California Assembly Set To Vote On Prison Bills


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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The State Assembly is expected to vote on a controversial plan tomorrow/today (Thursday) aimed at reducing California’s prison population by tens of thousands of inmates. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
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The prison bills have already been approved in the Senate, but Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has made some changes in hopes of getting the measures passed in her chamber. 

She’s removed a bill that creates a commission that could change mandatory sentencing guidelines to keep more non-violent offenders out of prison. 

Democrat Tom Ammiano of San Francisco is chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee. He hopes the sentencing commission will come up again later...
 
Ammiano “I’m looking forward to working on that and coming up with something that would be successful and would re-evaluate how we sentence people and for what crimes...”
 
Republican Assemblymember Dan Logue of Marysville says he won’t support the prison changes because thousands of state inmates will end up in county jails...
 
Logue “You know what we’re going in the wrong direction. We’re going to shift a great number of the criminal element back to local government and they don’t have the resources to mitigate these issues...”
 
If the assembly approves the new changes the bills would have to go back to the senate for approval. 

The assembly version also would mean less savings for the state...so lawmakers might have more work to do on prisons later.