BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1434
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   March 28, 2012

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                    AB 1434 (Feuer) - As Amended:  March 14, 2012 

          Policy Committee:                              Public Safety 
          Vote:        6-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program: 
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill adds employees of a public or private institution of 
          higher learning who have knowledge of child abuse or neglect 
          occurring on the institution's premises or at an official 
          activity of the institution, to the list of mandated reporters 
          for purposes of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Child Abuse 
          and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), which requires about 40 
          specified classes of mandated reporter to report suspected 
          incidents of child abuse to a specified child protection agency. 
          (Failure to report is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six 
          months in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Potentially minor annual GF costs, likely less than $150,000, 
            for increased state prison commitments to the extent 
            increasing the number of mandated reporters results in 
            additional state prison commitments. 

          2)Potentially minor annual GF costs, likely less than $150,000, 
            to the extent the state is required to fund additional social 
            workers to respond to increased workload. 

          3)Absorbable annual costs to DOJ to process additional CANRA 
            reports.

          4)Unknown minor nonreimbursable local law enforcement costs for 
            additional reporting and investigation.  

          5)Unknown, minor nonreimbursable local costs for prosecution and 
            punishment of mandated reporters who fail to report, offset to 








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            some extent by increased fine revenue. 

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale.  According to the author, "This bill responds to the 
            shocking and tragic allegations at Penn State, where campus 
            employees and administrators failed to report multiple claims 
            of abuse.  Each year, thousands of minor children spend time 
            on California college campuses, for activities ranging from 
            soccer tournaments to academic programs to school tours.  AB 
            1434 addresses a gap in mandated reporter law that does not 
            require college employees who are not otherwise mandated 
            reporters to report child abuse to law enforcement."  

           2)Current law  specifies a long list of a mandated reporters, 
            including teachers, specified school employees, day camp 
            administrators, social workers, firefighters, physicians, 
            coroners, clergy, and alcohol and drug counselors, who if they 
            have knowledge of a child in his or her professional capacity 
            or within the scope of his or her employment, being abused or 
            neglected, must report the incident to law enforcement or 
            child protection authorities as soon as possible, with a 
            written report within 36 hours. The authorities who receive 
            the reports are in turn required to provide substantiated 
            reports to the DOJ, which serves as a repository of the 
            information in the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).
                
            3)Current law already makes failure to report observance of a 
            forcible sexual offense involving a person under 14 a 
            misdemeanor  . In the case of the Penn State scandal, it appears 
            this type of situation could have been charged under Penal 
            Code 152.3 in California, as many courts and juries would not 
            likely find that a sexual act between an adult male and a 
            10-year-old boy was non-forcible or consensual.

           4)Prevalence of coach-related abuse incidents.  There does not 
            appear to be a body of research relating to sexual abuse by 
            coaches. In general, research indicates that most sexual abuse 
            - estimates run up to 90% - is committed by a person a child 
            knows and trusts, generally by family members, but friends and 
            others with ready and repeated access to children, including 
            coaches and religious and youth leaders, are also cited in 
            research. Most studies indicate that as many as 90% of 
            offenders are male, and that up to 50% are minors themselves.  









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           5)Related Pending Legislation  .

             a)   AB 1435 (Dickenson) makes athletic coaches, athletic 
               administrators, and athletic directors employed by a public 
               or private youth center, youth recreation program, or youth 
               organization mandated reporters and requires training. AB 
               1435 is before this committee today.

             b)   AB 1438 (Bradford) makes it a misdemeanor to fail to 
               report to a peace officer an instance of known or suspected 
               child sexual abuse. AB 1438 is before this committee today.

             c)   AB 1564 (Lara) makes volunteers of public and private 
               organizations mandated reporters, and revokes tax exempt 
               status if an employee or volunteer fails to report known or 
               suspected child abuse. AB 1564 is pending in Assembly 
               Public Safety.
              
             d)   AB 1713 (Campos) expands the list of mandated reporters 
               to include commercial-film and photographic-print or image 
               processors. AB 1713 is before this committee today.  

             e)   AB 1817 (Atkins) expands the list of mandated reporters 
               to include commercial computer technicians.  AB 1817 is 
               pending in Assembly Public Safety.   

             f)   SB 1264 (Vargas) expands the list of mandated reporters 
               to include athletic coaches at public or private 
               postsecondary institutions, and increases the penalties for 
               failure to report an incident.  SB 1264 is pending referral 
               in the Senate.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081