News Stories

February 7, 2017

By LISA W. FODERARO

PATERSON, N.J. — Jamie Contrano squirmed at the defendant’s table inside the Passaic County Court House here. She had been charged with possessing four envelopes of heroin, and, having failed to show up for more than a dozen court appearances over the years, she was a perfect candidate for a high bail — and a lengthy jail stay.

It's time for the government to do something about it

January 16, 2017

CAPITOL JOURNAL

By George Skelton

It’s a recurring nightmare: You get busted, perhaps for drunk driving and causing an injury accident, or maybe on a bum rap. You’re jailed and can’t make bail.

You’re shoved behind bars with a scummy cellmate. You can’t go to work. Bills go unpaid. And you don’t have any mobility to plan your defense.

You’re locked up solely because you don’t have enough money to arrange bail.

January 10, 2017

By Paul Rogers

The powerful storms that soaked Northern California over the past week did more than trigger power outages, mudslides and flash floods.

They sent roughly 350 billion gallons of water pouring into California’s biggest reservoirs — boosting their storage to levels not seen in years, forcing dam operators to release water to reduce flood risks and all but ending the five-year drought across much of Northern California, even though it remains in the south, experts said Monday.

January 5, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13) – California lawmakers are taking a closer look at the state’s bail system. New legislation aims to change the entire pre-trial process.

“It’s a way to basically punish people and keep people in jail who are poor,” said Senator Bob Hertzberg, District 18.

Right now, bail is set after a person is arrested. The amount depends on a fee schedule that’s different in each county. Then, the accused person either pays upfront or pays 10% of the money to a bond company. State lawmakers believe that chunk of change could be too big for some Californians.

December 5, 2016

By Jazmine Ulloa

California lawmakers next year will make it a top priority to reform the system through which judges award criminal offenders bail, saying courts across the state are punishing “the poor for being poor.”

Click Here to learn more about Sen. Hertzberg's new law decriminalizing fare evasion for youths

November 30, 2016

As the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority considers switching its transit policing contract Thursday, the board of directors will also vote on a plan that would decriminalize fare evasion by riders younger than 18.

November 30, 2016

For all Muni Metro passengers knew, the free rides they were getting Friday night and Saturday were a holiday gift from the transit system. Little did they know Muni was under attack from a hacker trying to squeeze $73,000 in ransom to unlock the agency’s computer systems.

Muni refused to pay up. Instead, officials shut down the system’s ticket machines, threw open the fare gates as a precautionary move, and contacted the Department of Homeland Security and their own technology division to contain the attack, they said.

September 8, 2016

By 
 

A bill that would have allowed potentially millions of low-income Californians with traffic debt to regain or keep a valid driver’s license has been scaled back significantly to focus instead on expediting the state’s temporary traffic amnesty program.

September 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES — Pity the California voter.

Seventeen voter initiatives are on the state ballot in November, a glut of citizen-lawmaking that could, among other things, end the death penalty, legalize recreational marijuana, impose a tax surcharge on the wealthy and place limits on prescription drug costs.

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