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AB-1211 Firefighters.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/22/2019 04:00 AM
AB1211:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1211


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes

February 21, 2019


An act relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1211, as introduced, Reyes. Firefighters.
Existing law requires the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, which is within the Department of Industrial Relations, in collaboration with the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee, to develop a statewide firefighter preapprenticeship program designed to recruit candidates from underrepresented groups.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would provide a career pathway to individuals with previous criminal convictions who have demonstrated rehabilitation and desire to work as firefighters. The bill would provide Legislative findings in support of the measure.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   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) Since 2017, California wildfires have burned almost a million acres, destroyed 31,434 structures, and taken the lives of 128 people.
(b) Due to a prolonged fire season and chronic understaffing, firefighters are left exhausted and overworked.
(c) California has approximately 3,700 inmates working at fire camps under the Conservation Camp Program with 2,600 of those being fire line-qualified. Volunteers must have “minimum custody” status, or the lowest classification for inmates based on their sustained good behavior in prison, their conforming to rules within the prison and participation in rehabilitative programming.
(d) After receiving valuable training and placing themselves in danger to defend the life and property of Californians, inmate firefighters face denials and rejections when attempting to find jobs as firefighters after their release.
(e) Many Individuals who have demonstrated substantial rehabilitation are locked out of pursuing careers as firefighters with city and county fire departments because of previous criminal records even after demonstrating completion of necessary training requirements.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would provide a career pathway to individuals with previous criminal convictions who have demonstrated rehabilitation and desire to work as firefighters.