Sections 1, 3 and 4 of Stats.2007, c. 591 (A.B.220), provide:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Firefighters are often called upon to render aid in hostile emergency situations rife with conflict and confrontation.
(b) In providing lifesaving services to the public, firefighters are subject to numerous job safety procedures and protocols, which sometimes are compromised or altered, in a highly charged atmosphere of critical incident stressors.
(c) Firefighters who trust their instincts in these volatile emergency situations are deserving of due process rights and protections should those circumstances arise.
(d) Mutual aid and automatic aid agreements entered into between fire agencies throughout the state require firefighters to respond to emergencies across political boundaries, therefore, the rights and protections provided to firefighters under this act constitute a matter of statewide concern.
(e) The effective protection of property and the safety of the public depends upon the maintenance of reasonable and consistent procedural protections applicable to all employers with respect to the disciplinary process.
(f) It is necessary that this act be applicable to all firefighters, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 3251 of the Government Code, wherever situated within the State of California, in order to ensure that stable employment relations are continued throughout the state, and to further ensure that effective services are provided to all people of the state.”
Any subvention of funds to reimburse a local agency or a school district for the costs mandated by the state pursuant to Chapter 9.6 (commencing with Section 3250) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code shall be limited to the actual costs directly associated with the new program or higher level of service required by this chapter. A local agency or school district may not be reimbursed for the costs of existing, similar protections and procedures required for investigations and interrogations of firefighters pursuant to regulation, rule, or ordinance of the local agency or school district, or pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the local agency or school district and a recognized employee organization.
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
The Legislative Counsel’s Digest for Assembly Bill 220 (Bass) was filed with the Secretary of State on October 13, 2007, and reads as follows:
AN ACT to add Chapter 9.6 (commencing with Section 3250) to Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code, relating to firefighters.
The Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act prescribes various rights of public safety officers, as defined, with regard to representation, discrimination, discipline, and interrogation, as specified.
This bill would enact the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act to prescribe various rights of firefighters, defined as any firefighter employed by a public agency, including a firefighter who is a paramedic or emergency medical technician, with specified exceptions. The bill would prescribe rights related to, among others, political activity, interrogation, punitive action, and administrative appeals, with specified requirements imposed upon the employing agency and the imposition of a civil penalty for a violation thereof. The bill would also specify that reimbursement of funds by the state shall be limited to the actual costs associated with the act, as specified.
By adding to the duties of local agencies to comply with that act, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows: [The complete text of Government Code sections 3250 – 3262 follows here.]
Source: 2007 California Legislative Service, Chapter 591 (A.B. 220, Bass)