2018 U.S. Congressional Agenda Success!
H. CON. RES. 72 ~ Child Safety in Family Courts~ Passes The House!
After years of collaborative national work to bring this to fruition, and because of the dogged persistence of CJE and our close allies at the California Protective Parents Association and DV LEAP, our Child Safety Resolution in the United States Congress passed the U.S. House of Representatives by unaimous consent with 86 bipartisan co-sponsors. Check out the initial press release about H. Con. Res. 72, our Child Safety Resolution from Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). CJE’s child murder data was a huge driver in generating bipartisan support for this resolution.
Watch the video on CSPAN:
California Commission on Judicial Performance Audit FINALLY Proceeds!
In August 2016, the California Legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) ordered the first-ever audit of the California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP), the state’s only judicial oversight agency, due to a growing public outcry that the agency was not fulfilling its mission to protect the public from unethical judges. The CJP responded to the Legislature’s move two months later by suing the California State Auditor in an attempt to delay and thwart the first-ever audit of the agency in more than 56 years.
For two years, the CJP lawsuit effectively stopped the State Auditor in her tracks, keeping her from doing the critical oversight work that the Legislature asked her to do to determine whether the CJP is effectively safeguarding the public from unethical judges. The Center for Judicial Excellence led the successful statewide lobbying effort to convince the JLAC to audit the CJP in August 2016, and we also led the effort in the Spring of 2018 to get the State Senate and Assembly to pass a $500K budget cut for the CJP that – while it was omitted from the Governor’s final budget – sent an important message to the CJP that they best cooperate, or the Legislature might yank their pursestrings in the future.
2018 California Legislative Agenda- More Success!
CJE had a successful year in the California State Capitol on our child-safety legislation and our push for judicial accountability in the Budget Process. Here is the list of bills we supported that passed:
HR 113, or Piqui’s Resolution– Asm. Blanca Rubio states: 1) that all court-related professionals should be trauma-informed and trained in recognizing, evaluating, and understanding evidence and the impacts of domestic violence and child abuse; 2) that a court reporter should record all hearings in domestic violence and contested custody cases, and all litigants should have access to the court records; and 3) that when a child witnesses domestic violence or is injured or abused, family courts should ensure that the safety of the child has priority over all other considerations in any custody or visitation decision;
AB 2044– Asm. Mark Stone clarifies that child safety must remain a top priority in family law determinations of a child’s “best interest.”
AB 2354– Asm. Blanca Rubio mandates free court reporters in all family law and domestic violence cases, to ensure equal access to justice for all litigants, regardless of their income. This bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee and awaits action in the Appropriations Committee.