Home>Articles>Rejected by Voters, $0 Bail Bill Passes California State Senate

Senator Robert Hertzberg. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Rejected by Voters, $0 Bail Bill Passes California State Senate

It was tested in 2020 during the pandemic but law enforcement and crime victims made clear these policies failed

By Evan Symon, May 27, 2021 2:27 am

A bill that would reduce bail statewide to $0 for all but the most serious crimes was passed in the Senate on Wednesday by a 30-9 vote.

Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

Senate Bill 262, authored by Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) would set bail at $0 for all offenses except serious or violent felonies, violations of specified protective orders, battery against a spouse, sex offenses, and driving under the influence. A statewide bail schedule would also be put into place under SB 262, requiring bail to be set for any defendant who commits another offense while out on $0 bail. If bail is et, the court would take into consideration the arrestee’s ability to pay bail.

In addition, SB 262 would require the court to order a return of money or property paid to a bail bond licensee by or on behalf of the arrestee to obtain bail if the action or proceeding against the arrestee who has been admitted to bail is dismissed, no charges are filed against the arrestee within 60 days of arrest, or the arrestee has made all court appearances during the pendency of the action or proceeding against the arrestee.

Senator Hertzberg and other supporters such as Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) are in favor of the bill due to the current cash bail system costing the state millions each year to keep arrestee’s who cannot afford bail in jails and prisons while they wait to see a judge. Some estimates put the figure nationwide at costing taxpayers $38 million a day, not counting lost economic production from arrestee’s missing work and other factors. Supporters say that the process is also obsolete, punishes poorer arrestee’s with jail for not being able to pay, and taints the legal principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

Senator Nancy Skinner. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“The current system of money bail is obsolete, it’s unconstitutional and fundamentally broken. It has cost us millions of dollars without keeping us any safer,” said Senator Hertzberg in a statement on Wednesday. “SB 262 is fair, it is just, and we must act now to put the blueprint together to eliminate this form of economic discrimination, and stop the predatory practice that the bail industry has used for far too long. I applaud the overwhelming support from the Senate, and look forward to seeing this bill progress in the Assembly.”

Senator Skinner agreed, noting that the Senate sent a clear message on where they stood on the issue.

“Today our state Senate sent a clear message: It’s time to restore the fundamental right that people are innocent until proven guilty. No one should be held in jail simply because they can’t afford bail,” explained Senator Skinner. “SB 262 will restore this basic right for millions of low-income Californians accused of misdemeanor and nonviolent felony crimes.”

Strong opposition to SB 262, another probably cash bail proposition

However, despite 30 votes in favor of passage, a strong opposition movement mounted by Republicans kept bill supporters on their toes. Those against SB 262 have argued that safety risks of having arrestee’s out with out bail could lead to higher crimes and less people having incentive to show up to their respective hearings. Many also noted that California voters had recently voted for keeping the cash bail system in November. Many allege that the bill will go against the majority of Californians wishes, as Proposition 25 had passed with over 56% of the vote.

Senator Scott Wilk. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“Zero bail is a FAIL. It was tested in 2020 during the pandemic and a similar policy was rejected by voters in November 2020,” said Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) shortly after the vote on Wednesday. “Today Democrats doubled down on an idea rejected by voters and already proven to be dangerous to our communities. Social experiments are one thing on paper, but by listening to law enforcement and crime victims, it was pretty clear these policies failed in real life.”

Many experts also noted that quickly reversing something that voters approved of less than a year ago may cause another proposition to be started to halt SB 262 should it be passed.

“As soon as it passes, petitions are going to be sent out by bail bond companies. Many are probably being waited on right now,” explained former bail bond investigator Les Thompson to the Globe. “Really, it’s just going to go back to the voters at some point. They know they have the votes still, so why wouldn’t they protect their business?”

SB 262 is expected to be heard in the Assembly soon.

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24 thoughts on “Rejected by Voters, $0 Bail Bill Passes California State Senate

  1. Apparently Sen Bob “Huggy” Hertzberg does not care that not only did Californians just vote to REJECT a no-bail system, but he never had a leg to stand on in the first place with the first no-bail bill, SB 10.
    Why the heck are Newsom and legislators like Bob Hertzberg SO DETERMINED to subject us to criminal chaos from every possible direction when their first job is supposed to be to PROTECT us from it?
    Listen to the foolish Sen Bob Hertzberg from August, 2018:
    “Sen Bob “Huggy” Hertzberg and his no-bail bill SB 10 challenged by John and Ken, KFI-AM”

    1. “Why?” you ask…

      Because the idea is to ruin local law enforcement to the point where Soros/Oblahblah’s idea of a ‘National Police FORCE’ can be implemented. Everything controlled from WASHINGTON, DC. And when I say controlled, I mean CONTROL:LED! The Democrat party literally needs to be destroyed and as many of the current membership as possible arrested, tried and convicted and interred in barbed wire enclosures in North Dakota for the rest of their natural lives…

  2. Looks like we need to start a recall petition for Hertzberg, down in SoCal, as he’s now thrown his lot in with George Gascon, and the “criminals count more than productive members of society” club….
    Why do these “caring, feeling” Democrats take complete leave of any logic whatsoever and create policies that contribute to the degradation of a polite and functioning society???

    1. CriticalDfence9, I would like to see how much “dark money” is supporting these politicians and where it’s coming from. Would not be surprised if these “social experiment” bills being passed are funded by George Soros NGOs or like-minded Silicon Valley oligarchs. Perhaps, someone can publish a list of current Assembly and Senate members along with those contributors. Let’s shine a little light on the roaches.

  3. And Skinner…. She’s from Berkeley… There’s just crazy in the WATER up there….

  4. In my uber-liberal coastal county, the Sheriff assigns “penny bail” for almost every arrestee. That’s right, you get out of jail for one penny. The arrest records for the past ten years show hundreds of criminals who have been arrested dozens of times, some of them twice in the same day. The usual crimes include drug possession in amounts to sell, felon in possession of firearm, burglary, probation violations, stolen merchandise, assault and battery, etc. Many disgusted residents believe the criminals are released because the county can’t extract any fines from the dirtbags. Welcome to California

    1. Instead of “penny bail” why can’t these arrestees serve time on work crews? At least they would have to pay some price for criminal activity and provide a benefit to society.

      1. Raymond, that would be great except some bleeding-heart organization would sue, claiming chain gang cruelty. The Feds could reinstate something like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established during the 1930’s, but that would not work for these people. They can’t/won’t work because they’re drug addicts and the only thing that matters to them is their next fix.

  5. EVERYTIME a ballot measure loses, democrats who desired it will just IGNORE VOTERS and do it anyway because they want it.

    These politicians are not representing the people just themselves and their interests only.

  6. VOTE THEM ALL OUT. We, the voters, are in charge. Californians need to stop repeating their mistakes over and over and over, and expecting the next leftist buffoon they elect into office to be different. They are NOT different. Leftists DESTROY EVERYTHING they touch. No exceptions.

  7. Voted on by a group of people who have the resources to afford private security and have police protection all day at work….

  8. These woke, virtue signaling legislators are clueless when it comes to criminal justice matters. When you open up the jail doors and let everyone out on ZERO bail you do not get utopia. You get homelessness, crime and general disorder. California seems to be on a mission to destroy an sense of the rule of law. Our communities are not longer safe. Businesses are no longer able to stop theft. And Crime victims no longer get their day in court. It is a complete and utter disgrace that these arrogant people are capable of disregarding the will of the very people they are supposed to represent so easily. WE JUST VOTED TO KEEP THE BAIL SYSTEM. And now, you don’t think we are smart enough to make a decision like that. It is completely insulting. I hope Californians of all political persuasion wake the hell up and wake up soon. We are losing our communities and losing our state.

  9. “You get homelessness, crime and general disorder.”

    Precisely! The end result is more people dependent on government, and not by accident.

  10. voted NO by the electorate in the 2020 election ( ballot measures & propositons ) . . . and yet this legislation ( which probably nobody read ) is being made law ???

  11. Vote in presidential election=alter the outcome with fraud by Dems. Vote on ballot measures=outcome ignored by Dems, do it anyway. Your vote does not count in this state=more people leaving communist CA.

  12. Peasants
    Death in the streets, flash mobs in the stores, extortion in small businesses on Main Street, drugs in your kid’s pockets…,seniors cower in fear of being drag from their cars or beaten and robbed in their homes.
    Why does no now mean yes? Does it come to ruthless private community security, irrationalism of vigilante justice, or immediate Somalia style street justice.
    Something is coming and it appears it will unleash hell on us.

  13. Voting means nothing in this state. I learned that a young age when the voters rejected paying for illegals and the state just overrode the people and continue to do so every time they reject a proposition that our masters want. There is no democracy in America, except when leftist mob rule comes into play, it is a corporate fascist one party rule. Do what you’re told plebs, you all vote wrong anyway, they know better.

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