CalWatchdog Morning Read – November 15

  • CalWatchdogLogoBail-bond reform up next?
  • Trump U lawsuit continues
  • Sanctuary cities v. Trump
  • Twin tunnels move forward, facing resistance
  • CA agriculture industry optimistic about Trump

California has long been known as a law-and-order state, particularly following the crime spikes of the 1980s. But in recent years, a variety of criminal-justice reforms have been pushing the pendulum back in the other direction, albeit in a relatively quiet way. 

While much of this back and forth has played out in the ballot box, it isn’t the only place where reform is moving forward. When the Legislature reconvenes in December, some legislators will almost certainly introduce bills that would reform the state’s system of “money bail.” 

Many are unfamiliar with the system by which criminal defendants post a bond that allows them to avoid jail time as their case winds its way through the system. A judge will set a bail amount that reflects the severity of the alleged crime and the defendant’s perceived flight risk. The defendant can post the full amount, which would be forfeited if he or she doesn’t show up at the appointed court date.

Those who lack the resources also can go to a bail bonds company and pay a nonrefundable percentage (commonly 10 percent) of the bail. The bail bondsman posts the full amount and assumes liability to assure the defendant shows up for trial.

The bail bonds industry argues the system works well as it is designed. But critics of the system, including the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, have raised some concerns.

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news: 

  • “Will Donald Trump accept a high-profile legal setback so soon after his greatest triumph? That’s the question hanging over the class-action lawsuit against Trump University that’s now being heard in a San Diego federal court.” CalWatchdog has more. 

  • “Scores of communities across California and the nation over the last decade have declared themselves ‘sanctuary cities,’ a politically potent if largely symbolic designation aimed at expressing solidarity and granting protection for immigrants in this country illegally. … But with President-elect Donald Trump vowing to deport millions of immigrants, the role of sanctuary cities is likely to get more complicated and controversial.” The Los Angeles Times has more. 

  • “Gov. Jerry Brown’s massive Delta tunnels project is moving forward through a series of state and federal environmental reviews. But it still faces an array of major hurdles including public opposition, financing and approvals by state water contractors.” Capitol Weekly has more. 

  • California agriculture industry optimistic about Trump Ag policy,” writes Capital Public Radio

Legislature:

  • Gone till December. 

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced. 

Tips: [email protected]

Follow us: @calwatchdog @mflemingterp

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