Legislative Democrats have breathed life anew into Senate Bill 262, a controversial and dangerous policy proposal that would create a “Zero Bail” system in California. This comes on the heels of Senate Republicans securing a veto of legislation that would have legalized drug dens.
“Between 2020 and 2021, the Yolo County DA reported 420 of the 595 individuals released without bail in Yolo County were rearrested. Coddling criminals only creates more victims,” said Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “The numbers don’t lie, and it is obvious zero bail is a fail for the public’s safety.”
“As we did recently with the bill that would have legalized drug dens, Senate Republicans will fight hard to see that this bill doesn’t become law. We hope the governor will join us again and choose to protect the public rather than the criminal.”
In light of spiking crime in California and fears that this policy would further endanger Californians, SB 262 was held in committee at the author’s request in 2021. This week Democrats moved it back onto the “active file” for consideration.
This week the Sacramento Bee published a story on the failure of zero bail in Yolo County, noting that 70% of arrestees released on zero bail were rearrested. According to the Sacramento Bee story, of the 595 people released on zero bail, 420 were rearrested. Of those 420 arrests, 123 of them were for violent crimes such as murder, attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking and domestic violence.
SB 262 is now being considered by the full Assembly. If it passes, it will return to the Senate for one final vote before the governor must decide to sign or veto the legislation.