September 30, 2014
Four of the five bills drafted by students during the McGeorge Legislative and Public Policy Clinic's first year have been signed by Governor Brown: SB 1058 on Sept. 27; AB 2326 and AB 2632 on Sept. 29; and AB 2643 on Sept. 30.
Clinic supervising attorney Rex Frazier, '00, and McGeorge students Lexi Howard, '15, and Fielding Greaves, '15, talked about the bills that were written by law students and the last minute crunch at the Capitol before the legislative session ended on Capital Public Radio's Insight program on August on Aug. 29, 2014. Listen to the archived radio program.
Marisa Shea, '14, wrote an article about her work on Assembly Bill 2643 that was published in the Sacramento Bee on Sept. 9, 2014, "Viewpoints: Law students' work pays off in revenge porn bill." Read the article.
KCRA 3 aired an interview with McGeorge student Lexi Howard, '15 and alumna Kristina Brown, '14, about their work in the Legislative and Public Policy Clinic last year on AB 2632 (Maienschein), which was signed by Governor Brown.
Descriptions of the five bills
Each bill number is a link to the McGeorge student report on UnderTheDomeCA.org, an online resource for California law, politics and policy by the McGeorge Capital Center and the McGeorge Law Review.
"Writ of habeas corpus." Senator Mark Leno. This bill would create the ability for inmates to get a new hearing if the expert testimony used to convict them becomes discredited. With the California Innocence Project, which advocates on behalf of inmates, students crafted a bill that would reverse a state Supreme Court ruling in 2013. The bill received coverage in the Washington Post. Signed by the Governor on Sept. 27, 2014.
"Care facilities." Assembly member Brian Maienschein. This bill started as a regulatory proposal students developed with the Children's Advocacy Institute and received news coverage from KCRA. This bill would require the state Department of Social Services to consider an arrest record as part of a review to work in a facility serving children or vulnerable adults. The institute and students developed a policy proposal to get DSS to review arrest records as part of an application process, and DSS then announced a policy change. The bill would ensure that DSS follows through. Signed by the Governor on Sept. 29, 2014.
"Invasion of privacy: Distribution of sexually explicit materials." Assembly member Bob Wieckowski. This bill allows victims to file a civil action under a pseudonym against someone who has posted sexually explicit photos or videos of them on the Internet. The judge would review the case in chambers and issue a court order to remove the material. The bill would prevent the victim's name and the images from being part of the public record. Signed by the Governor on Sept. 29, 2014.
"Elder and dependent adult abuse training." Assembly member Richard Pan. This bill would add training on elder and dependent adult abuse for rank and file peace officers. The bill came out of McGeorge's elder law clinic. Signed by the Governor on Sept. 30, 2014.
"Advance health care directive registry." Assembly member Richard Pan. This bill would require the Secretary of State to replace the paper system of advance health care directives with an electronic one. The idea originated out of McGeorge's elder law clinic. A paper registry in which directives are faxed within one business day is not effective during a medical crisis. In addition, the bill could generate substantial savings if people opt out of expensive, life-sustaining medical procedures. But the system will be expensive to set up and the state has had problems implementing major technological changes. This bill did not advance. The last status update was 06/18/14: From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to committee. Read second time, amended, and re-referred to Com. on JUD.