News Stories

February 9, 2018

By The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board

As Gov. Jerry Brown loves to point out, revenue in California goes up and down like a roller coaster because of the state’s over-reliance on volatile income and capital gains taxes. This whipsaws public schools and wreaks havoc with many agencies.

February 5, 2018

By Chris Nichols

Social media companies such as Twitter would be required to identify automated accounts, known as bots, under a new bill scheduled to be introduced in the California Legislature this week.

Democratic state Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Los Angeles said his bill would not ban bots. Instead, it would shed light on the fake accounts that simulate real people and spread waves of false information across their platforms, the lawmaker said.

January 29, 2018

By The Editorial Board

One month into California’s recreational marijuana experiment, state leaders must show much more of a sense of urgency about the need to give what’s expected to be a $7 billion annual industry access to banking services. Nearly all banks that are subject to federal regulation decline pot shops’ and pot growers’ business because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That’s led to the present spectacle of dispensary managers lugging tens of thousands of dollars in cash to state tax offices — an invitation to an epidemic of armed robberies.

November 15, 2017

By The Editorial Board

How much money someone has shouldn’t be the final determinant of whether or not he or she remains behind bars or gets released from jail after being arrested.

Yet that’s all too often how California’s pretrial justice system works, with potentially tens of thousands of people on any given day deemed eligible for release but stuck in jail simply because they haven’t posted monetary bail and might not be able to.

November 15, 2017

By The Times Editorial Board

The gunman who went on a deadly shooting rampage in Tehama County on Monday apparently had been out on bail after being charged with stabbing a neighbor — an aspect of the grisly crime that underscores a huge but little discussed problem with money bail systems like California’s.

Legislature should pass Sen. Hertzberg's SB 185

September 11, 2017

By EMMETT D. CARSON and KIMBERLY THOMAS RAPP

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a historic law this summer ending driver license suspensions for failure to pay traffic fines. Going forward, license suspensions are more likely to be about traffic safety than punishing people for not having money. Thousands of Californians will no longer risk losing their jobs for lack of a driver’s license.

August 28, 2017

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Few issues are more urgently in need of attention from California lawmakers than bail reform. Every day, tens of thousands of presumably innocent Californians are sitting behind bars for no other reason than that they can’t afford the payment to go free.

They haven’t been convicted of a crime, but many of those awaiting trial will languish in county jails for months and even years. Some will lose their jobs while they wait. Others will lose their families and apartments. For them, time is of the essence.

August 28, 2017

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Pretty much everyone who spends any time examining the American system of secured cash bail comes away with the same conclusion: It’s unjust, expensive and ineffective, even counterproductive. People charged with crimes — all of whom are presumed innocent — get locked up for days, weeks or months not because they pose a risk of fleeing or endangering the public but simply because they’re too poor to buy their freedom. 

READ MORE HERE

August 16, 2017

By The Times Editorial Board

Arguments were filed last week in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Maranda Lynn ODonnell, a young mother who was held in a Houston jail for three days last year because she couldn't pay $2,500 in bail. Her alleged crime? Driving with an invalid license.

August 10, 2017

By Katie Lannan 

Nationwide, 500 new state laws in the past five years have addressed the pretrial side of criminal justice, an area every state has tackled in one way or another, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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