Sen. Beall Introduces New Bills

December 01, 2014

SACRAMENTO – On the first day of the new legislative session, Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, introduced bills to increase funding for freeway maintenance and litter removal, and bolster police training to increase officer safety while dealing with people with mental health illnesses.

SB 11, a spot bill undergoing preparation for legislative language, focuses on adding more hours to the training of police recruits that will help them defuse potentially volatile encounters with people with mental health disorders.

“Day by day there is a growing recognition throughout law enforcement nationwide of the importance of mental-health training for officers,’’ Beall said.

“The existing California Peace Officer Standards and Training curriculum for prospective officers mandates 664 hours (16 weeks) of training.  This includes 72 hours on how to handle firearms and pepper spray; 40 hours for investigative report writing; 40 hours on fitness; and 40 hours on driving -- but just six hours of mental health training.

“Six hours of training is not enough. With better training, we can reduce injuries and save lives – both for people with mental health illnesses and officers’’

Other bills introduced by Beall include:

SB 9 – Allows multi-year funding for large, innovative mass transit projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill ensures funding certainty for projects, such as the BART extension to San Jose

SB 12 – Ensures foster care youth remanded to the juvenile justice system can retain their foster care status and medical and housing benefits after they are released from custody.

SB 16 –Identifies funding to maintain, repair, and clean-up freeways and state roads.

SB 29 – Extends the same right of three days paid sick leave annually guaranteed to all workers in California to In-Home Support Services workers who visit the homes of our elderly and disabled people and care for them, allowing them to avoid the high expense of living in nursing facilities and thereby saving state funds.