SACRAMENTO—The California State Legislature has approved several bills by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay). The following bills have been sent to the Governor’s desk:
AB 404 (Stone) Foster Care Reforms: In 2015, the Legislature and the Governor prioritized improving outcomes for youth in foster care by passing and signing into law AB 403 (Stone) to begin a multi-year reform process for the continuum of care (CCR). The law, which went into effect on January 1, 2016 and becomes fully operational by 2022, gives families who provide foster care targeted training and support so that they are better prepared to care for youth living with them. AB 404 clarifies implementation of CCR.
AB 529 (Stone) Juvenile Records: The sealing of delinquency records is an important factor in reducing recidivism and opening doors to jobs and education for many California youth. This bill requires the automatic sealing of records of individuals who were alleged to be a ward of the juvenile court and had their petition dismissed or not sustained by the court after an adjudication hearing.
AB 597 (Stone) County Data Trusts: This measure allows local government entities and school districts to work together to better support students. It includes local educational agencies to the list of agencies and departments who can share data to form a multidisciplinary team. It also allows a county to participate in a computerized database system between counties and allows the sharing of aggregate data with select researchers to help improve outcomes for vulnerable children.
AB 790 (Stone) ID for Released Prisoners: This measure provides a reduced fee of $8 for a replacement identification card to eligible inmates leaving prisons or county jails. Individuals leaving these facilities face numerous challenges, but having a valid ID is one of the first steps they can take to successfully reintegrate into the community and avoid recidivating.
AB 935 (Stone) Equality for Juvenile Competency Proceedings: This measure makes the California juvenile justice system better serve youth suffering with mental illness. It provides juveniles with the same protections currently provided to adults in competency proceedings. The measure lays out who must provide the mental health treatment for remediation and puts a cap on the length of time that youth can stay in juvenile halls, which can be inappropriate placements for longer-term mental health services.
AB 1269 (Stone) Mobilehome Park Dispute Mediation: This bill helps residents of mobilehome parks resolve disputes with park owners without going through expensive civil litigation. The measure balances the relationship between residents and park owners by establishing a process for the investigation and mediation of the Mobilehome Residency Law at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Residents would be able to more quickly and less expensively resolve issues related to home sales, complaint responses, and charges leading to eviction.
AB 1308 (Stone) Parole Review to Reduce Recidivism: Under current law, certain inmates who were under the age of 23 when they committed a crime for which they received a lengthy or life sentence are eligible for a youth offender parole hearing after serving a lengthy prison sentence. AB 1308 makes certain inmates who were 25 years or younger when they committed a crime for which they received a lengthy sentence similarly eligible for a youth offender parole hearing. Offenders are much more likely to enroll in school, drop out of a gang, or participate in positive programs if they can sit before a parole board sooner, if at all, and have a chance of being released.
AB 1371 (Stone) Attorney Consultations for Foster Youth: This measure offers an important protection to parenting youth who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The bill ensures that parenting foster youth and wards have the opportunity to consult with their court-appointed counsel prior to voluntarily limiting their custody of their children.
AB 1556 (Stone) Anti-Discrimination for Gender Identity: This measure updates the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to use gender inclusive language, such as “person” or “employee” from the gendered terms such as “he or she”. Much of FEHA had been previously updated to neutral terms, but these remaining terms need to be changed in order to clarify that transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are fully protected under the law.
AB 1692 (Judiciary Committee) Omnibus: This bill is the Committee's annual omnibus family law bill to make several non-controversial changes to family law and civil protection statutes in California. These provisions will improve the handling of family law and juvenile court cases, better protect more victims of cyber-abuse, and provide a process to help resolve custody disputes before they go to court.
In addition, the following 2017 bill has already been signed into law by Governor Brown:
AB 436 (Stone) San Lorenzo River Flood Project: This new law provides necessary authorizations to the City of Santa Cruz so that final critical improvements can be made to the Flood Project. In combination with the other infrastructure updates, the last phase of this project will help protect against flooding that occurs during severe weather events.
For more information: Arianna Smith