California Assembly Republican Caucus
Rally attendees call on Assembly Appropriations Committee to advance human trafficking bill, block proposals to allow voting from prison, encourage shoplifting, and let violent criminals out of prison.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Republican lawmakers, business owners, crime victim advocates, law enforcement officials held a rally at the state Capitol demanding an end to the dangerous policies that have made communities around the state less safe. The rally took place one day ahead of the Appropriations Committee “suspense hearing” where a number of bills impacting public safety will advance to a floor vote or be held for the year.
“Enough is enough – the Legislature needs to stop excusing and enabling the crime wave that’s turning people around the state into victims,” said Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher. “Members of the Appropriations Committee have a choice: double down on the pro-criminal policies that got us into this mess or protect law-abiding Californians. I hope they make the right decision.”
Speakers, including trafficking survivor Dominique Brown, of Breaking the Chains, called on the committee to advance SB 14, which would make human trafficking of a minor a serious felony, without watering it down with unnecessary amendments.
“SB 14 is a critical step to protect children and young adults from the horrors of human trafficking,” said Brown. “I hope the passage of SB 14 will make a lasting statement that God’s children are not for sale.”
Attendees also rallied to stop SB 553, which puts business owners on the front lines of combatting crime and retail theft.
“Every business owner here has worked hard to pursue the American Dream. We create jobs, pay taxes and serve our communities,” said Jaskaran Sahota of JKSD Gas and Mini Marts. “But at every turn, California seems to make things harder. Our leaders should be supporting us, not the criminals who make it harder to stay in business.”
“California is becoming increasingly lawless as a result of poor public policy decisions that essentially decriminalized property crime and hard core drug use,” said El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson. “It’s time for Sacramento to start holding criminals accountable for the harm they inflict on innocent Californians.”
Finally, advocates and lawmakers spoke against SB 94, which would allow parole for people who were sentenced to life in prison, SB 81, which promotes early release policies and ACA 4, which would allow felons to vote from behind bars.
“Bills like ACA 4, SB 81 and SB 94 are dangerous and misguided attempts to give additional rights and privileges to some of the most heinous criminals imaginable,” said Nina Salarno Besselman, President of Crime Victims United. “If these bills pass, lawmakers will send a message that the interests of criminals matter more than the suffering of victims.”
“Californians are tired of politicians in Sacramento prioritizing felons over victims,” said Asm. Josh Hoover (R-Folsom). “I want California to be a place where people move to raise a family, not a place where people flee to find a better life. To make this future a reality, the legislature must reject these bills that make our communities less safe.“
“A father shouldn’t have to keep fighting to see their children protected from violence,” said Ryan Strange, whose daughter Ryla was murdered. “Our laws should work to keep innocent Californians safe, not do the complete opposite. Lawmakers need to make it a priority to keep children safe.”
Also attending the event were hundreds of business owners from throughout the state, including Paramjit Khaira of Sac Valley Truck Stop, Wheatland, CA Police Chief Brian Wittmer, Valorie Ingebretsen, the mother of a murder victim, Sutter County Supervisor Karm Bains, Yuba County District Attorney Clint Curry and Republican lawmakers, including: Asm. Juan Alanis (Modesto), Asm. Megan Dahle (Bieber), Sen. Brian Dahle (Bieber), Laurie Davies (Laguna Niguel), Asm. Diane Dixon (Newport Beach), Asm. Heath Flora (Lodi), Asm. Tom Lackey (Palmdale), Asm. Jim Patterson (Fresno), Asm. Joe Patterson (Rocklin), Asm. Tri Ta (Westminster), and Asm. Greg Wallis (Bermuda Dunes).
Video from the event’s livestream is available HERE.