The legislature participated in the last policy committees of the legislative session, the week of July 10, 2023. The legislature will be on summer recess from July 14th – August 14th. At which point the legislature will return to fiscal committees, and then finally floor session the first two weeks of September before adjourning for the year.
Also of note, the California Assembly swore in new Speaker Robert Rivas on June 30th. Rivas is a Democrat from Salinas. He is California’s 71st Speaker.
The governor and the legislature had announced at the end of June that they had come to an agreement over the terms of the state’s $310.8 billion budget, which would aim to bridge a nearly $32 billion deficit without touching $37.8 billion in reserves. On Monday July 10th, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law a package of infrastructure bills that aim to cut the red tape associated with building new projects, while also ensuring environmental protection.
The package, which includes five wide-ranging bills, generally centers on streamlining
permitting processes, speeding up judicial review to prevent undue delays from legal challenges, and addressing cumbersome elements of the California Environmental Quality Act.
Alongside the infrastructure bills, Newsom also signed into law legislation known colloquially as
“Budget Bill Jr.,” which amends a version of the budget passed last month and reflects the final budget agreement between the legislature and the administration.
SB 391: Blakespear. Workers’ compensation: skin cancer (CSLEA Sponsored Bill).
Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Existing law provides, among other things, that skin cancer developing in active lifeguards, as defined, is presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment, unless the presumption is rebutted. This bill would expand the scope of those provisions to certain peace officers of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Parks and Recreation. This bill passed unanimously out of the Assembly Insurance Committee and is now awaiting hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 623, as amended, Laird. Workers’ compensation: post-traumatic stress disorder (CSLEA Sponsored Bill).
Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of employment. Existing law provides, until January 1, 2025, that, for certain state and local firefighting personnel and peace officers, the term “injury” includes post-traumatic stress that develops or manifests during a period in which the injured person is in the service of the department or unit. Existing law requires the compensation awarded pursuant to this provision to include full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits.
This bill would instead repeal that provision on January 1, 2032, and for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2024, expand its scope to apply to firefighting members of the State Department of State Hospitals, the State Department of Developmental Services, the Military Department, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to additional peace officers, including security officers of the Department of Justice when performing assigned duties as security officers, and the officers of a state hospital under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals or the State Department of Developmental Services, among other officers. The bill would also make that provision applicable to public safety dispatchers, public safety telecommunicators, and emergency response communication employees, as defined. This bill passed unanimously out of the Assembly Insurance Committee and is now awaiting hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Next Year 2024:
While these bills are no longer moving, they could be considered next year.
AB 743 (Bonta) Privacy: reverse Demands - OPPOSE
This bill would have banned reverse-location searches which allows law enforcement agencies to obtain cell phone data about individuals near a certain location or using certain search terms on an internet website. This would deprive investigators of critical information routinely used to help solve cases involving mass shootings, bombings, rapes, child sexual assault materials, and a host of other crimes victimizing the most vulnerable in our society. The bill is currently sitting as a two-year bill in Senate Public Safety.
AB 742 (Jackson) Law enforcement: police canines - OPPOSE
This bill would have banned the use of canines by peace officers. This severely restricts an officer’s ability to employ a proven, effective, and less lethal force option that can de-escalate other potentially life-threatening solutions.
AB 740 (Gabriel) DGS: drone cybersecurity - OPPOSE
This would have required the Department of Technology to issue regulations establishing cybersecurity and privacy requirements for data collected by drones operated by state and local government entities. It would prohibit local public safety agencies’ use of drones manufactured in China when there are currently no other similar drones on the market. This technology is critical to law enforcements’ efforts.
AB 93 (Bryan) Criminal procedure: consensual searches - OPPOSE
This would have prohibited police officers from asking for consent to search a person or their vehicle without an evidence-based legal justification. There is already case law for what constitutes a valid consent search under current law. This extreme bill of throwing out all consensual searches takes away another valuable and lawful tool for law enforcement while also removing choice from individuals in a free society to decide when they want to aid police, solve a crime, or ensure an innocent person is exonerated.