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CAPITOL UPDATE #21 June 9, 2022

 June 9, 2022

California Federation of Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Karen Contreras, Gretchen Cox, Elaine Freeman, 
 Theresa Speake, and Cheryl Sullivan


SB-1273 School safety: mandatory notifications
This bill has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly.  This is proposal to amend and repeal a section of the Education Code relating to school safety.  Existing law provides that any person who willfully disturbs any public school or any public school meeting is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than $500. 

This bill exempts pupils who are currently enrolled in the school district from that provision.  Under existing law, whenever any employee of a school district or county superintendent of schools is attacked, assaulted, or physically threatened by any pupil, the employee and any person under whose direction or supervision the employee is employed who has knowledge of the incident are required to promptly report the incident to specified law enforcement authorities.  Failure to make the report is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.  An act by specified persons to inhibit or impede the making of the report is an infraction punishable by a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000.  This bill repeals these provisions.

The federal Gun-Free Schools Act prohibits a local educational agency from receiving certain federal funds unless the local educational agency has a policy requiring referral to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system of any student who brings a firearm or weapon to a school served by the local educational agency.  Existing state law requires the principal of a school or the principal’s designee to notify the appropriate law enforcement authorities of the county or city in which the school is situated of certain acts committed by a pupil that may be unlawful, including, among others, the selling or possession of narcotics or other designated controlled or regulated substances, and acts of assault, as specified.

This bill would delete the acts referenced above from the category of acts for which the principal or the principal’s designee is required to notify the appropriate law enforcement authorities, as described above.  The bill would also exclude from this notification requirement a violation involving certain instruments such as an instrument that expels metallic projectiles (guns), a spot market gun, a razor blade, or a box cutter.  The bill would only require notification where notification be consistent with the above-described referral requirement under the federal Gun-Free School Act.  Why is this proposed?  There is a belief that once students make contact with law enforcement, they are less likely to graduate high school and likely wind up in jail or prison. 

These harms, it is believed, fall disproportionately on students from marginalized groups: Black, Indigenous, and Latin students as well as students with disabilities, are disproportionately referred to law enforcement, cited, and arrested.  This bill eliminates state mandates for school notification to law enforcement; Increasing educator discretion in determining when to notify law enforcement; eliminated prosecuting of school staff who fail to report incidents and eliminates the criminal penalty for students for the “willful” disturbance of public schools and public meetings.  This bill is supported by the ACLU – LESS REPORTING NOT MORE.

SB-960 – Public Employment: peace officers: citizenship
Existing law establishes the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training within the Department of Justice to perform various functions involving the training of peace officers.  Existing law requires peace officers in the State to meet specified minimum standards, including, among other requirements, being at least 18 years of age, being of good moral character, as determined by a thorough backgrounds investigation, and being either a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident who is eligible for citizenship, except as prescribed. 

This bill would provide that those standards shall be interpreted and applied consistent with federal law and regulation as specified.  This bill would remove the provision that requires peace officers to either be a citizen of the United States or be a permanent resident who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship, and would instead require peace officers be legally authorized to work in the Unite State, and make conforming changes. These changes would also apply to Highway Patrol officers.

For further information on any of the bills mentioned here, click on the bill # highlighted in the body of the above articles.

Find/contact your local Legislators, click HERE to inquire about or let them know your opinion about bills or issues.

To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
Listen to hearings on bills that interest you –  Calif. Legislative Portal links- Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RWF or CFRW)– click here, or the bill’s author- click hereenter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”

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