A bill to raise jury salaries by increasing reimbursement for driving and public transportation was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday.
The 1981 Congressional Bill, authored by Rep. Alex Lee (D-San Jose), changes the 34-cent-per-mile reimbursement for jurors who drive into court to both court appearances and court appearances that day. Those who use public transportation to get to court will also be reimbursed for their transportation costs. The Court will partner with public transit agencies to provide this free service or determine alternative reimbursement methods up to $12 per day, as long as the Court is within a reasonable distance of the nearest public transit station. increase.
In addition, AB 1981 directed the Judiciary Council to sponsor a pilot program for two fiscal years to investigate whether increasing juror compensation and mileage redemption rates would increase juror diversity and participation. request.
Rep. Lee wrote the bill because jurors’ salaries were as low as $15 a day from the second day onwards, and many low-income Californians declined jury duty because of it. Because it caused financial difficulties for many jury candidates.
“While the right to a trial by jury applies to both criminal and civil cases, jury trials cannot be held unless people are able to fulfill their civic duties,” Lee said in a statement. said. “By expanding transit reimbursement options and increasing juror salaries, we can ensure that jurors are more reflective of their communities, leading to better outcomes and better experiences for jurors.”
The bill quickly gained bipartisan support in both chambers, although several lawmakers abstained from early voting out of fear of high court costs for jurors. Congress passed the bill he passed 75-0 in May, and the Senate voted him 40-0 unanimously last month. Newsom didn’t make a statement Thursday signing the bill as the governor signed dozens of other laws, but his support for the bill was also noted.
“Many people have complained about this for quite some time,” Los Angeles attorney Oscar Carlisle told The Globe on Friday. They are allowed to be on the jury and hear from the jurors later, which is always the biggest complaint. Over $100 a day drops to $15 a day, and parking or subway rides reduce it.In LA County, pools can be limited by hardships, so It’s hard to get a diverse juror.”
“This bill fixes some of that. I mean, federal jurors get paid $50 a day. In California, after day one, it’s $15 a day. Wow. And it’s not just low income people. High earners are also unhappy about this, so no wonder this was signed into law.”
The new juror travel costs are expected to go into effect immediately after the bill is signed.