Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Legislative Advocacy

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 scopeland@laaconline.org
 
CURRENT ADVOCACY
 

LAAC-Supported Bills

  • AB 1657 (Gomez) Courts: interpreters
  • Status: Approved by Governor and chaptered on September 28, 2014. 
    This bill would authorize the court to provide a court interpreter in any civil action at no cost to the parties.  Senate Judiciary Analysis  LAAC supports this bill as a potential source of additional funding for court interpretation services and has asked the Governor to sign.  Read LAAC's letter here.
     
  • AB 2746 (Wieckowski) Attorneys: annual membership fees
  • Status: Approved by Governor and chaptered on September 18, 2014
    This bill would increase the annual membership fee active members of the bar .  It would also increase the optional donation to nonprofit legal services organizations from $30 to $40.  Senate Judiciary Analysis  LAAC supports this bill and has asked the Governor to sign.  Read LAAC's letter here.
     
     
  • AB 233 (Wieckowski) Wage Garnishment: Exempt Earnings
Status: 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 on September 25, 2013.
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
 

LAAC-Monitored Bills

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.

Status:  Bill referred to the Committee on Judiciary on April 22, 2014; Hearing canceled at the request of the author on April 29, 2014.

This bill would transfer oversight of the registration of process servers from county clerks to the State Bar.  Rather than registering with the county clerk in the county where he or she resides or has a principal place of business, process servers would register with the State Bar of California.
 

Status:  Bill passed and ordered to Senate on May 23, 2014.  Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on June 5, 2014. 

This bill would impose a duty on attorneys, in addition to other duties imposed by the State Bar Act, to deposit fees and expenses into a client trust account that have been paid in advance for legal services.  The fees would be withdrawn by the attorney only as they are earned or expenses are incurred.

 
LAAC-Opposed Bills
 
None at this time.
 
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 have posted fact sheets and other resources if we have access to them.
 
Bill information is available in the following issue areas: 
 
Other Resources

LAAC recommends resources from the following organizations and agencies.

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) has legislative updates in its e-newsletter and on its website.

Center for Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine published an issue brief on elder abuse and related legislation in 2013.

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV) tracks California legislation on its website and offers fact sheets and its position on bills.

Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law will have updates for California and Federal laws.

Disability Rights California has legislative recommendations on issues affecting people with disabilities.

Judicial Branch of California, Office of Governmental Affairs, has updates on court-related legislation.

Western Center on Law and Poverty Western Center's legislative blog has great resources and updates on both California and federal legislation.