Press Release

Senate Supermajority Approves the Safe and Resilient Communities Act of 2021

Legislation from Senate Leaders Hertzberg and Skinner strengthens commitment to bail reform, and works to eliminate economic discrimination in the justice system.

May 26, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate Majority Leader Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) took one step further to reform the predatory money bail system. SB 262, approved with a supermajority vote of the California State Senate, ensures no person is kept behind bars before trial simply because they cannot afford to post bail.

“The current system of money bail is obsolete, it’s unconstitutional and fundamentally broken. It has cost us millions of dollars without keeping us any safer,” says Majority Leader Hertzberg. “SB 262 is fair, it is just, and we must act now to put the blueprint together to eliminate this form of economic discrimination, and stop the predatory practice that the bail industry has used for far too long. I applaud the overwhelming support from the Senate, and look forward to seeing this bill progress in the Assembly.”

“Today our state Senate sent a clear message: It’s time to restore the fundamental right that people are innocent until proven guilty. No one should be held in jail simply because they can’t afford bail,” says Senator Skinner. “SB 262 will restore this basic right for millions of low-income Californians accused of misdemeanor and nonviolent felony crimes.”

SB 262 sets bail at $0 for misdemeanors and low-level felonies in California. It also requires money paid for bail or bond be refunded when the charges are dropped, if a case has been dismissed, or if the person has not missed any required court appearances.

SB 262 was approved by the Senate with an official vote of 30-9. It will now move to the Assembly for further consideration.

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CONTACT
Cindy.Baker@sen.ca.gov (Sen. Hertzberg)
Robert.Gammon@sen.ca.gov (Sen. Skinner)