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The list of excuses for not serving jury duty just got a bit shorter.
A bill to allow California jurors to be reimbursed for using public transportation was signed into law last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Assembly Bill 1981, authored by Assemblyman Alex Lee (D-San Jose), allows for reimbursement for up to $12 per day for those who take public transportation, according to a statement from Lee and the text of the new law.
“The right to a trial by jury applies to both criminal and civil cases, but jury trials can’t be held unless people are able to perform their civic duties,” Lee said in a statement. “By expanding reimbursement options for taking transit and increasing juror pay, we can have juries that are more reflective of our communities leading to better outcomes and better experiences for the jurors.”
Currently, only drivers are reimbursed for travel, at a rate of 34 cents per mile, one-way.
The law, also established a two-year pilot program to study if increasing juror compensation would increase the diversity of jurors who serve.
California pays jurors $15 per day to serve, starting on the second day, according to Lee. The study will help determine if raising the amount increases the likelihood of people serving. The daily compensation for serving on a federal jury is $50, and $60 after 10 days.