Areas of Legislative Interest
AREAS OF LEGISLATIVE INTEREST: 2013
As the primary provider of front-line public safety in California, members of the California Police Chiefs Association are actively engaged in Legislative efforts that are supportive of our mission to protect the Californians we serve. The California Police Chiefs Association provides front-line public safety protection for 78% of California residents.
In brief, here are our areas of Legislative interest:
l. DRUGGED DRIVING PER SE LEGISLATION: Recent reports by the Office of Traffic Safety underscore the unhappy reality that has manifested itself in other jurisdictions – namely the increase in the number of drivers who are driving with drugs in their system. This increase of drivers who have “drugs on board” has resulted in a corresponding increase in vehicle deaths and serious accidents attributable to drugged driving. The California Police Chiefs will be co-sponsoring legislation that will codify a per se violation for any driver who has a detectable amount of drugs in their system. Our current co-sponsor partners include the California State Sheriffs Association, the California Narcotic Officers Association as well as the International Faith Based Coalition. This legislation is modeled after current Department of Transportation regulations which prohibit truck drivers and airline pilots from operating with any detectable amount of drugs in their system.
2. PENSION LEGISLATION/PEACE OFFICER RETIREMENT AGE: Assembly Bill 340, pension reform enacted at warp speed in the closing days of last year’s legislative session, raised the peace officer retirement age from 55 to 57. The California Police Chiefs Association believes that the officer safety dimensions of this change are significant, as officers who are less able to respond to the physical challenges of police work are put in harm’s way. The Association is proposing to lower the retirement age back to the original 55. Moreover, the California Police Chiefs Association believes that any projected “savings” from this increase in retirement age will be more than counter-balanced by increases in disability retirements and workers compensation claims.
3. PENSION LEGISLATION/CASH BALANCE ACCOUNT: Assembly Bill 340 places artificial caps on the pensionable earnings of a peace officer. The California Police Chiefs Association believes that these artificial caps will create a disincentive for officers to promote. In response to this concern, the California Police Chiefs Association is proposing legislation that would permit local governments to authorize the creation of Cash Balance Accounts. Cash Balance Accounts could ameliorate the disincentives to promote unintentionally created by the artificial caps on pensionable earnings.
4. REALIGNMENT/POST RELEASE SUPERVISION: AB 109 provides that a person whose last state prison commitment offense was a so-called “non-violent, non-serious, non-sex” offense will be supervised at the local level, not at the state level. This is the case irrespective of the presence of other violent, serious or sex offenses on the person’s record. The California Police Chiefs Association proposes that persons who have a prior serious, violent or sex offense on their record be released to the supervision of state parole, not local supervision.
5. REALIGNMENT/FLASH INCARCERATION: AB 109 permits the use of Flash Incarceration as a tool for persons under local supervision who commit violations of their conditions. Flash Incarceration is served in County Jails subject to available space. The California Police Chiefs Association is proposing that persons subject to Flash Incarceration can also be required to serve that time in Type One jails.
6. REALIGNMENT/CITY OVERSIGHT: Currently, realignment felons who are on PRCS are required to register with the county of residence. Although the vast majority of realignment felons live in cities, there is no requirement that they inform their local police agency of their presence in that community. The California Police Chiefs Association is proposing legislation that provides that realignment felons must also register with the city in which they reside.
7. REALIGNMENT/SEARCH & SEIZURE CONDITIONS: Currently, felons released from county jail custody after serving their sentence pursuant to AB 109 at the local level, are not under any search & seizure conditions. The California Police Chiefs Association is proposing that this class of realignment felons, upon release from county jail, be subject to search & seizure by any peace officer irrespective of whether a warrant has issued.
8. REALIGNMENT/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS PARTNERSHIP: AB 109 provides that local administration of realignment implementation in each county be under the aegis of the Executive Committee of the Community Corrections Partnership. Unhappily, an ambiguity in the language of AB 109 has resulted in at least one County Board of Supervisors dissolving its Executive Committee of its CCP and taking over realignment oversight. The California Police Chiefs Association proposes that clarifying language be codified that would make it clear that the Executive Committee of the CCP has jurisdiction over realignment implementation in each county and would prohibit those functions from being taken away.
9. MANDATED REPORTERS: Penal Code Section 11166 provides that mandated reporters are obliged to report incidents of child abuse to law enforcement. There is an ambiguity in one subsection of Section 11166 that seems to provide that where two or more mandated reporters know of a reportable incident, the reporting obligation of all reporters is discharged by the report of one of them. This language unintentionally undermines the entire concept of mandated reporters. The California Police Chiefs is suggesting that this language be eliminated in order to make clear that all mandated reporters are obliged to act on reportable incidents.
10. VEHICLE LICENSE FEE DISTRIBUTION: In 2011, the Legislature “swept” VLF monies that had been allocated to cities and redirected those funds for the COPS program. Unfortunately, this “sweep” disproportionately harmed cities that had been newly incorporated or who had just completed a major annexation. Legislation to correct this inequity passed the Legislature last year, but was vetoed by the Governor. This year, the California Police Chiefs Association will be sponsoring legislation to reinstate funding to those cities that incorporated or annexed prior to January 1, 2013. Funding would come from the DMV Administrative Fund and would not encroach on either COPS funding or realignment funding.
11. VEHICLE THEFT PROGRAMS: Last year, Legislation was enacted that allowed Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties to increase the surcharge from $1 to $2 that they impose on vehicle registrations in their respective jurisdictions to fund vehicle theft prevention, investigation, and prosecution programs. The California Police Chiefs Association is proposing that this authority be extended to every county in California.
12. TAX SHARING AGREEMENTS: Under current law, businesses are permitted to negotiate with local governments for tax sharing agreements. These agreements provide for “give-backs” of tax revenue that would authorize be paid to the local entity. Tax sharing agreements have created a race to the bottom where a local government is literally held hostage by a business entity that threatens to leave the jurisdiction if a tax sharing agreement is not executed. The California Police Chiefs Association believes that tax sharing agreements cause major harm to local financial stability and is proposing the enactment of legislation that would prohibit these practices.
13. PSEUDO-EPHEDRINE: Pseudo-Ephedrine is the building block for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Without Pseudo, meth manufacture is not possible. Scientific developments in the last year have now made it pharmacologically possible to produce a Pseudo-Ephedrine product that cannot be converted into methamphetamine. This product has been on the shelves for the past month. The use of Pseudo in the manufacture of meth has become the primary reason for sales of otherwise lawful Pseudo-Ephedrine. According to quantitative data developed in Missouri by the Missouri Narcotic Officers Association, 90% of the Pseudo-Ephedrine currently sold is used to manufacture meth. The California Police Chiefs Association is proposing legislation that would prohibit the sale of Pseudo-Ephedrine products in California unless the product had been pharmacologically adjusted to prevent its conversion to meth.
14. CCW FOR FORMER OFFICERS: Currently, if an officer leaves service after 20 years and moves to another jurisdiction, the Chief of Police in the original jurisdiction is not able to issue that officer a CCW. The California Police Chiefs Association is proposing the enactment of Legislation that would permit the officer in the jurisdiction where he/she had served for 20 years to apply to the Chief in that jurisdiction for a CCW. Discretion as to issuance of the CCW would remain with the Chief.