As a service to our member programs, we want to share the following information about California bills in this session. Please feel free to share this information with your staff.
If you would like to set up an alert on any of these bills, go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html, search for the bill, then click subscribe. You will get occasional updates when the bill's status has changed. If you or your staff would like to write a letter of support or opposition to your legislator, you can search for the legislator contact information here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/. LAAC gets a lot of our information from Around the Capitol. We highly recommend you check out the site and their daily newsletter, the Nooner, if you want to follow Sacramento politics.
If you work at an LSC-funded program, as a reminder, staff is prohibited from speaking with legislators without a specific invitation to comment from that legislator. Many legislators have requested comments from LSC-funded programs, and LAAC tracks all legislator letters requesting information--to the best of LAAC's knowledge. If you have any questions, please contact Salena Copeland, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to learn more about the California budget please see LAAC's Special 2013 Budget Update presented by Western Center on Law and Poverty.
Update 9/25: The Governor signed the bill today!
This bill increases the state minimum wage in increments. Fact Sheet
Update 10/9: The Governor signed the bill today!
This bill changes the definition of undue influence to mean excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting and results in inequity. Analysis
Update 9/25: This bill passed out of Assembly Judiciary Committee, but was held in the suspense file in Appropriations.
This bill would have protected more property from the enforcement of a monetary judgment against a debtor. AroundTheCapitol.com has a great summary through the legtrack link. Fact Sheet
Update 10/10: The Governor signed the bill today!
This bill will prohibit a state or local agency from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding a criminal conviction, except as specified in the bill, until after the applicant's qualifications for the position have been determined to meet the requirements for the position. LAAC member program Legal Services for Prisoners with Children is a major sponsor of this bill. Press release
Update 9/25: This bill passed the Assembly and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but failed passage in the Senate. Senator Evans requested it be moved to the inactive file. The request was granted.
This bill would prohibit the issuance of an earnings withholding order for purposes of collecting debt on a student loan that is not made, insured, or guaranteed by the United States Government pursuant to the Federal Family Education Loan Program or the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Fact Sheet LAAC's letter Template Letter for you to use Analysis
Update 8/19: The Governor signed the bill today!
This bill provides that a person who consults a lawyer referral service, as defined, for the purpose of retaining a lawyer or securing legal advice has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent the lawyer referral service from disclosing, a confidential communication between the client and the lawyer referral service. The bill would further provide that the lawyer referral service-client privilege may be waived in accordance with existing law. Fact Sheet Analysis
Update 10/12: The Governor vetoed the bill, stating that the Judicial Council already had the authority to create pilot projects and already has two groups working on best practices.
Update 10/9: The Governor signed this bill!
This bill would allow the State Bar Board of Trustees to charge attorney dues for membership. As part of the bill, the State Bar can collect a $30 opt-out amount in the 2014 dues statement to benefit legal services programs. Additionally, the State Bar is permitted to take part in the California Franchise Tax Board's Intercept Program for outstanding fines and fees due to the State Bar. The recovered amounts will also go to legal services, though the amounts are less certain due to the nature of the Intercept Program. This is permitted under Cal B&P 6033. LAAC supports this bill because it has the potential to raise over $3 million for legal services programs each year.
Update: Bill failed in committee April 17, reconsideration granted for next year.
This bill could significantly curb the payday lending that occurs in California. There is an existing coalition supporting the bill. For updates, or to sign your organization on as a supporter, please go to coalition-against-pay-day-predators.org/.
Update: Passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee, now held under submission in Senate Appropriations.
This bill would require the Judicial Council to select up to five (5) courts to participate in a pilot project, to commence on July 1, 2014, to provide interpreters in civil proceedings. The bill would provide that the initial pilot courts participate until June 30, 2016, and would require the Judicial Council to consider whether a pilot court should continue participating in the project and whether to select another court or additional courts.
The LAAC Advocacy Committee will soon meet to decide whether to take a position on the following bills. Until then, we are watching them and tracking their progress. We have posted fact sheets and other resources if we have access to them.
Update 6/26: This bill is held in the suspense file of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
This bill would enact the Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Fairness Act, which would provide that no person's rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied or abridged because he or she is homeless, has a low income, or suffers from a mental illness or physical disability. The bill has additional protections and provisions related to discrimination. Fact Sheet
Update 10/5: The Governor signed this bill!
The bill prohibits immigration consultants from practices that amount to price gouging and includes a process for DACA individuals to get California identification cards. Analysis
Update: Bill failed in committee April 9, reconsideration granted for next year.
This bill would allow a court to use electronic recording equipment in a family law case if an official reporter or an official reporter pro tempore is unavailable. Fact Sheet
Update 9/25: Ordered to Inactive File at request of Assemblymember Mullin.
Among other changes, this bill would require that the report of the official court reporter or official court reporter pro tempore be transcribed and certified by a certified shorthand reporter, as defined, in order to qualify as prima facie evidence of that testimony and proceeding. Fact Sheet Analysis
Update: Hearing set for May 7 cancelled at the request of the author.
Update 10/9: The Governor vetoed this bill. The State Bar has stated they'll try again next year.
Update: LAAC withdrew its early support, along with many California Disability Rights organizations, when the author chose a more restrictive definition of disability in an amendment to the bill. The author's definition of disability does not line up completely with California's definition of disability.
Update 9/25: The Governor has approved this bill, and it is now chaptered as Cal. Gov. Code Section 120011.5.
This bill asks that disability and veteran status be added to the demographic data collected from California judicial candidates. Fact Sheet Sample Letter of Support from Disability Rights Legal Center.
Update: The bill died in committee.
This bill would require the court, in setting the amount of an award of attorney's fees to a prevailing party, to determine a lodestar, as defined, and an adjustment pursuant to specified procedures.
Update 10/5: The Governor signed this bill!
This bill has changed many times since its creation. LAAC members currently stand on both sides of the bill, so LAAC did not take a position. The bill primarily is focused on preventing immigration fraud by attorneys and immigration consultants through additional requirements related to bonds, contract language, and pre-payment of services. The bill also seeks to eliminate any confusing translation of terms, specifically "notario," which would could lead an immigrant to misunderstand the American use of the term "notary public." The enrolled version is here.
Update 9/25: Chaptered!
National Housing Law Project recommends supporting this bill that would amend the early lease termination law, CA Civil Code 1946.7, in three important ways:
Survivors of human trafficking. SB 612 would extend Civil Code 1946.7’s protections to survivors of human trafficking so that they may terminate a lease with documentation of abuse. The current law covers survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and elder abuse.
Documentation. Currently, survivors can only use the law to break the lease if they have a police report or restraining order. The legislation would amend the law to allow documentation from a qualified third party, including a medical professional and a domestic violence or sexual assault counselor or caseworker.
Confidentiality. To protect the safety of survivors, SB 612 would ensure that documentation of abuse remains confidential, except in two limited situations: when the tenant consents in writing to the disclosure and when the disclosure is required by law or a court order. The existing law does not include any confidentiality provisions.
Update: Hearing occurred on April 30. Click here for an analysis. This bill failed passage in committee, and reconsideration was granted for next year.
This bill would allow the appeal of an order granting or denying class action certification, at the discretion of the Court of Appeal.
LAAC is not taking a position on the following bills
LAAC's Advocacy Policy often guides the Advocacy Committee to not take an official position on a bill, even when we as an organization support or oppose a bill based on our work. We include information on these bills below.
This bill is related to AB 218 (Dickinson) and would prohibit the state from contracting with a person or entity that inquires into or considers the criminal history of a potential employee on an initial employment application, though that person or entity may consider the criminal history after the initial employment screening. The bill also states that removing barriers to employment is a matter of statewide concern. Fact Sheet Analysis
This bill gives additional protections to tenants regarding payment of rent and breach of obligations. Fact Sheet
This bill would require the creation of a Medi-Cal Patient-Centered Communication Program. More information on the bill can be found through AroundtheCapitol.com's legtrack link. LAAC has been asked to share a template letter of support, created by the United Domestic Workers of America. If you have any clients who are interested in testifying or writing their legislator about this bill, please contact Salena at email@example.com, and she will put you in contact with the UDWA.
Center for Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine published an issue brief on elder abuse and related legislation.
Note: You can check out our 2012 Advocacy here.