California became the 9th and largest state to require this life saving test. Nearly one in three infants who dies from a birth defect dies has a heart defect. The screening is simple, non-invasive, fast and inexpensive. AB 1731 was sponsored by the March of Dimes and American Heart Association and also supported by the California Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Children’s Specialty Care Coalition, the California Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and other health organizations.
- AB 2212 (Human Trafficking): Gives law enforcement a new tool to fight the heinous crime of human trafficking. AB 2212 allows law enforcement to go after bad operators under civil nuisance statutes. AB 2212 would treat human trafficking similarly to gambling, prostitution and lewdness. A property could be deemed a public nuisance and be shut down for up to one year, and a fine of up to $25,000 could be levied against the violator. Half of the collected penalties would support organizations that provide services to the victims of human trafficking. The CIA estimates between 15,000 and 17,500 people are brought into the U.S. annually, making the U.S. one of the top three trafficking destinations in the world. It was sponsored by the Los Angeles City Attorney and supported by the Crime Victims United of California, the California State Sheriffs’ Association, the San Diego City Attorney, the California Catholic Conference, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, Junior Leagues of California and the Peace Officers Research Association of California.
- AB 2221 (Public Records): Maintains the confidentiality of crime victims from full disclosure under the California Public Records Act (PRA). It also would grant privacy protections to prosecutors and public defenders seeking a firearms license by protecting from disclosure their addresses and telephone numbers. Judges and law enforcement officers already receive this protection. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis sponsored this bill, and it was supported by the California District Attorneys Association and the Crime Victims Action Alliance.
- AB 2222 (DA Case Management) Allows prosecutors to use electronic data to respond to the public’s request for information. AB 2222 authorizes district attorneys to use electronically stored information in their case management system to retrieve information requested under the California Public Records Act without any misdemeanor liability. AB 2222 was sponsored by Dumanis and was supported by the District Attorneys Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
- AB 2368 (School District Police) Clarifies an inconsistency in the law regarding the “police powers” of school district police. It also restates legislative intent that allows a school district to establish school police departments. The clarifications alleviate any confusion regarding school district police authority. AB 2368 does not change the authority or jurisdiction in any way of school district police. It is sponsored by the Peace Officers Research Association of California.
VETERANS/SERVICE MEMBER ASSSTANCE
- AB 1904 (Military Spouses) Requires the California Department of Consumer Affairs to expedite the professional licensure process for the spouses and domestic partners of active duty military service members so they can quickly resume their chosen careers after moving into the state. Sixty-eight percent of married military members reported their spouse’s ability to maintain a career impacts their decision to remain in the military.
- AB 1904 is part of the White House initiative to help military families. It was supported by the National Military Family Association, the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense (DOD) and others.
- AB 2462 (College Credit for Military Training) Requires the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to determine which courses should be granted academic credit for prior military training and experience. AB 2462 helps cut the “red tape” and disparate process in receiving community college academic credit for previous military experience. The bill creates a recognized and uniform standard to evaluate experience using American Council on Education recommendations. In California approximately 30,000 troops leave service with work skills that could be counted toward an academic degree, professional license or certification that could help them transition to civilian life after service to their country. AB 2462 was supported by the DOD, the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers, the California State Commanders Veterans Council and the Vietnam Veterans of America California State Council.
- AB 2202 (Military Children’s Schools) Streamlines a task force aimed at addressing issues affecting military children transferring between states and school districts when parents are called to or return from active duty. The task force will review issues such as school absences, graduation credits, eligibility for extracurricular activities and other education issues. It also extends the deadline for the task force to make recommendations because of changes in the composition of the group. California has the third largest contingent of military children in the United States. Statewide, more than 67,000 military children are between the ages of 5 to 18 years old. AB 2202 was supported by the DOD, the California State Commanders Veterans Council and U.S. Marine Corps Installations West.
- AB 2296 (Private, for-profit postsecondary schools): would provide students considering enrollment at private, for-profit postsecondary schools and regulated by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education with more accurate consumer information. Students at these institutions will now be alerted to a school’s lack of accreditation, student loan default rates, post-graduation job placement rates and graduate salary rates. AB 2296 was supported by the California State Student Association, Consumers Union, Public Advocates, the Consumer Federation of California, the California Faculty Association, the California Labor Federation, the California Federation of Teachers, the Institute for College Access and Success, the Children’s Advocacy Institute, the California Psychological Association, the California Nurses Association, the Veterans of Foreign War, Department of California, the Vietnam Veterans of America, California and the Center for Public Interest Law.
- AB 1955 (Campus liaison): Requires California State University campuses – and requests University of California (UC) schools – to designate a liaison to enhance communication among students, law enforcement and the school administration at its campuses during times of student demonstrations. This was a repeated recommendation from reports of independent task force members who reviewed recent incidents of campus unrest at both CSU and UC schools. The most notable incident was the pepper spraying that occurred at UC Davis. AB 1955 was supported by the UC, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO and the National Association of Social Workers.
- AB 2126 (CSU Regulatory Sunset) Extends the self-regulatory power of the CSU system by five years and streamlines the process for implementing regulations by removing a duplicative review process. Since CSU was granted this authority in 1997, no concerns or complaints have arisen about the regulations that have been enacted, repealed or modified. CSU is required to provide an annual summary of any adopted regulations to the governor and the chairs of the Senate Education and Assembly Higher Education Committees. It was supported by the CSU