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Restorative justice, workers’ rights bills go to Gov. Brown for signature
September 12th, 2016
By Catholic San Francisco

The California Catholic Conference is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to sign two restorative justice bills passed by the California legislature and to sign legislation to require overtime pay for farmworkers. The bishops’ conference also is urging vetoes of two bills backed by Planned Parenthood.

The state Legislature completed its two-year session Aug. 31 by sending Brown more than 800 bills. He has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the legislation.

AB 2590, cosponsored by the conference and other faith leaders, would find and declare that the purpose of sentencing is public safety achieved by adding rehabilitation and restorative justice to the notion of punishment, which is now the primary directive in the penal code.

“The bill will provide a focus on healing victims, families and the community,” the conference said in a legislative update.

The conference is also supporting SB 1157, which would protect the rights of families to maintain in-person visits with their loved ones in county jails, juvenile facilities and private prison facilities. The bill would allow counties to install and use video visitation but would prevent them from eliminating in-person visitation.

The conference is urging Brown to veto two bills pushed by Planned Parenthood.

AB 1954 “inappropriately permits a patient to go beyond her health plan for any reproductive services without a referral from her health plan doctor,” the conference states. “Planned Parenthood is the sponsor of the bill, which bypasses the woman’s physician, jeopardizes her health and creates inordinate and irresponsible costs.”

AB 1671 seeks to criminalize activity like the “Planned Parenthood/sale of fetal parts” videos and takes aim at David Daleiden whose undercover videos of Planned Parenthood representatives discussing fetal parts transactions has prompted a number of states to defund Planned Parenthood. It criminalizes and fines the acts of, and assisting in, the procuring and distributing of such information. The conference and the American Civil Liberties Union oppose the bill.

AB 2531 which would have allowed a woman to be paid for donating her eggs for research, did not pass, but the conference said the bill may be reintroduced in the next session.

The Catholic conference is asking Brown to sign AB 1066, which would make farm workers eligible for overtime pay if they work more than an eight-hour day or 40 hours a week. The bill would phase in overtime requirements from 2017 to 2020.

Brown has signed two bills that were priorities of the conference. SB 3 increases the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by January 2023. SB 23 removed the Maximum Family Grant, which had limited the amount of assistance for families if they have another child. That change had been a conference priority for six years.

From September 15, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

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