Impact: The fact that the bill is still taking amendments suggests it is very much alive despite never being heard in committee with less than two weeks left in the legislative session. It indicates that parties are negotiating a final product that could win necessary votes and secure Newsom’s signature.
“It does incorporate many of the conversations we’ve had and some of the feedback [the administration] has given us,” ACLU lobbyist Dennis Cuevas-Romero said.
Staff for Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), the bill’s author, confirmed that the amendments came after discussions with the Newsom administration. A Newsom spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Context: Lawmakers responded to George Floyd’s death and an ensuing wave of activism by introducing a multitude of police reform bills. Some of those measures have already died — notably a bill that would have required police officers to intervene when a colleague uses excessive force, which stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
But SB 731 represents one of the most consequential proposals still out there. The Assembly Rules Committee took the bill back ahead of a planned first vote by the Assembly Public Safety Committee, indicating that negotiations were continuing.
What’s next: Less than two weeks remain in the legislative session. Some procedural maneuvering could get SB 731 needed votes, but time is running out.