In the News

September 10, 2021

A California bill to create a set of guidelines for courts that would curb the use of sentence enhancements in nonviolent offenses unless a judge determines that they are necessary to protect public safety has passed both the Assembly and Senate.

Now, SB 81, authored by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk. 

September 10, 2021

“If sentence enhancements were applied fairly, this wouldn’t be an issue. However, data shows that in California, you are much more likely to receive a sentence enhancement if you are Black,” said Sen. Skinner, D-Berkeley.

September 4, 2021

California lawmakers have OK'd a bill that expands and strengthens access to police records in an effort to be more transparent and hold law enforcement accountable. 

Senate Bill 16, authored by state Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), passed 29-9 on Thursday. 

The bill now awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom's approval in the next 30 days. 

The bill gives Californians access to records when officers make unlawful arrests or searches, when they discriminate against protected classes and use force that is unreasonable or excessive.  


September 3, 2021

Police transparency initiative SB 16 passed with little opposition in the state Assembly Wednesday, opening the door for more public visibility into cases of police misconduct across the state of California. 

The new bill, if signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in the coming weeks, will make “sustained” findings of police misconduct — such as use of unreasonable or excessive force, unlawful arrests or searches, and bias or discrimination — subject to the California Public Records Act. 

September 1, 2021

Newsom on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 26, which moved up the implementation date of California's athlete pay law from Jan. 1, 2023, to Sept. 1. State legislators wanted SB 26 to take effect immediately so the state's colleges and universities wouldn't be confused by the NCAA's interim suspension of its rules against name, image and likeness compensation.

Without California's law taking effect, universities in the state could develop their own rules, according to Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), one of the authors.

September 1, 2021

All college athletes in California can now earn money from their name, image and likeness thanks to a bill signed into law on Tuesday evening by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

It's a first-in-the-nation law called the Fair Pay to to Play Act and it inspired a wave of states across the country to take similar action to empower student athletes.

The law becomes effective Wednesday ahead of the original January 2023 implementation date, and includes community college athletes as well.