The bill by Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Gloria Romero creates a 20 member commission—chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme court. It would have the power to develop and implement a new sentencing structure. Its supporters say the current system is inconsistent. Governor Schwarzenegger has said he supports such a commission but only in an advisory role.
Republican lawmakers have denounced Romero’s measure, saying it could mean shorter sentences for criminals—something Romero has denied.
Meanwhile, legislative leaders and the Governor are expected to start up prison reform discussions again. Federal judges have given legislators a spring deadline to come up with a plan for overcrowding —or face the expense of the court’s intervention.
The bill number is SB 110.