BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 849
          Author:   Garcia (D)
          Amended:  5/24/13 in Assembly
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/25/13
          AYES:  Evans, Walters, Anderson, Corbett, Jackson, Leno, Monning

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 8/30/13
          AYES:  De León, Walters, Gaines, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  76-0, 5/29/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Protection of victims:  address confidentiality

           SOURCE  :     Consumer Federation of California
                      Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Inc.


           DIGEST  :    This bill allows an application to the Secretary of  
          States Safe at Home program to be completed at a community-based  
          assistance program that serves victims of elder or dependent  
          adult abuse.  This bill also requires the Secretary of State to  
          conduct outreach activities to identify and recruit agencies to  
          assist victims, as specified, in applying to the Safe at Home  
          program. 

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

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          1.The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act  
            (EADACPA), generally provides civil protections and remedies  
            for victims of elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect. 

          2.Defines "abuse of an elder or dependent adult" as either:  
            physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment,  
            isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting  
            physical harm or pain or mental suffering; or the deprivation  
            by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to  
            avoid physical harm or mental suffering. 

          3.Establishes an address confidentiality (or Safe at Home)  
            program within the Office of the Secretary of State in order  
            to enable state and local agencies to both accept and respond  
            to requests for public records without disclosing the changed  
            name or address of a victim of domestic violence, sexual  
            assault, or stalking.  Existing law permits any such adult  
            victim, or parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor or  
            incapacitated person, to apply through a community-based  
            victims' assistance program to have an address designated by  
            the Secretary of State as his or her substitute mailing  
            address. 

          4.Provides that upon proper application and certification,  
            applicants will be certified in the program for four years,  
            unless certification is withdrawn or invalidated.  Existing  
            law also provides that the Secretary of State establish for a  
            renewal procedure. 

          5.Requires that an applicant to the address confidentiality  
            program based on domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking  
            complete an application in person at a community-based  
            victims' assistance program.  Applicants are required to meet  
            with a victims' assistance counselor and receive orientation  
            information about the program.  Existing law additionally  
            requires the application to include a sworn statement that the  
            applicant has good reason to believe that he or she is a  
            victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and  
            fears for his or her safety. 

          This bill authorizes an applicant to complete his or her  
          application at a community-based program that serves victims of  
          elder or dependent adult abuse, as specified. 


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          Existing law requires the Secretary of State to designate state,  
          local, and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and  
          shelter to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and  
          stalking to assist victims in applying to the Safe at Home  
          Program. 

          This bill also requires the Secretary of State to conduct  
          outreach activities to identify and recruit agencies who assist  
          victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking in  
          applying to the Safe at Home program. 

           Background
           
          The California Legislature, in recognition of the need of  
          special protection for California's vulnerable elder and  
          dependent adult population, has enacted significant criminal and  
          civil protections for elders and dependent adults.  In 1983, the  
          Legislature determined that crimes against dependent adults  
          deserved special consideration and established enhanced criminal  
          penalties against individuals who perpetrate crimes, including  
          great bodily harm, infliction of pain, endangerment, and false  
          imprisonment, against dependent adults.  In 1986, the  
          Legislature extended these protections to elders.  

          In 1992, the Legislature enacted SB 679 (Mello, Chapter 774,  
          Statutes of 1991), which established the EADACPA.  EADACPA  
          provides enhanced civil remedies to ensure adequate  
          representation of and protection for victims of elder or  
          dependent adult physical and financial abuse and neglect.  

          Additionally, with the passage of SB 489 (Alpert, Chapter 1005,  
          Statutes of 1998), the Legislature established the Safe at Home  
          Program within the Office of the Secretary of State to allow  
          victims of domestic violence to apply for a substitute address  
          to be used in public records in order to prevent their  
          assailants, or potential assailants, from finding their work or  
          home address.  Through subsequent legislation, the program has  
          been expanded to include victims of sexual assault, stalking,  
          and reproductive health care service providers, employees,  
          volunteers, and patients.  

           Prior Legislation
           
          AB 2483 (Blumenfield, Chapter 102, Statutes of 2012) removed the  

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          requirement that victims alleging stalking as the basis of their  
          eligibility for the address confidentiality program provide  
          specific evidence attached to the application.  

          SB 1082 (Corbett, Chapter 270, Statutes of 2012) made a number  
          of changes to the Safe at Home Program, including requiring  
          applicants and participants of the program to be domiciled in  
          California, and authorizing a minor participant to renew his or  
          her participation upon reaching 18 years of age.

          AB 906 (Galgiani, 2012) would have authorized witnesses who have  
          testified in murder trials to participate in the Safe at Home  
          program.  This bill died on the Senate Appropriations Suspense  
          File.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, potential  
          first-year costs to the Secretary of State of approximately  
          $75,000 (General Fund) and $65,000 annually thereafter to  
          facilitate recruitment activities and address the additional SAH  
          program caseload.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/30/13)

          Consumer Federation of California (source) 
          Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Inc (source) 
          California Alliance for Retired Americans
          California District Attorneys Association
          California Long Term Care Ombudsman Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California Senior Legislature
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Chief Probation Officers of California
          Consumer Federation of California
          Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Inc. 
          National Association of Social Workers - California Chapter
          WISE Healthy Aging

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author:

               Victims of elder or dependent adult abuse are not  
               identified in [the] Government Code?as persons who are  

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               eligible to participate in the State's address  
               confidentiality program.  There are cases in which an  
               abused elder or dependent adult needs to keep his or her  
               address confidential to escape further abuse. 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  76-0, 5/29/13
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Bigelow,  
            Blumenfield, Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown,  
            Buchanan, Ian Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chesbro, Conway,  
            Cooley, Dahle, Daly, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eggman, Fong, Fox,  
            Frazier, Beth Gaines, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon,  
            Gorell, Gray, Grove, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Roger Hernández,  
            Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Logue, Lowenthal, Maienschein,  
            Mansoor, Medina, Melendez, Mitchell, Morrell, Mullin,  
            Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Nestande, Olsen, Pan, Patterson, Perea,  
            V. Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Salas, Skinner,  
            Stone, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski, Wilk,  
            Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Bloom, Holden, Linder, Vacancy


          AL:nl  8/30/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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