Sac'to Bill That Could Prevent Courts Statewide From Applying Sentencing Enhancements Is One Vote Away From Heading To Governor's Desk
|(Sept. 9, 2021, 4:45 a.m.) -- A Sacramento bill -- SB 81 -- that could effectively require courts statewide to dismiss sentencing enhancements under various circumstances -- is one state Senate vote (agreeing to Assembly amendments) from heading to Governor Newsom's desk where he could sign it into law, let it become law without his signature, or veto it
SB 81 faces a deadline of Sept. 10 for final passage (in this case state Senate concurrence in Assembly amendments) or it dies.
An enhancement" is "an additional term of imprisonment added to the base term." (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.405(3).) The issue of not applying sentencing enhancements is prominent in efforts to recall L.A. County DA George Gascůn...but SB 81 (authored by state Senator Nancy Skinner (D, Berkeley) and joined by co-author Assemblyman Alex Lee (D, San Jose) -- would apply statewide.
SB 81 states in pertinent part:
...(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the court shall dismiss an enhancement if it is in the furtherance of justice to do so, except if dismissal of that enhancement is prohibited by any initiative statute.
SB 31 would apply prospectively, not retroactively.
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On Sept. 8, SB 81 passed the Assembly 46-24, with 10 members -- including Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D, LB-San Pedro) -- recorded as "no vote recorded." Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D, NLB-Paramount) and Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D, NLB-Carson) voted "yes" on final passage.
On May 26, SB 81 passed the state Senate 27-9, with 4 members -- including state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB-west OC) -- recorded as "no vote recorded." It now faces a final state Senate vote to concur in Assembly amendments by a Sept. 10 11:59 p.m. deadline.
An August Assembly floor analysis (the last policy analysis the bill received) listed the following supporters/opponents:
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