Legislative Briefs

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday May 15, 2007

SB 67 (Sideshow bill) 

After sailing through the state Senate, Senate President Don Perata’s “urgency” sideshow car confiscation measure (SB 67) has stalled in the Assembly, but a spokesperson for Assemblymember Fabian Nuñez said the delay is normal procedure. 

SB 67 is a renewal of previous legislation aimed specifically at Oakland sideshows that allows cars to be towed and confiscated for 30 days solely on the word of a police officer that the car was being used in “sideshow activity.” 

The original legislation that included the sideshow provisions expired in January of this year, and Perata had asked that the new bill be passed on an urgency basis. Such an urgency status means the bill can be speeded through the legislature, but must pass by a two-thirds vote in both houses. 

The bill has been held at the Assembly speaker’s desk since it passed the Senate in mid-April. 

The press secretary for Assembly Speaker Nuñez said that “because of legislative deadlines, all Senate bills are currently being held until we have completed hearing all Assembly bills.” The Nuñez spokesperson said that the deadline for completing Assembly bill work was June 8. 


SB 1019 (Peace officer records; confidentiality. Senator Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles) 

This bill would reopen civilian review board hearings to the public in cities across the state (including Oakland and Berkeley) that were closed following a recent ruling by the California State Supreme Court in Copley Press, Inc. v. The Superior Court of San Diego County.  

The bill would also open up more police disciplinary files than were available prior to the Copley ruling, but some analysts believe that the disciplinary file provision will be taken out in order for the bill to pass the legislature and be signed into law. 

SB 1019 has passed the Senate Public Safety and Appropriations Committee and was scheduled for a third reading in the full Senate on Monday, with the bill then scheduled to move over to the Assembly. 

Oakland City Council is scheduled to vote today (Tuesday) on a resolution in support of SB 1019, with both City Attorney John Russo, City Administrator Deborah Edgerly, and Oakland Citizens’ Police Review Board Executive Director Joyce Hicks all recommending support. 

PUEBLO organization of Oakland, which is also supporting the legislation, has noted in an e-mail circulated in the city that Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums has not yet come out in support of SB 1019. “In Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa and Police Chief Bratton have announced their support for the bill,” the PUEBLO e-mail says. “Oakland, like L.A., has a history of serious issues with police misconduct. Join us in calling on the mayor to support police accountability!” 


AB 45 (Oakland Unified School District; Governance. Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland) 

This bill would set definite benchmarks for return to local control of the Oakland Unified School District, which has been under state control since 2003. 

Has passed the Assembly Education Committee. Scheduled for hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, May 16, 9 a.m., Room 4202 of the State Capitol Building in Sacramento.