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Call To Action: Urge Governor Newsom to Veto SB 731

Published on 8/20/2022

August 20, 2022

CALI urges our members to contact Governor Newsom immediately and urge him to VETO SB 731 [Durazo] which would automatically seal conviction and arrest records in certain circumstances, restricting the ability of the public to learn of an individual’s criminal history from the current seven years to four years. After four years, all misdemeanors and some felonies such as financial crimes will be sealed forever.

Take action today – AND NO LATER THAN AUGUST 27.

  1. Go to www.gov.ca.gov
  2. Click on “Contact Governor”
  3. Complete the form and select: SB00731\Criminal Records: relief
  4. Click on “Continue”
  5. Select “con” and insert your veto request message [maximum 6,000 characters]
  6. Click on “send message”
  7. Let CALI know that you have sent your message by sending an email to: 
    FRANCIE KOEHLER at specialcircumstancespi@gmail.com
  8. Contact your clients and colleagues and have them do the same

SAMPLE TEXT

Governor Newsom, I urge you to veto SB 731 – 

This bill permanently and electronically seals access to criminal records in California to only the last four years and bans the public from checking the criminal histories of prospective employees, and candidates for either personal or business relationships including mergers and acquisitions, beyond a four-year timeframe.

SB 731 prohibits banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, broker-dealers, insurance companies, and app-based companies from meeting mandated background checks. In some cases, the look-back period must be at least ten years.

SB 731 is arbitrary and inconsistent. It provides several specific exemptions for: 

Education - teacher credentialing and employment.

Firearms – authorization to own, possess, or have a firearm.

Peace Officers - applications for employment as a peace officer.

Candidates – candidates for public office and state lottery contractors.

In-Home Supportive Services - direct care services in a community care facility, foster family home, certified family home or resource family of a licensed foster family agency, child care center and family childcare home, and a residential care facility.

Law Enforcement - law enforcement agencies and prosecutors continue to have access to those individuals’ criminal records.

SB 731 recognizes the importance of this information in each of the above situations, but it prohibits the use of this information in many others where it is of vital importance to the protection of other members of our society including domestic violence or theft.

An alternative to the broad closure of records in SB 731 would be to restructure its provisions to focus on the key objective of the measure: housing opportunities. This could be accomplished by applying the same 4 year-criteria and limitations applicable to employment on the use of criminal records to include housing applications without sealing records and totally restricting access. 

Please veto SB 731 so that the Legislature can revisit this important issue and strike an appropriate balance between the ability of convicted individuals to build a new life and the protection of the public.

Francie Koehler
CALI Government Affairs Chair:  CALI since 2001