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AB-557 Hate crimes: hotline.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 09/04/2021 04:00 AM
AB557:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  September 03, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  August 26, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  June 28, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 557


Introduced by Assembly Members Muratsuchi and Chiu
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta, Quirk, Bauer-Kahan, Chau, Lee, and Wicks)
(Coauthor: Senator Min)

February 11, 2021


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


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 557, as amended, Muratsuchi. 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 Department of Fair Employment and Housing, subject to an appropriation of funds, to provide grants to community-based organizations and local governmental agencies, as specified, to operate telephone hotlines or online reporting portals for the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents, as defined, and for the sharing of information about the characteristics of hate crimes and hate incidents, protected classes, civil remedies, and reporting options, as specified. The bill would require the department to collaborate with grant recipients and the Department of Justice to develop uniform training and procedures, as specified.
The bill would require grant recipients to provide specified data to the Department of Justice and would require the Department of Justice to compile that data and prepare an annual report, as specified.
The bill would also authorize the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to, in addition to providing grants, utilize funds to establish and operate a telephone hotline and online reporting portal operated by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
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 72 hate groups currently operating in California, which is the highest number in the country.
(b) Recent data from the Department of Justice shows that over 1,300 hate crimes were reported in 2020. The data also shows that in 2020, total hate crime events increased by 31 percent and hate crimes involving a racial bias overall increased 67.3 percent.
(c) Anti-Asian rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in verbal and physical assaults against Asian Americans beginning in 2020. According to Stop AAPI Hate, over 9,000 anti-Asian hate incidents occurred nationwide from March 19, 2020, to June 30, 2021, with over 3,500 of those occurring in California.
(d) In many communities, people lack sufficient trust in local authorities to report hate crimes or hate incidents. A statewide network of hotlines and online reporting portals would create important safe spaces to report a hate crime or incident.
(e) 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, immediately following Section 422.93, to read:

422.94.
 (a) (1) The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, subject to an appropriation of funds for this purpose in the annual Budget Act or other statute, shall provide grant funds to community-based organizations and local agencies other than law enforcement agencies for the purpose of operating local public telephone hotlines and online reporting portals for the purpose of:
(A) Reporting hate crimes and hate incidents.
(B) Connecting people who have experienced or witnessed a hate crime or hate incident to other appropriate local resources.
(C) Sharing 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) Hotlines and online portals established pursuant to these grants shall be accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not speak English.
(3) In awarding grants, preference will be given to community-based organizations that represented targeted communities, including, without limitation, Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latino, Jewish, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities.
(b) The department shall do both all of the following:
(1) Collaborate with grant recipients and the Department of Justice to develop uniform intake forms and online submission forms.
(2) Provide standardized training to, and in collaboration with, grant recipients regarding the intake, response to, and review of, hate crimes and related incidents.
(3) Establish guidelines for the operation of the program.
(c) Grant recipients shall do both of the following:
(1) Advise callers and website visitors that their personally identifiable information will not be shared with local, state, or federal law enforcement, including immigration enforcement, without their express written permission.
(2) Provide statistical data regarding hate crimes and related incidents reported to them to the Department of Justice, in the form and at intervals prescribed by the Department of Justice. This data shall not include any personally identifiable data regarding victims or reporting parties.
(d) The department may, in addition to providing grants, utilize funds to establish and operate a telephone hotline and online reporting portal described in this section that is operated by the department.

(d)

(e) The Department of Justice shall compile information received pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) and annually prepare a report on hate crimes and hate incidents reported to local hotlines and internet portals. The report shall be made available to the public on the Department of Justice’s internet website no later than 30 days after the report is completed.

(e)

(f) As used in this section, “hate incident” means an action or behavior motivated by hate, motivated, in whole or in part, by an actual or perceived characteristic of another person described in Section 422.55, but that is not a crime, including, without limitation, the use of insults or slurs, or the posting, distribution, or display of hate materials or messages.