Assembly Committee Approves Senator Patricia Bates’ Bill to Increase Punishment of Sex Offenders Who Remove GPS Devices

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly’s Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 722 by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) on a bipartisan vote. If enacted, the bill will crack down on sex offenders who intentionally remove or disable their GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices.

“I’m encouraged that a bipartisan majority on the Assembly Public Safety Committee recognized the need to better protect our state from sex offenders who intentionally tamper or remove their GPS devices,” said Bates. “Given what has happened in Orange County with the senseless murders of at least four women, we need to enact Senate Bill 722 to help deter a similar tragedy from happening again.”

SB 722 would address the increasing number of high-risk sex offender parolees who willfully remove or disable their GPS devices. According to the State Board of Parole Hearings, “the number of new GPS violation charges for sex offender parolees initiated prior to serving time in custody – in other words, new charges that occurred when they should have been serving time for an earlier violation – has increased after realignment from 99 cases in the 15 months prior to realignment to 495 cases in the 15 months following the start date of realignment.” Approved by Governor Brown in 2011, realignment provided for the shifting of thousands of inmates from state prison to already crowded county jails.

A killing spree in Orange County that left at least four women dead demonstrated the need for stronger penalties for removal of a GPS device. In 2012, Franc Cano and Steve Gordon, who were on release from state prison for prior convictions of child molestation, cut off their state-mandated GPS ankle bracelets and left California by bus. By the time police caught up to the pair, the penalties they received for removing the devices were minor. One was sentenced to ten months in prison and the other received just eight months. After their release, four women went missing and the two men were arrested for their murders.

SB 722 would apply to sex offenders convicted of the most egregious sex crimes, including rape, spousal rape, and continuous sexual abuse of a child. Had SB 722 been in effect, the Orange County suspects would have faced up to three years in state prison for cutting off their devices, possibly changing the course of subsequent events.

Act.  While no piece of legislation can make it rain, this bill aims to make water more readily available to communities in California and western states by expanding our water infrastructure, allowing for more water conveyance and storage.

“The bill also integrates updated science into the management of the smelt and salmon species in California water projects, which, for several years, has hindered the ability of water to flow to communities where it is desperately needed.”

Congressman Darrell Issa represents California's 49th Congressional District, which includes Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

Senator Patricia Bates Proposes Amendment to Allow Schools to Save for a Rainy Day

 SACRAMENTO – Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) has introduced an amendment to Assembly Bill 531 that, if approved, will repeal the cap on public school reserves. The Senate could debate AB 531 as early as this Thursday, at which time Bates will ask that her amendment be incorporated.

“Parents, local school officials and newspaper editorial boards from across the state have strongly urged the Legislature to ditch the unwise cap on school reserves, and it’s time we do so,” said Bates. “That’s why I’m introducing an amendment that will give my colleagues the opportunity to stand with the public on allowing schools to save for a rainy day. We need to go beyond passing band-aid fixes that will do little to help our schools survive the next economic downturn.”

The Legislature and Governor Brown implemented a cap on school reserves last year in a budget “trailer” bill despite strong opposition from local school officials. The cap will make it very difficult for schools to meet emergency needs such as repairing school buses and broken air conditioners. 

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office endorsed the repeal of the reserve cap in January stating, “Less stability in academic programs, increased fiscal distress, and higher borrowing costs all are notable risks associated with lower levels of reserves.” While the Assembly recently passed AB 531 by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) to clarify that the cap “does not apply to monies in a committed fund balance,” Bates and many others believe that only a full repeal will solve the problem at hand.

Earlier this year, Assembly Members Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) and David Hadley (R-Torrance) introduced AB 1048 that would allow schools to save for a rainy day. Unfortunately, the Assembly Education Committee blocked the bill on a party-line vote on May 13. Bates also co-authored Senator Jean Fuller’s (R-Bakersfield) SB 774 that would repeal the reserve cap, but it failed to advance in the Senate.

Bates’ amendment would give senators an opportunity to let the public know where they stand on repealing the cap.

Senator Patricia C. Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers Southern Orange County, including Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo, as well as Northern San Diego County and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

WASHINGTON, DC –  Following today’s announcement of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” nuclear deal with Iran, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49) released the following statement:

“No nation has ever abandoned its nuclear ambitions without first agreeing to actually abandon its nuclear ambitions. The President’s deal with Iran falls dramatically short of that standard, failing even to obtain the vital ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections the White House promised would be a part of any final deal.

“The crux of this deal rests on this President’s assumption that, despite decades of evidence tothe contrary, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism is simply misunderstood and secretly desires the diplomacy it has long opposed more than it desires the nuclear arsenal it has doggedly pursued.

“This is a ‘junior varsity’ foreign policy grounded in childlike optimism, rather than clear-eyed realism. This deal puts our people at risk, leaves our most important allies in the Middle East in jeopardy, and will be to President Obama what ‘A Peace for Our Time’ was to Neville Chamberlain.”

Congressman Darrell Issa represents California's 49th Congressional District, which includes Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

Rep. Darrell Issa Calls Iran Deal 'Junior Varsity,' Says Deal is 'Grounded in ChildLike Optimism, Rather Than Clear-Eyed Realism'

Issa Votes to Improve CA’s  Access to Water

WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49) today released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015:

“For four years, California has endured a devastating drought that has left communities in the most productive agriculture state in the nation high and dry and scrambling for water.  It is imperative that both federal and state lawmakers look at the infrastructures we have in place and do everything possible to mitigate the effects of these extraordinary conditions. 

“Today, the House of Representatives has taken a significant step in that direction by passing the Western Water and American Food Security