Listen: Changes Made To “Sanctuary State” Bill Address Law Enforcement Concerns
UPDATE 6:05 p.m.: The agreement on “sanctuary state” legislation between Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León and Gov. Jerry Brown is drawing support from immigrant groups.
“After carefully looking at these amendments, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is going to better the situation for our immigrant families,” says Eddie Carmona with the faith-based advocacy group PICO California. “If it was going to make it any worse, we would not have supported this bill, and we would have abandoned it a long time ago.”
Carmona likes provisions in the final bill that ban immigration authorities from placing “holds” on people in custody; and block the deputization of police as immigration agents.
Listen to Eddie Carmona’s interview with Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler
But the latest amendments also appear to address some law enforcement concerns to win the support of the governor.
SB 54, as amended, expands the list of crimes for which law enforcement can choose to notify and transfer someone to immigration authorities. The agreement also allows the feds to interview people in custody, and drops a provision that would have banned California law enforcement from sharing their databases for immigration enforcement.
The California State Sheriffs Association, which has led opposition to the bill, declined comment until it reviews the amendments.
But the California Police Chiefs Association has dropped its opposition and moved to neutral. CalChiefs president and Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano says the compromise “addresses the significant public safety concerns we raised during this debate, and it reaffirms what we have held since the beginning, which is that California law enforcement should not be used to assist in mass deportations.”
Another key vote of support comes from Asm. Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), a former Sacramento County sheriff’s captain. “We have addressed several of my initial concerns and have amended SB 54 to ensure that we are only protecting California’s law-abiding immigrants,” he says in a statement.
UPDATE 2:43 p.m.: De León, Brown Reach Deal On “Sanctuary State” Bill
The author of a bill that seeks to ban California law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities has reached agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown.
“SB 54 will ensure that state and local police are not diverted from protecting our communities in order to enforce federal immigration laws,” Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), who wrote the bill, said in a statement Monday afternoon. “The protections provided by SB 54 will also ensure undocumented residents can report crimes and assist in prosecutions without fear of deportation.”
The governor’s office confirmed the deal. “This bill protects public safety and people who come to California to work hard and make this state a better place,” read a statement from Brown released by De León’s office.
This is the measure that’s been labeled the “sanctuary state” bill – though neither the governor nor De León likes that label.
For months, immigrant advocates and law enforcement groups have battled over how wide-ranging the bill should be. Details of the deal are expected later this afternoon once amendments to SB 54 are published online.
UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: $4 Billion Parks And Water Bond Moves Toward June 2018 Ballot
California legislative leaders have reached agreement on a bill that would place a $4 billion dollar parks and water bond on the June 2018 ballot.
The bill, SB 5 by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), splits the money into dozens of different pots – including clean drinking water, drought preparedness, climate change, and several new parks initiatives.
The parks section in particular has some noteworthy items.
There’s $725 million for safe neighborhood parks in disadvantaged communities. And every local government would be guaranteed a chunk of change for their own parks projects: $200,000 for each city and $400,000 for each county.
There’s also more than $200 million to restore and preserve existing state parks.
There isn’t any specific money in the bond for the Oroville Dam, since most of those repairs will be paid for by water agencies and the federal government. But the state could use some of the bond’s $300 million for flood protection if the feds don’t cover the full cost – or to improve levees downstream from the dam.
Here’s a breakdown of how the money is proposed to be spent:
- Water: $1.2 billion for clean drinking water, drought preparedness, flood protection and repair, groundwater sustainability and water recycling projects.
- Climate and Environment: $1.5 billion for climate preparedness, habitat resiliency, wildlife conservation, river, creek and waterway improvement, and ocean, bay and coastal protection programs.
- Parks: $1.3 billion for parks in disadvantaged “park-poor” neighborhoods; restoration and preservation of state parks; and for city and county regional parks.
The bond still requires supermajority approval in the Assembly and Senate this week – plus the governor’s signature – before it can move to the ballot.
Housing, Parks, Immigration Headline Legislature’s Final Week
California lawmakers have just one week of work left in Sacramento and roughly 600 bills to plow through before they adjourn for the year Friday night.
Major pieces of legislation include:
- A package of bills that seek to address California’s high cost of living, including a $4 billion housing bond and a fee on real estate transaction documents that’s expected to raise several hundred million dollars a year for affordable housing projects.
- A $4 billion parks and water bond.
- The question of whether California should declare itself a ‘sanctuary state’ by banning state and local law enforcement agencies from fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
- Shifting the start of the school day for 6th-through-12th graders back from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
- Moving California’s presidential primary elections up from June to March.