Devinn Larsen is here to tell us about AB 2943, which would have banned the practice of charging for providing sexual orientation change efforts (or conversion therapy).
Katie Young tells us about AB 2551, legislation that calls attention to our forest management policies and how they affect the frequency and severity of massive, out-of-control fires.
California currently faces a major public education crisis. Similar to the housing crisis, California’s teacher supply has failed to meet demand, resulting in severe teacher shortages throughout the state. Seventy-five percent of school districts are understaffed, particularly with regard to fully-credentialed teachers. Compounding this problem is California’s affordable housing crisis. Housing supply has stagnated, rental prices have skyrocketed, and many Californians have been priced out of their homes and cities. These two crises seemed to intersect in late 2016, when the San Francisco Chronicle reported Etoria Cheeks, a local math teacher, fell into homelessness after being priced out of affordable housing in the city. Many viewed Ms. Cheeks’ story as a part of a larger problem, and began calling for action to better secure affordable housing for the state’s teachers. Accordingly, Assembly Member Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) authored AB 45, which sought to create a development grant program for school districts to offer district-owned affordable rental housing to teachers. Today on the podcast, Dylan Dewitt joins Tyler to talk about AB 45.
Calls for strengthened immigration laws and renewed enforcement of existing laws have raised questions about the interactions between local law enforcement agencies and federal authorities. In what has been referred to as the “highest-profile act of defiance to Trump’s nascent presidency,” California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León introduced SB 54, also known as the California Values Act, to, as some would put it, erect not a new border wall, but a “wall of justice” that would “protect the safety, well-being, and constitutional rights of the people of California, and … direct the state’s limited resources to matters of greatest concern to state and local governments.” Today on the podcast, Megan McCauley joins Tyler to talk about SB 54.
After managing to keep its scam under wraps for at least a decade, it came to light that Wells Fargo was ripping off its customers by opening fake accounts in their name and charging them for the fees associated with those accounts. Making matters worse, when defrauded customers tried suing the bank, Wells Fargo would block their access to the courts by enforcing the arbitration clause that many of the customers had agreed to when first opening a bank account. By enforcing these clauses, Wells Fargo could funnel all complaints regarding its deceptive practices into private arbitration, where it would never have to answer to either a judge or a jury. In order to ensure that victims of big-bank fraud could see their day in court, State Senator Bill Dodd introduced SB 33. Today on the podcast, Kim Barnes joins Tyler to discuss SB 33.
Under the Obama Administration policies, as long as states developed a robust regulatory and enforcement system for medical or recreational adult use of marijuana, residents who complied with state laws and regulations would not be subject to harassment, arrest or incarceration by the federal government. Under those assurances, California’s marijuana industry flourished. Although Trump’s position on marijuana is not clear, his naming of Jeff Sessions (a staunch anti-drug crusader) as Attorney General suggested to many that the administration would eventually reverse the lenient Obama-era policies. To mitigate the risk of such a policy reversal, Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) proposed AB 1578. Today on the podcast, Trevor Wong joins Tyler to discuss AB 1578.
Before 2017, Nevada was a member of a minority of states that lacked an anti-bestiality law. Generally, the rationale behind anti-bestiality laws is two-pronged: (1) protect animals and (2) prevent future violence to humans. In order to achieve both these ends, Nevada Assembly Member Richard Carrillo (D-Las Vegas) introduced AB 391, which creates the crime of bestiality. Today on the podcast, Emily Malhiot joins Tyler to discuss AB 391.
If you’ve applied for a job, you’ve likely seen the box: Have you ever been convicted of a felony? For many people, this box is no big deal, you check no and you move on with the rest of the application. For those with a conviction, however, this box is a massive barrier to employment. Indeed, studies show that employers would hire any other stigmatized group of people before formerly convicted people. In addition, AB 1008 supporters contend the felony conviction box on job applications allows employers to summarily deny jobs to a whole class of people without meeting them, without interviews, and without giving them a chance. AB 1008 hopes to give convicts a chance at obtaining employment by prohibiting employers with five or more employees from asking about prior felony convictions on job applications and delaying the background check until the employer has made a conditional offer to the applicant. Today on the podcast, Michael Hopkins joins Tyler to talk about AB 1008.
On average, bail is set at $50,000 in California. Generally, defendants must post 10% to “make bail” and stay out of jail until trial. Studies show that 46% of people do not have even $400 in their emergency fund. Thus, even for those defendants for whom bail is set at $1000, much less than the average, it can be very difficult to make bail. This dynamic has resulted in jail populations made up of predominately those defendants who are awaiting trial, not those who have been convicted. Indeed, roughly 66% of California’s jail population is merely awaiting trial.
In addition to the loss of freedom, such pretrial detention can cause defendants to lose property, jobs, and even their children. Moreover, lengthy pretrial detention has been shown to increase the chances of recidivism once defendants are released. Although many of these defendants pose no public safety threat or flight risk, because they simply cannot afford bail, they remain in custody. To lower jail populations and detain before trial only those defendants who pose a public safety threat or flight risk, SB 10 creates agencies in each county that would individually assess each defendant’s public safety and flight risk and then make a bail recommendation to the judge based on that assessment. Today on the podcast, Kyle Harrison joins Tyler to talk about SB 10.