Just hours after California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation eliminating cash bail, the bail bond industry filed a referendum that will ask voters whether to overturn the law.
The measure Brown signed on Tuesday would make California the first state to eliminate cash bail, in favor of a series of assessments that judge the likelihood that someone who has been arrested will return to court.
It had been hailed by advocates of criminal justice reform, who say the bail system as it currently exists keeps too many lower income people in custody if they cannot afford to make bail.
But the measure generated a swift response from the bail bond industry. On Wednesday, a group calling itself Californians Against the Reckless Bail Scheme said it would file a referendum seeking to challenge the measure, known as Senate Bill 10.
“Senate Bill 10 has brought together scores of individuals and groups from across the political spectrum – conservative to progressive – to agree on one thing: they all hate it and think it’s a terrible law,” said Jeff Clayton, a spokesman for the coalition.
Supporters of the referendum to repeal the law now have 90 days to collect just over 366,000 valid signatures. If they do so, Senate Bill 10 will be put up for a vote on the November 2020 ballot.
Until then, the law – scheduled to go into effect in October 2019 – would be put on hold.
Beth Chapman, the head of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States and a co-star of the reality show Dog the Bounty Hunter, said the new law would put bail bondsmen in California out of business.
Via: The Hill