Question Mark

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
September 21, 2016 – 10:31 AM

With more than 600 bills to sign or veto before a Sept. 30 deadline, Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to weigh in on significant public safety legislation, including bills affecting prostitution, rape and the ability of felons to vote.

Here are five bills worth watching:

Senate Bill 443 (Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles): Requires law enforcement agencies to obtain convictions before keeping property taken during criminal investigations under a process known as civil asset forfeiture.

Analysis: The bill is a product of a deal struck by lawmakers and law enforcement after law enforcement groups lobbied against such a measure last year. The bill Brown will consider is a scaled-back version, removing most opposition. It includes an exception for cash seizures in excess of $40,000.

Senate Bill 1322 (Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles): Prohibits arresting or charging people under the age of 18 for prostitution or loitering with the intent to commit prostitution.

Analysis: The legislation is part of a shift in how lawmakers view commercial sex, seeing minors as victims who should be offered services, not arrested. Law enforcement groups opposed the bill, and it narrowly passed in the Legislature.

Senate bill 1129 (Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel): Removes mandatory minimum jail sentences for repeat prostitution offenses.

Analysis: Monning argued a “tough-on-crime” approach to prostitution does not deter prostitution and discourages victims of human trafficking from participating in diversion and drug treatment programs that might reduce their jail time. Brown, the proponent of a ballot measure to make certain nonviolent felons eligible for early parole, has made a major push for rehabilitation.

Assembly Bill 2466 (Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego): Allows convicted felons who are not in prison or on parole to vote.

To read expanded article, click here.