SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly today passed with unanimous support a bill by Assemblymembers Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) and Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego) to protect children who participate in youth sports programs from sexually abusive and violent individuals. The bill now proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.
“Over the years, my four daughters were involved in many youth sports, and last Saturday, I had the privilege of hosting my annual soccer clinic for close to 200 young girls who play in local soccer leagues across the East Bay” said Bonilla. “I am proud that AB 465 is a bipartisan initiative to improve the safety for these children pursuing the benefits of community sports programs.”
Currently, there is great inconsistency across the state on background checks for volunteer coaches. Some youth sports leagues conduct background checks on all candidates while others do not perform any review of their criminal backgrounds.
AB 465 clarifies that all community youth sports programs in California are authorized to administer criminal background checks on volunteer coaches and also authorizes these programs to request subsequent arrest notification from the Department of Justice. This ensures that the most appropriate individuals work with our children and any new criminal offenses that may influence hiring decisions are communicated to sports program administrators.
“As a father, I know our children are the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Maienschein. “AB 465 creates a consistent background check policy that will go a long way towards assuring parents that extensive steps are being taken to protect their children.”
AB 465 is supported by several law enforcement agencies including the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the California State Sheriffs’ Association, and the California Police Chiefs Association.
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla was first elected to the Assembly in November 2010, and represents California's 14th Assembly District, which is comprised of the north and central portions of Contra Costa County and southern portion of Solano County.
NOTE: Please read Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla’s August edition of Bonilla’s Capitol Connection newsletter that features photos and articles from her third annual soccer clinic: