In a unanimous vote today, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors moved to support three DA-sponsored bills that will strengthen state laws in support of sexual assault victims, senior citizens and consumers buying supplies during a state of emergency.
Each bill was drafted with input from experts in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and each piece of legislation closes loopholes that inadvertently keep victims vulnerable in certain situations. San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob brought the board item before Supervisors.
“Having the strong support of our County Board of Supervisors to strengthen these laws helps amplify our message to lawmakers in Sacramento as we work to give crime victims and consumers an added layer of protection during already difficult situations,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “These bills protect the public and hold bad actors accountable.”
Assembly Bill 1927 (Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas) would provide sexual assault victims and witnesses with amnesty to encourage participation in a sexual assault prosecution. Current law makes it a crime to possess or use a controlled substance and for a minor to purchase and consume alcohol, which can create situations where sexual assault victims and witnesses choose not to come forward out of fear of prosecution in a separate trial.
Assembly Bill 2471 (Brian Maienschein, D-San Diego) would extend the time for a seniors 65 or older, to cancel certain contracts from three business days to five. A longer timeframe allows elderly people more time to carefully review the contract and consult with others before moving forward with the financial commitment.
Senate Bill 1196 (Thomas Umberg, D-Santa Ana) strengthens current law by clarifying that price gouging penalties also apply during a pandemic or epidemic disease outbreak, that all sales — including online sales and new sellers — are covered by a price gouging prohibition. The bill also establishes a price measure of cost to determine price gouging and authorizes the Governor or the Legislature to extend the duration of price gouging prohibitions past 30 days.
AB 1927 and AB 2471 are awaiting final vote on the Assembly floor and SB 1196 is waiting to be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee.