Home » CAPITOL UPDATE #12 – March 21, 2024

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CAPITOL UPDATE #12 – March 21, 2024

 , 2024

Golden State Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the GSRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Valerie Evans,
Lou Ann Flaherty, Elaine Freeman, and Valerie Emick

AB 2031, as amended, Jones-Sawyer. One California program.

Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services, subject to an appropriation, to provide grants to qualified nonprofit organizations through contracts, in order to provide persons with certain immigration-related legal services. Under existing law, a component of those grants is aimed at legal services to unaccompanied undocumented minors who are transferred to the care and custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and who are present in the state.

This bill would make changes to the criteria for organizations providing legal services to those minors, including adjustments to qualifications based on the organization’s history of professional experience.

Under existing law, another component of those grants is aimed at services relating to immigration remedies and naturalization, among other processes, to assist persons residing in, or formerly residing in, the state.

This bill would expand those qualifying services to persons having an intent to reside in and having a nexus to the state, and would expand the scope of services to include, among other things, legal representation, and related services for removal defense. The bill would make changes to the definitions of various terms relating to legal services and immigration remedies.

Existing law prohibits use of the grant funds to provide legal services to an individual who has been convicted of, or who is currently appealing a conviction for, a violent or serious felony.

This bill would remove that prohibition on the use of funds for those individuals.

Existing law requires the department to update the Legislature on specified information relating to the grant program in the course of budget hearings.

This bill would expand the scope of reportable information and would instead require the department to update the Legislature through an annual report, and to post the reports on the department’s internet website and make them publicly available. The bill would also require the department to update the Legislature through a publicly available report, every 3 years, commencing on July 1, 2026, that provides information and analysis on the costs associated with service provision and that provides recommendations for any program administration updates addressing these costs. The bill would make conforming changes to related provisions.

The bill would require the Section Chief of the Immigration Services Bureau, at the department, or their representative, to convene an ongoing advisory committee, with a specified composition, to be established by January 1, 2026. Under the bill, the committee’s purpose would be to create voluntary guidance and make recommendations to the department and to the Legislature on policies and procedures to ensure that indigent immigrant Californians receive the vital legal services and other concomitant resources needed to set up immigrants and their families to thrive in the state.

Under the bill, personally identifiable information, collected by the department as related to the above-described services, would not be a public record and would be prohibited from disclosure by the department, except where necessary to comply with a court-issued order, warrant, or subpoena.

Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.


This was a victory, but may be re-instated.  We will keep our eyes on this one.


SB 973, introduced by Senator Grove, January 29, 2024.

Williamson Act: cancellation: solar energy projects.

Existing law, known as the Williamson Act [also known as the California Land Conservation Act of 1965], authorizes a city or county to contract with a landowner to limit the use of agricultural land located in an agricultural preserve designated by the city or county to preserve the land, subject to conditions of the contract, that may include an agreement to a specified valuation of the land for purposes of property taxation. The act authorizes a landowner to petition the city council or board of supervisors, as applicable, for cancellation of the contract under specified circumstances and imposes a cancellation fee equal to 12.5% of the fair market value of the land without the restriction of the contract.

This bill would authorize a board or council to grant a petition for cancellation where the land subject to the contract is located in a basin under the jurisdiction of an adjudicated watermaster or the groundwater sustainability agency. The bill would require the landowner to commit to limiting the amount of water rights to a specific solar energy project, as defined, that uses less water than the agricultural use. The bill would also require the board or council to make specified findings, including that the solar energy project use is being permitted that will use less water than the agricultural use. The bill would prohibit the imposition of a cancellation fee when a contract is canceled pursuant to the bill’s provisions. The bill would require the landowner to execute and record a deed restriction that includes a prohibition on the landowner from entering into a contract pursuant to the act with respect to the land if the landowner is issued a certificate of cancellation pursuant to the bill’s provisions.


AB 2642, introduced by Assembly Members Berman, Gipson, and Weber, February 14, 2024.

Elections: intimidation.

Existing law makes it a crime to intimidate a voter or to interfere with the conduct of an election, as specified. Existing law makes it a crime for a person in possession of a firearm or a uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel to be stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate elections official, except as specified. Existing law also makes it a crime to hire a person to conduct these prohibited acts.

This bill would prohibit a person from intimidating, threatening, or coercing, or attempting to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for engaging in specified election-related activities. The bill would authorize an aggrieved person, an officer holding an election or conducting a canvass, or the Attorney General to file a civil action to enforce this prohibition. The bill would create a presumption that a person who openly carries a firearm, imitation firearm, or toy gun while interacting with or observing the specified election-related activities would be presumed to have engaged in prohibited intimidation, in the absence of an affirmative showing to the contrary by a preponderance of the evidence. The bill would entitle an aggrieved person who prevails in such an action to recover reasonable attorney’s fees, reasonable expert fees, and reasonable litigation expenses, as specified.

In order to deter intimidation, harassment, and violence at the polls in the upcoming November 5, 2024, general election, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.

Objectionable Language Section 1 (h):

“The increases in voting by mail and other changes to voting instigated by the global COVID-19 pandemic provided fodder for President Trump and others to promote disinformation and conspiracy theories about U.S. elections based on claims of voter fraud and election interference. In the years since, this fraudulent claim has served to radicalize an increasing number of armed extremists and far-right supporters who use the election denial movement as an excuse to openly harass, threaten, and intimidate election workers and voters.”

SB 1219, as introduced, Seyarto. Crimes: prostitution.

Existing law, until January 1, 2023, prohibited loitering in a public place with the intent to commit prostitution, as defined, and made that crime a misdemeanor. Existing law defines specified behavior as disorderly conduct and prohibits that behavior. Under existing law, disorderly conduct includes, among other things, soliciting prostitution, prowling, peeping, surreptitious photographing or filming of an identifiable person, and the distribution of certain images of another person taken under circumstances in which the person understands that the image shall remain private, the distribution of which causes serious emotional distress.

This bill would make it a misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with the intent to commit prostitution, as defined, and would make other conforming changes. The bill would make a person guilty of disorderly conduct if they operate a motor vehicle in any public place and repeatedly beckon to, contact, or attempt to contact or stop pedestrians or other motorists, or impede traffic, with the intent to solicit prostitution. The bill would authorize a court to suspend, for not more than 30 days, the privilege of a person to operate a motor vehicle for a first conviction of these offenses. The bill would, for a 2nd or subsequent conviction, require the vehicle used in the commission of the crime to be impounded for 30 days, as specified.

Hearing: Apr 2 @ 8:30 am in 1021 O Street, Room 2200

Legislative Portal links – Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RW or GSRW) click here, or the bill’s author – click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”.

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