Lawmakers OK bill setting standards for campus sexual assault policies

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), left, thanks Gov. Jerry Brown during a ceremony honoring Steinberg, who is leaving the Senate due to term limits.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), left, thanks Gov. Jerry Brown during a ceremony honoring Steinberg, who is leaving the Senate due to term limits.

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To address the problem of rape on campuses, California colleges and universities would have to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity under a proposal passed by state lawmakers Thursday.

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, such policies would be required at all public colleges and other institutions that receive state funds for student aid. They would have to include a detailed protocol for assisting victims of sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and date violence.

“These are our daughters, they are our sisters, they are our nieces,’’ said Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “It is incumbent on men, in particular, to step up and to stand up and to do everything possible to change that culture — a culture that’s quite pervasive on our college campus. That is a rape culture.”


Along with a comprehensive prevention program, colleges would be required to help victims of sexual assault seek medical care, counseling, legal assistance and other services.

Students engaging in sexual activity would first need “affirmative consent” from both parties — a clear threshold that specifically could not include a person’s silence, a lack of resistance or consent given while intoxicated.

The bill, SB 967, was written by De León and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara).

“California continues to be the leader in the nation on these issues,’’ Jackson said Thursday.

In March, the UC system announced a revised policy that requires administrators to provide support and protection for victims of sexual assault and more detailed reporting of violence and harassment.

Nearly 50 colleges and universities nationwide, including UCLA, USC and Occidental College, are under federal investigation for their handling of sexual assault allegations.

Other proposals sent to Brown on Thursday would:

•Require public schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors so the medicine can be administered quickly if a student suffers a serious allergic reaction during school hours. Sen. Robert Huff (R-Diamond Bar) introduced SB 1266.


•Ban California agencies from helping the federal government collect residents’ phone and Internet data without warrants. The measure, SB 828 by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), was a response to revelations of mass data collections by the National Security Agency.

•Require a mandatory six-month driver’s license suspension for anyone convicted of a hit-and-run collision. The bill is AB 1532 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles).

Allow firefighters and police officers to administer naloxone, an antidote to the effects of prescription painkillers and heroin that can quickly stop an overdose. Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) is the author of SB 1438.

Prevent professional sports team owners from deducting league fines from their taxes, a measure introduced after then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was fined $2.5 million by the NBA for his recorded comments about African Americans. The bill, AB 877, is by Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) and Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles).

Require BB and pellet guns sold in California to be marked with fluorescent colors, in response to the 2013 fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by Sonoma County deputies who mistook his plastic gun for an actual AK-47. The bill, SB 199, is by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

Mandate that ride-sharing drivers and companies, such as Uber and Lyft, carry certain levels of commercial liability insurance. AB 2293 was sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord).


Require the California Department of Transportation to take public testimony in developing a new transportation plan for the state and to make public the spending on its highway program every quarter. Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) introduced SB 486 to make Caltrans more transparent after concerns about secrecy surrounding problems on the Oakland Bay Bridge project.

Bar lobbyists from hosting political fundraisers in their homes and offices. SB 1441 is by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).
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