The Tiered Registry Bill (Senate Bill 421) was passed today by the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee. The final vote on the bill was 5 in favor (Chairman Jones Sawyer as well as committee members Rubio, Quirk, Santiago and Gonzalez-Fletcher), one opposed (Lackey) and one who did not vote (Flora).
During deliberations on the bill, the bill’s author (Senator Scott Wiener) stated the reform of the state’s sex offender registry “is long overdue”. He added that the registry was originally meant to be a tool of law enforcement. Law enforcement now believes that this tool is no longer effective because it includes too many people. Sen. Wiener also noted that there is a broad coalition of support, including law enforcement and district attorneys, for reformation of the registry. Further, Sen. Wiener stated that the registry has resulted in significant negative impacts upon both registrants and their families on issues such as housing and employment.
Two district attorneys testified in support of SB 421. Nancy O’Malley, the Alameda County DA, stated that SB 421 is a “very strong public safety bill” and urged members of the committee to vote in its favor. Jackie Lacey, the L.A. County DA, thanked Sen. Wiener for his leadership as author of the bill. She noted that the Tiered Registry Bill will help law enforcement keep better track of sexual predators.
Following the testimony of the two district attorneys, more than 75 people spoke in favor of the Tiered Registry Bill. Most of those individuals were registrants or family members of registrants.
“This is a significant victory for registrants and their loved ones,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “We are now very close to obtaining freedom from the registry for many people who do not pose a current danger.”
The Tiered Registry Bill will next be heard by the Appropriations Committee and if the bill is passed by that committee, it will be voted on by members of the Assembly between September 5 and September 15.