By Shane LaVigne, Capitol Advocacy
The Legislature reconvened for the second year of the 2023-24 Legislative Session on January 3. On January 10, Governor Newsom released his proposed 2024-25 state budget, which confronts a $38 billion budget deficit and relies on a combination of reductions, internal borrowing and fund shifts, delays and pulling from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Prior to and following the release of this proposed budget are concerns regarding the $68 billion deficit facing the state.
Keeping Californians safe is top of mind for the Governor and Legislature this year as California saw an increase in violent crime and robberies. The Governor’s budget invests $1.1 billion, including $373.5 million to combat organized retail theft and over $230 million towards the opioid and fentanyl crisis. The Legislature has also made this a top priority, introducing numerous bills already this year on organized retail theft and fixes to the state’s resentencing laws under Proposition 47.
As we look ahead, a few important deadlines loom before the Legislature. First, January 31 marks the final day for the Senate and Assembly to pass bills that were introduced last year and remained in their house of origin. The deadline for new bills to be introduced this year is February 16.
Below is a snapshot of some of the bills remaining from last year and an initial look at top priorities introduced thus far:
AB 742 (Jackson) Law enforcement: police canines – Oppose
This bill would prohibit the use of police canines by law enforcement. The author is working on amendments to the bill in hopes to move it by the January 31 deadline. We will continue to work on this issue to protect the ability for law enforcement officers to use canines in the line of duty.
AB 1090 (Jones-Sawyer) County officers: sheriffs – Oppose
This bill would have required a county board of supervisors to remove a sheriff from office for cause by a 4/5 vote after the sheriff is served with a written statement of the alleged grounds for removal and the sheriff is provided a reasonable opportunity to be heard regarding an explanation or defense at a removal proceeding. This bill was set for hearing in Assembly Local Government Committee this week but after law enforcement opposition the author removed the bill from the agenda. Thus, this bill will not be heard this year and is now dead.
AB 1794 (McCarty) Crimes – Recently introduced
This bill, which currently does not have substantive language, will eventually be the bill to target repeat offenders of retail crime and individuals charged with repetitive drug offenses, re-evaluate public safety accountability measures, and modify Proposition 47. We will engage with the author, and new Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, on this measure as it moves forward.
AB 1814 (Ting) Law enforcement agencies: facial recognition technology – Opposed – Recently introduced
This bill prohibits a law enforcement agency or peace officer from using an FRT-generated match as the sole basis for probable cause in an arrest, search, or warrant.