Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed into law four bills that were were created by students at University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. Developing the bills was part of a unique program, the school’s new Legislative and Public Policy Clinic, that looks at issues facing Californians.
The students’ contributions, Pacific stated:
“Getting “revenge porn” off the Internet without going public: AB 2643, developed by students Marisa Shea and Christopher Wu, gives victims of revenge porn the right to use a pseudonym when they file to have offensive material removed from the Internet. Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont sponsored it with support from domestic violence groups.
Ability to appeal a conviction based on “junk” science: SB 1058 will give prison inmates the ability to get a new hearing if the expert testimony used to convict them later becomes discredited. A divided California Supreme Court last year issued a ruling that prohibited this. Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco carried the bill with support from the California Innocence Project. Student Sosan Madanat lobbied the bill.
Police trained in recognizing signs of elder abuse: AB 2623 will train peace officers to spot signs of elder abuse. Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento introduced the measure. Smith and Wiraatmadja were the law student lobbyists.
Greater scrutiny of child care center job applicants: AB 2632 would prohibit the Department of Social Services from ignoring a job applicant’s arrest record in making hiring decisions for workers in state-licensed child care facilities. Assemblyman Brian Maienschein of San Diego carried it, with support from the Children’s Advocacy Institute. Lexi Howard, Kristina Brown and Aaron Briano lobbied the bill.”
A total of 12 students took part in the inaugural clinic and they created a total of five laws. Out of those five, four made it to the governor’s desk.
“It’s a better record than some lobbyists,” said Chris Micheli, a McGeorge alumnus and member of the board of the Institute of Governmental Advocates, an association that represents professional lobbyists and lobbying firms in California’s Capitol. “It’s fantastic.”
Students had to find legislators who were willing to introduce the measured; they had to draft backgrounders for legislative staff, as well as gather support for the measures.