California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 9

LEGISLATIVE SWING Cal Chiefs at the Capitol T he 2015 legislative session wrapped up shortly after midnight on September 11th. Legislation addressing physician assisted end of life, greenhouse gas emissions, transportation funding, and unpaid family leave resulted in long and emotional floor debates. Much of the historically “left-leaning” legislation was either stopped or heavily amended as a result of a strong cohort of moderate Democrats, led by Assemblymember Perea, in the Assembly. We continued to work with the Governor’s administration on medical marijuana regulation throughout the morning and afternoon of the 11th, only to finalize language shortly before a 5 PM policy committee hearing on AB 266. In the end, the medical marijuana regulatory model was split into three bills: AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643. This division allowed both houses, the Senate and the Assembly, to get credit for their efforts. Despite attempts from individual lobbyists working on recreational legalization initiatives to derail the effort to regulate medical marijuana, we were able to pass a comprehensive package shortly before midnight on September 11th. The package received the Governor’s signature on October 9th. Together with the League of Cities, our legislative team will embark on a series of town hall meetings and webinars to prepare cities for the new regulations. Marijuana, however, was not the only issue on the table this year. The events surrounding Ferguson, MO may no longer be on the front pages of newspapers, but for the California State Legislature and the actors in the national political arena, things are just warming up. We began the session with multiple post-Ferguson hearings on community-law enforcement relations, body worn cameras, and more. These hearings set the stage for a slough of legislation in this area. Legislation addressing body worn cameras and data reporting came in two sizes: inflammatory or collaborative. For body worn camera legislation, we saw AB 66, which was strongly opposed by the law enforcement community and sought to “catch” officers in the wrong. On the other side of the conversation, we saw SB 175, which would have granted local jurisdictions control over their By Chief David Swing, Chair of the Law and Legislation Committee body worn camera policies. One of the key distinctions between the two bills was that the former envisioned body worn cameras as a single faceted tool: to increase transparency. SB 175, on the