The State Senate did pass a group of bills aimed at easing overcrowding – but the Assembly didn’t take them up before session ended. A spokesman for the Assembly G-O-P caucus says Republicans considered it a watered down version of what Governor Schwarzenegger had proposed – and had major concerns.
The Governor supported six billion dollars for new construction….including 2 new prisons, but the Senate bills included just under one billion dollars to add beds at existing facilities. Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez says his members were concerned, too:
“some of my members really wanted to talk about sentencing reform and it was a conversation the Governor just wasn’t willing to have.”
Governor Schwarzenegger released a statement expressing disappointment, and pledged to take executive action wherever possible.