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ACSOLCalifornia

Assembly’s Public Safety Committee Passes AB 558

The Assembly’s Public Safety Committee today passed Assembly Bill (AB 558). If this bill becomes law, individuals convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses as well as those convicted of similar offenses would be added to the public Megan’s Law website.

The Committee vote was made after testimony in opposition to the bill from the ACLU, ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci and 17 ACSOL members.

The sole member of the Committee who voted against the bill was Bill Quirk who said that the registry is already too long to be useful. Before voting in favor the bill, several members of the Committee acknowledged those who spoke in opposition to the bill and apologized for their vote in favor.

“I am very proud of the 17 ACSOL members who spoke in opposition to AB 558,” stated Bellucci. “We lost a battle today in the State Capitol, but we did not lose the war because there will be several more opportunities in the future, both in the Assembly and in the Senate, to stop this terrible bill.”

AB 558 will next be considered by the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee on a date yet to be determined. A bill similar to AB 558, which was introduced in the prior legislative session, was stopped by the Appropriations Committee.

Join the discussion

  1. steve

    WHAT! Apologized for their vote? How about grow some nads and vote the way you know is right.

  2. ExpatRFSO

    “If this bill becomes law, individuals convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses as well as those convicted of similar offenses would be added to the public Megan’s Law website.”

    I thought it was only felony convictions will be put on the website. Has the language of the bill changed?

  3. Lake County

    Link to the audio of the hearing is here”
    http://apsf.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

  4. Mark Judkins

    This is just the first step for this bill. We still have opportunities in the Assembly Appropriations and in the Senate to stop this one. I have stood in front of these Committees and asked them to vote against other bills, and we prevailed. One loss does not mean the bill is law, it just means we have to fight harder on the next battle in this war. We have lost a few battles in the past, and ended up prevailing. Those who were there (I think there were 18 people) and stood up to the microphone in opposition deserve our thanks. And Janice deserves our thanks as well. The rest of us need to write our letters, make our calls, try to get to Sacramento for the next Committee meeting, and keep the battle going.

  5. Stacy

    Thank you Janice and our team today. Every time I go with our group I am encouraged and filled with hope. Today we didn’t get the votes we wanted but I learned so much about the process and your advocacy for registrants and their families. I get so much out of going and encourage others who have or are loosing hope to attend! April 25th is our next day to get together, to advocate for a bill that could change many lives! It is about the advocacy but for me it is also about meeting a community of registrants, fathers of registrants, sisters, wives, and those unrelated who stand together. Please come join us to become part of the movement because we truly are all in this together!

  6. Amol

    Thanks for all your work Janice and group! It was a great experience to learn and now I am even more prepared for the April 25th hearings!

  7. Mark

    Today I found my courage. My courage to face the risks and step out of my safe zone under a rock. I made it to the hearing today filled with apprehension and fear of the unknown knowing Janice and her team had my back. When the call was made for those in opposition of the bill to come forward, I was so frickin proud to be one of many rising up where once there were none. The numbers were not lost on the Committee whose eyes were confused as we filled the aisle. For the opportunity to be a part of the process was so rewarding and empowering. I thought of the 100,000 plus individuals I was speaking on behalf of and dedicated that one glorious moment to you. Please try and make it next week. It will change your life and how you see yourself. Thank you Janice and everyone for fighting for us and with us.

    • Nondescript

      Thank you to all of those who attended today’s hearing. To put a human face on this nonsense is one of the most effective things we can do. The damage and personal costs that these politicians cause is very real but they don’t seem to conceptualize it or care. Their expressions of remorse is truly pathetic. They are obviously beholden to someone or something.

      There is even language included in the tiered registry bill that clearly spells out internet exclusions for many 10 year offense- free registrants. If this bill passes ( especially along with the tiered one) – I hope an injunction is immediately sought if they try to make this retroactive.

    • David

      A sincere Thank You, Mark, for the courageous example you have provided! 👍

  8. HopeForBetterFuture

    Thank you Janice and team for a good fight. All is not lost. I’m curious especially ExpatRFSO’s comment. I asked the question before if registrants can apply for exclusions given they meet certain requirements. My conviction was 647.6 but did not specify if it was felony or misdeamenor. My conviction was a misdeamenor. Does that change anything or my exclusions will still be removed if the bill does pass through….

  9. Friend of ACSOL

    Yes, misdemeanor 647.6 convictions will be published. Janice and others noted the low-level nature of these offenses at the hearing.

    It was maddening to hear the author of this bill spin a yarn about how dangerous people are “using the loophole in the law” to “avoid detection” (!!) and how people “don’t realize” (they’re shocked – shocked!) that not every offender is listed on the website – as if nefarious forces are at work to keep this important information from the public.

    We must show up to educate people and counter this false narrative. Our presence absolutely makes a difference – every person/letter/phone call is important. It is truly empowering – not scary! – to simply go to the microphone and say that you oppose the bill. We are a big, friendly, and close-knit group, and you will know that you are doing something to stop the madness!

    Plus, you will be encouraged to hear the testimony of smart legislators like Bill Quirk, who rely on logic, not hysteria or politics, in their evaluation of bills like these. Rep. Quirk’s comments seemed to affect the other committee members, even if they did end up voting in favor of the bill.

  10. Ca

    This just came to mind to me earlier today, but of course the Public Safety committee would pass ab 588! There the public safety committee duh! Hopefully the next ones will see the reality of how unfair and problematic this bill would be if passed.

  11. KC

    A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who stood before the committee on behalf of hundreds who remain voiceless. Thank you Janice for representing those who are marginalized for the sake of political posturing by elected officials.

    I appreciate the posting of the video and the audio.

  12. JO

    Like Mark, from the shadows to the light, I am one I did what one can do; I was scared to stand up and speak up, but I had already showed up, I must complete the mission then I remembered something I’ve learned a while ago “courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but He who conquers that fear” Nelson Mandela. thank you Janice and Company for helping me in conquering my fear, and I invite anyone that have not experienced the empowerment that fills your veins from speaking in your own behalf before the very body of individuals that have denied me of my rights;
    I have a voice and they heard it most importantly I heard it. Thanks team.

  13. TG

    I’m not sure if it’s relevant, but I have noticed that the author is not yet boasting about AB 588 passing the Public Safety Committee on her website, her Facebook page or her Twitter account. Could that be because she is unsure of its chances?

    Just being hopeful…

  14. a mom

    I also showed up and spoke up! I was not sure if I could pull it off but as soon as I got up to the microphone I looked right at them. I felt I was speaking for the so many that weren’t there or couldn’t be there. They were looking at each and every one of us walking up and speaking up. I also felt that rush when they called people in opposition to the bill and the whole side of the room filled with a long line of registrants, family members, and even some from other organizations I didn’t know anything about. It truly is a powerful experience! I urge anyone who can make it to the 25th hearing to show up for themselves and see how it feels to cause change!
    Thanks so much for everyone who showed up. Thanks to Janice, assembly committee member Quirk, representative from ACLU.

  15. JCrsn

    I’m re-posting here for those who might miss it:

    Quirk-Silva is doing anything she can do try to get some kind of punishing legislation towards sex-offenders on her resume.
    She’s narrowing on 647.6(a) if a misdemeanor.
    Should this heinous bill go through to the Governor those affected should file for an injunction. I would absolutely join a group of plaintiffs to fight this.
    I’ve talked to Janice about it already, it’s something that can be done and it’s something we may have to seriously consider.

  16. JCrsn

    AB 558 is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations board this WEDNESDAY, May 10th!
    We can only hope the board sees that this bill will help no one, will only hurt the extended families of registrants, will make rehabilitation harder for registrants, and its only purpose is to pad Quirk-Silva’s political resume.
    Quirk-Silva has absolutely no real concern for the public good. It’s all about her career advancement through any means possible.

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