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AB-800 Hate crimes: hotline.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/10/2017 09:00 PM
AB800:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 10, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 800


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

February 15, 2017


An act to add Section 422.94 to the Penal Code, relating to hate crimes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 800, as amended, Chiu. Hate crimes: hotline.
Existing law defines “hate crime” as a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of actual or perceived characteristics of the victim, including, among other things, race, religion, disability, and sexual orientation.
This bill would require the Attorney General to establish, maintain, and publicize a toll-free public hotline telephone number for the reporting of hate crimes, and for the dissemination of information about the characteristics of hate crimes, protected classes, civil remedies, and reporting options. options, as specified. The bill would require the Attorney General to post, maintain, and publicize a reporting form for hate crimes and hate incidents on his or her Internet Web site that can be completed and submitted online. The bill would require the Attorney General’s Internet Web site to provide the public with the same information available through the hotline as described above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to recent data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are more than 68 79 hate groups currently operating in California, which is the second highest rate number in the country.
(b) Recent data from the Department of Justice shows that hate crime events increased by 10.4 percent from 2014 to 2015. The data also show shows that in 2015, hate crimes involving a religious bias increased by 49.6 percent, percent and hate crimes involving bias against someone who is Latino increased by 35 percent. In addition, Additionally, this data shows that hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias accounted for nearly 22.5 percent of hate crimes reported in 2015, and have been the second most common type of hate crime over the past 10 years.
(c) In many communities, people lack sufficient trust in local authorities to report hate crimes or hate incidents. A statewide hotline and online form would create important safe spaces to report a hate crime or incident.
(d) Following reports of an increase in hate crimes nationwide, similar hotlines have been established recently in other states and in parts of California, including by the district attorneys’ offices of the City and County of San Francisco and the County of Alameda.

SEC. 2.

 Section 422.94 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

422.94.
 (a) (1) The Attorney General shall establish, maintain, and publicize a toll-free public hotline telephone number for the following purposes:
(A) Reporting hate crimes and connecting with local law enforcement agencies.
(B) Connecting people who have experienced or witnessed a hate crime or hate incident to other appropriate local resources.
(C) Disseminating information about the characteristics of hate crimes and hate incidents, classes of individuals protected under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 422.55), civil remedies that may be available for victims of hate crimes, and reporting options.
(2) The hotline shall be accessible to people with disabilities and people who cannot do not speak English.
(3) The hotline shall operate Monday to Friday, inclusive, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for federal holidays and state holidays, as defined in Section 19853 of the Government Code, or as otherwise posted on the Attorney General’s Internet Web site.
(b) The Attorney General shall post, maintain, and publicize a reporting form for hate crimes and hate incidents on his or her Internet Web site that can be completed and submitted online and connects individuals to the same resources and information described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). online.
(c) The Attorney General’s Internet Web site shall provide the public with the same resources and information described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).