Despite Majority of Voters Rejecting Previous Attempts, California Lawmakers Move Forward With Another Bill
Proposition 25, which would have ended California’s bail system, was defeated in November when a majority of voters decided that SB10 would not make good law. SB10 was initially passed but met with immediate opposition after numerous organizations questioned the neutrality of the risk-assessment system that would replace bail. Enough signatures were gathered for a referendum taking the bill to the voters. California voters spoke, rejecting the bill.
Now, lawmakers have put forth a new bail reform law. Senators Hertzberg and Skinner introduced SB 262 in the Senate and Assembly Member Bonta introduced joint legislation AB 329.
The legislation would require that “bail be set at $0 for all offenses except, among others, serious or violent felonies, violations of specified protective orders, battery against a spouse, sex offenses, and driving under the influence.”
Countywide bail schedules would be replaced with a uniform statewide schedule of bail for offenses that are not subject to the zero-bail requirement. Some of the serious felonies as defined by Penal Code section 1192.7 include:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Sodomy or oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person
- Lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age
- Attempted murder
- Assault with intent to commit rape or robbery
The legislation will require a majority vote in the legislature. It is currently pending a referral to committees to be discussed. It is eligible to be heard in committee on or after February 27, 2021. We will keep you apprised of any updates on this or other bail-related matters.