The Assembly passed a long-sought bill to end money bail on Monday, the same day that criminal justice reform groups that had been allies in pushing for the legislation pulled their support, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The bill, SB10, sponsored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, would overhaul a system in which defendants are released depending on whether they have the money to post bail, which supporters say too often leaves low-income people in jail awaiting trial. SB10 garnered bare minimum support to pass the Assembly in a 41-27 vote and now moves back to the state Senate, which has two weeks to decide whether to send it to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
The American Civil Liberties Union of California and other groups that were supporters of the bill changed positions on Monday, saying amendments last week give courts too much power in deciding who should be released and will further exacerbate "racial biases and disparities that permeate our justice system."
Lawmakers said Monday that the prospect of ending the cash bail system outweighed those concerns.
Revisions to SB10 that were made on Thursday would tell local courts to create their own evaluation system for deciding who can be safely released while awaiting trial or sentencing. While ankle monitors or other conditions could be required for a person's release, those conditions would have to be nonmonetary.