July 2017 Newsletter

July 26, 2017

MEET ME

I am holding a community coffee on Friday, July 28, at the Pink Elephant Café, 475 King Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.. For more details, click here. If you are unable to attend, you can reach me by email. To learn more about my work please follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

LOS GATOS CREEK CLEAN-UP

Join me and your neighbors for my 15th annual Los Gatos Creek Clean-Up on Saturday, Aug. 19, 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Campbell Park, located at East Campbell and Gilman avenues.  To RSVP click here or call (408) 558-1295.

SENATE BILL 755 BECOMES LAW

On Monday, Gov. Brown signed Senate Bill 755, my legislation to limit the psychological testing of children to no more than three hours when there is credible evidence of sexual abuse.

This bill will stop the harmful manipulation of sexually abused children that is currently allowed under an “anything goes’’ process of civil litigation.

Lawsuits are often the only way that the child and his or her family can obtain justice for the harm caused by the abuser. The compensation can offset the costs of treatment. Attorneys who have represented victimized children report a disturbing practice by legal teams representing respondents: The use of unnecessarily long and abusive psychological exams of children conducted by mental health examiners who are hired by the respondent.

All too often, these exams are conducted with the child alone while the parents and their attorney are kept away. Many times, children have been denied bathroom breaks and there are no qualifications for the examiners under the law.

Children are frequently subjected to marathon examinations even when their abusers were convicted in criminal trials that had already established the facts for the civil case.

The Children’s Legal Rights Journal found that fewer interviews and exams are actually better for both the child and the integrity of the interview. Recalling the events over and over can remind children to this victimization and heighten feelings of guilt and self-blame, fueling even more trauma.

Senate Bill 755 limits exams to three hours but permits a court to grant more time for good cause. And it sets the qualifications for those performing the exams.

By setting a time limit for children under 15, this bill will prevent the trauma that can be inflicted on very young children who are already suffering because of sexual abuse. The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

SENATE BILL 1  ROAD REPAIRS BEGIN

The passage of Senate Bill 1 is enabling Caltrans to jump start $285 million in repaving and repair projects before new revenue from SB 1 begins to accrue this fall. Included on the list of expedited projects is the resurfacing more than five miles of State Route 85 in San Jose from State Route 87 to U.S. 101, a $5.7 million investment. The project will make the road smoother, safer, and create jobs.

In April, Senate Bill 1 was approved by a two-thirds majority of the Legislature. The action allows the state to invest $5.2 billion more in new annual revenue to catch up on a long list of deferred road repairs. This summer, drivers will start seeing the benefits of that investment.

To learn how SB 1 is reviving our transportation infrastructure click here.