Senator Kamlager’s Criminal Justice Legislation, AB 333 and AB 118, Advance to the Governor’s Desk

SACRAMENTO, CA — Senator Sydney K. Kamlager’s (D - Los Angeles) criminal justice bills, AB 333: The STEP Forward Act and AB 118: CRISES Act: Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems, passed off the Assembly Floor today. They both now head to the Governor’s desk for signature. 

Currently, gang enhancement statutes have vague definitions, weak standards of proof, and are perhaps the most racially discriminatory part of the criminal justice system: 92% of people with gang enhancements in California are people of color. AB 333 aims to reduce the list of crimes allowing gang enhancements to be charged, prohibiting the use of the current charge as proof of a “pattern” of criminal gang activity, and separating gang allegations from underlying charges at trial. 

“I’m thrilled to see AB 333 advance to Governor Newsom’s desk. The STEP Forward Act, is just that—a step forward in prioritizing due process within our criminal legal system. I’m hopeful AB 333 will be signed into law, so we can take the first step in addressing the pain unfairly and egregiously inflicted by gang enhancements upon California’s communities.”

AB 333 passed in a vote of 41-25. AB 333 co-sponsors include Anti-Recidivism Coalition, NextGen, The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, Silicon Valley DeBug, Pillars of the Community, and Young Women’s Freedom Center.

AB 118, which has already secured $10 million in funding in the state budget, would create a grant program to support community-based alternatives to police response during 911 calls. The bill is substantially similar to the legislation introduced by Senator Kamlager in the last legislative session, AB 2054, which was previously vetoed by the Governor. 

“It’s long been time to support alternatives to police involvement,” said Senator Kamlager. “We know law enforcement can no longer serve as the go-to during times of emergency. We can’t afford to wait any longer to re-engineer a system that’s continually failed Black and Brown folks.  “The CRISES Act puts forward community-centered solutions to local emergencies, and poses as a true opportunity to really advance racial equity in California. I hope our Governor takes it.”

The bill, co-sponsored by 14 organizations, has passed both houses with nearly unanimous and bipartisan support, with a final vote of 60-0. AB 118 co-sponsors include Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU of California, Anti Police-Terror Project, Berkeley Free Clinic, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, East Bay Community Law Center, Justice Teams Network, Oakland Power Projects, PolicyLink, Public Health Advocates, Silicon Valley De-Bug, Stop Terrorism Oppression by Police Coalition, and Youth Justice Coalition. 

See the full legislative package Senator Kamlager is authoring here

To set up an interview with the Senator, please contact Elizabeth Wells elizabeth.wells@sen.ca.gov

 

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Senate District 30 ranges from Century City to South Los Angeles and takes in Culver City, Cheviot Hills, Crenshaw District, USC, downtown L.A. and a portion of Inglewood.