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AB-1314 Law enforcement use of force settlements and judgements: reporting.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 06/26/20 - Amended Senate         Compare Versions information image


AB1314:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 26, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 17, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 14, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1314


Introduced by Assembly Members Medina, McCarty, Quirk-Silva, Voepel, and Boerner Horvath McCarty, Medina, and Holden
(Principal coauthor: Senator Allen)

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 66021.2, 69432.7, 69433.5, 69433.6, 69434, 69436, and 69508.5 of, to amend, add, and repeal Section 69435.3 of, to add Section 70023.5 to, to add Article 9 (commencing with Section 69470) to Chapter 1.7 of, and to add Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 70200) to, Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of, the Education Code, relating to student financial aid. add Section 12525.3 to the Government Code, relating to law enforcement.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1314, as amended, McCarty. Student financial aid: Cal Grant Reform Act. Law enforcement use of force settlements and judgements: reporting.
Existing law requires each law enforcement agency to annually furnish specified information to the Department of Justice regarding the use of force by a peace officer. Existing law also establishes the Department of the California Highway Patrol within the Transportation Agency.
This bill would require municipalities, as defined, to annually post on their internet websites specified information relating to use of force settlements and judgements, including amounts paid, broken down by individual settlement and judgment, information on bonds used to finance use of force settlement and judgment payments, and premiums paid for insurance against use of force settlements or judgements. The bill would require the Transportation Agency to annually post the same information on its internet website regarding use of force settlements and judgements against the Department of the California Highway Patrol. By increasing requirements for local governments, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

(1)Existing law establishes the Middle Class Scholarship Program, the Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, the California Community College Transfer Entitlement awards, the Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards, the Cal Grant C awards, and the Cal Grant T awards under the administration of the Student Aid Commission, and establishes eligibility requirements for awards under these programs for participating students attending qualifying institutions.

Existing law requires applicants for Cal Grant A Entitlement Awards and Cal Grant B Entitlement Awards to submit complete financial aid applications in the academic year of high school graduation or equivalent or in the academic year immediately following high school graduation for the immediately following award year.

This bill, commencing with the 2020–21 award year, would instead authorize applicants for these awards to submit financial aid applications in any academic year subsequent to their high school graduation or equivalent for the immediately following award year.

(2)Existing law requires applicants for Cal Grant A Entitlement Awards, Cal Grant B Entitlement Awards, and California Community College Transfer Cal Grant Entitlement Awards to have graduated from high school or its equivalent during or after the 2000–01 academic year and to meet specified grade point average requirements.

This bill, commencing with the 2020–21 award year, would repeal the graduation date and grade point average eligibility requirements and make conforming changes.

(3)Existing law requires applicants for Cal Grant B Entitlement Awards to have not reached 26 years of age by July 1 of the initial award year. Existing law requires applicants for a California Community College Transfer Cal Grant Entitlement Award to not be 28 years of age or older by December 31 of an award year.

This bill, commencing with the 2020–21 award year, would repeal both of these requirements and make conforming changes.

(4)This bill would express legislative findings and declarations relating to the state’s student financial aid system. The bill would also express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation, to be known as the Cal Grant Reform Act, to accomplish specified goals.

This bill would enact the Cal Grant Reform Act, which would revise and recast the provisions establishing and governing the existing Cal Grant programs and the Middle Class Scholarship Program into a single Cal Grant Program under the administration of the Student Aid Commission. The bill would add an authorization for summer Cal Grant awards beginning with the 2020–21 award year, as specified. These Cal Grant Reform Act provisions, other than the summer grant award authorization, would become operative on July 1, 2021. The bill would also make numerous conforming changes.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police when an officer held his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, resulting in his death.
(b) The outcry over this murder has resulted in demands for police reform across the state and the nation.
(c) For decades, Californians have experienced horrific injuries and death at the hands of police officers.
(d) These incidents often result in civil lawsuits and payouts made by cities, counties, and the state to the civilians harmed by the actions of sheriffs, police officers, and California Highway Patrol officers. These settlements and judgments are often agreed to in closed sessions at city council and board of supervisors meetings and in many instances cost tens of millions of dollars, which is entirely paid for by taxpayers.
(e) Individual officers do not pay towards these settlements. Instead, these settlements typically come from the general fund of the municipality involved, or if the law enforcement agency itself pays, then it is part of a specific budget line item set aside for settling officer misconduct litigation. Municipal budgets allocate funds to their law enforcement agencies with the expectation that they will be financially liable for their wrongdoing, year over year.
(f) Often times due to budget deficits, cities and counties do not have the funds to pay these settlements and use liability insurance or general obligation bonds procured by the municipality or state. Cities and counties pay annually for liability insurance, which is also used to cover trip-and-fall injuries and workers’ compensation claims, to cover the costs of settlements involving police misconduct, brutality, or death of a civilian by a police officer or sheriff.
(g) In 2019, the City of Sacramento paid an insurance company $2 million in taxpayer dollars to secure up to $35 million for settlements and judgments. Among the payouts made in 2019 was the city’s largest ever settlement, involving $5.2 million for a man who was so brutally beaten by a police officer that he requires intensive, life-long medical care.
(h) In 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department cost taxpayers $80 million settling lawsuits involving officer misconduct. Similarly, the County of Los Angeles paid out over $50 million in misconduct claims from 2015 to 2016, inclusive, the majority of which were excessive force claims. Shootings alone cost the County of Los Angeles $60 million between 2011 to 2016, inclusive.
(i) During the 2018–19 fiscal year, the County of Los Angeles paid over $16 million in judgments against the Sheriff’s Department, another $30 million in settlements against the department, and incurred an additional $80 million in litigation expenses on behalf of the department. According to the county’s annual report, “six of the nine most expensive settlements in FY 2018-19 stemmed from Law Enforcement excessive-force shooting fatalities involving the Sheriff’s Department.”
(j) If a municipality has exhausted their liability insurance, the board of supervisors or city council can authorize a general obligation bond to pay for these incidents of police misconduct and brutality. These types of general obligation bonds are so common that they are called Police Brutality Bonds by the Wall Street firms who profit from them. These bonds are paid for by taxpayers and take years to pay off due to additional fees and high interest rates.
(k) In 2009 and 2010, the City of Los Angeles issued $71.4 million in Police Brutality Bonds. Banks and other private firms collected more than $1 million in issuance fees on these two bonds. By the time these bonds are paid off, taxpayers will have handed over more than $18 million to investors—allowing Wall Street to profit from the death or serious injury of a civilian at the hands of a police officer.
(l) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish transparency requirements surrounding police use of force settlements and judgments against police and sheriff’s departments and the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12525.3 is added to the Government Code, to read:

12525.3.
 (a) (1) On or before February 1 of each year, each municipality shall post on its internet website how much it spent on law enforcement use of force settlements and judgements during the previous year, broken down by individual settlement or judgment.
(2) If any settlements or judgements are paid for using municipal bonds, the municipality shall post on the internet website the amount of the bond, the time it will take the bond to mature, interest and fees paid on the bond, and the total future cost of the bond.
(3) The municipality shall also post on its internet website the amount of any settlements or judgements that were paid by insurance, broken down by individual settlement or judgment, and the amount of any premiums paid by the municipality for insurance against use of force settlements or judgements.
(b) (1) On or before February 1 of each year, the Transportation Agency shall post on its internet website how much it spent on use of force settlements and judgements during the previous year obtained against the Department of the California Highway Patrol, broken down by individual settlement or judgment.
(2) If any settlements or judgements are paid for using bonds, the agency shall post on the internet website the amount of the bond, the time it will take the bond to mature, interest and fees paid on the bond, and the total future cost of the bond.
(3) The agency shall also post on its internet website the amount of any settlements or judgements against the Department of the California Highway Patrol that were paid by insurance, broken down by individual settlement or judgment, and the amount of any premiums paid by the agency or department for insurance against use of force settlements or judgements.
(c) For purposes of this section, “municipality” means a city, county, or city and county with a police department or a sheriff’s department.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.