State Assembly Member Bigelow questions efficacy of bail reform Proposal

State Assembly Member Frank Bigelow believes that the proposed bail reform bail is dangerous and could put dangerous criminals back on the street. The California Money Bail Act failed to pass the house but passed the Senate. The bill lacks funding allocations according to Mr. Bigelow. The bail reform proposal would be costly to local governments and ultimately to taxpayers. The systems are already overburdened and without proper funding, adding to that strain could have devastating consequences. There is no argument that California’s criminal justice system needs reform but without a fully developed plan with appropriate funding, the results would mean more criminals on the street.

The California Money Bail Act provides a great unknown in the overall cost to taxpayers. The uncertainty over cost has caused concern across the board from law enforcement and lawmakers. It may take hundreds of millions of dollars from the state to reimburse counties that are required to establish pretrial services, a requirement of the proposal. The courts would also have additional staffing costs of court-appointed attorneys and oversight.  With all of the unknown, it is clear that lawmakers have their work cut out for them.  Reform is necessary but putting an unnecessary burden on taxpayers that could make our communities less safe is not the answer.

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