BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2221


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          2221 (Cristina Garcia and Grove)


          As Amended  August 18, 2016


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |76-0  |(May 19, 2016) |SENATE: |39-0  |(August 23,      |
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          Original Committee Reference:  PUB. S.


          SUMMARY:  Provides that in a case involving a charge of human  
          trafficking, as specified, a minor who is a victim of the human  
          trafficking shall be provided with assistance from the local  
          county Victim Witness Assistance Center, if the minor so  
          desires.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)Provide assistance to minor victims of human trafficking  
            through a local county Victim Witness Assistance Center,  
            whether or not the minor testifies as a witness in the human  
            trafficking case.


          2)Clarify that this bill does not require a local agency to  
            operate a Victim Witness Assistance Center.








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          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Specifies that a prosecuting witness in a case involving a  
            violation or attempted violation of specified offenses,  
            including human trafficking, shall be entitled, for support,  
            to the attendance of up to two persons of his or her own  
            choosing, one of whom may be a witness, at the preliminary  
            hearing and at the trial, or at a juvenile court proceeding,  
            during the testimony of the prosecuting witness. 


          2)States that only one of those support persons may accompany  
            the witness to the witness stand, although the other may  
            remain in the courtroom during the witness' testimony. 


          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBY, this bill:


          1)Authorized a peace officer to arrest a person without a  
            warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that the  
            person has committed the misdemeanor offense of soliciting a  
            minor for prostitution.  


          2)Specified that prior to being subpoenaed as a witness in a  
            human trafficking case, a minor who is a victim of human  
            trafficking must be provided with assistance from the local  
            county Victim Witness Assistance Center. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)Victime-Witness Assistance Council (VWAC) services:  Potential  
            increase in expenditures from the Victim-Witness Assistance  
            (VWA) Fund (Special Fund*), Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund  
            (Federal Funds), or other state funds (General Fund) for local  








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            agencies that operate VWACs and accept VWA funds to provide  
            "assistance" to minors.  There are currently 59 VWACs in the  
            state, all of which receive funding from the VWA Fund to  
            provide assistance to victims.  By requiring VWACs to provide  
            assistance to human trafficking victims, this measure could  
            result in potentially significant one-time and ongoing costs  
            to meet the requirements of this bill.  In the absence of  
            additional funding, the mandate to provide assistance to these  
            specific victims potentially redirects funding for services  
            that otherwise would be provided to victims of other crimes,  
            including domestic violence and sexual assault. 


          2)Cal OES:  No anticipated impact, as no changes to the  
            administration of the local VWAC programs are required by the  
            bill.


          *Victim-Witness Assistance (VWA) Fund - staff notes the VWA Fund  
          is insolvent, with a projected Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 year-end  
          balance of $49,000.  In order to address the VWA Fund's  
          operating shortfall, one of the state's short-term solutions has  
          been to shift costs to other state funds such as the Restitution  
          Fund.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "AB 2221 would allow law  
          enforcement the authority to arrest any adult when there is  
          probable cause to believe they solicited sex from a minor.   
          Currently, law enforcement officials can only arrest an adult  
          for soliciting sex from a minor if they witness the  
          solicitation.  If police come upon a situation where there is  
          probable cause to believe an adult has solicited a minor for  
          sex, an officer can only issue a ticket, because this is a  
          misdemeanor crime."


          Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion  
          of this bill.


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             








                                                                    AB 2221


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                          David Billingsley / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744   
          FN: 0004873