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California

Senate Committee Approves SB 26 With Amendments

The Senate Public Safety Committee today approved Senate Bill 26 with the promise that it would be further amended. The approval came despite the testimony of more than 40 people, including registrants and family members, who spoke in opposition to the bill.

As currently written, Senate Bill 26 would require all registrants who are parents to be supervised by a school official while visiting a school campus for any reason including parent-teacher night, athletic events and graduation. In addition, individuals convicted of 10 offenses, including some misdemeanors, would be permanently prohibited from school campuses. Further, registrants who are not parents would be limited to conducting business on school campuses to times when children are not present.

Committee chair Senator Nancy Skinner was 1 of 5 members who voted in support of the bill although she cautioned that the bill would not protect children from those most likely to harm them — family members, teachers, coaches and clergy. Committee member Senator Scott Wiener abstained from voting on the bill after he described the registry as “broken” and a system that “undermines public safety.”

“I am very proud of the 39 ACSOL members who spoke in opposition to the bill today,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “Although the bill was passed today, there will be many more opportunities to stop it from becoming law.”

In addition to the 39 ACSOL members who spoke in opposition to the bill, a representative from Root & Rebound as well as ACSOL spoke in opposition to the bill.

During her testimony, Bellucci stated that children of registrants would be harmed by the bill because they would not have parental support for their academic and athletic activities. She noted that the National Education Association has determined that children who lack parental support are less likely to graduate from high school, will have lower grades and won’t attend college.

Senate Bill 26 will next be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to happen in May. If the bill is approved by that committee, the bill would be voted upon on the Senate floor.

During her testimony, the bill’s author, Senator Leyva acknowledged that the “registry is absolutely broken” and stated that she supports the Tiered Registry Bill (SB 421). She also acknowledged that children are not often harmed by strangers while on school campuses. In closing, Senator Leyva said that SB 26 would prevent strangers from grooming future victims.

Join the discussion

  1. Curiouser

    By “strangers,” does Senator Leyva mean the Buena Park School District President who was recently arrested for possessing a massive cache of CP images? Thought not.

  2. Alex

    “In closing, Senator Leyva said that SB 26 would prevent strangers from grooming future victims.”

    How exactly is the bill supposed to do that? Grooming takes place between two people known to each other. Someone coming in to drop off their child for school, attend a parent teach event, or watch their child perform a school activity does not provide time nor the privacy for grooming. You know who does groom children? Abusive family members at home and school faculty.

    • BA

      So very right it is most apt to be someone constantly there, yet they lay this on us because it fuels more fire of fear, which is the whole game. So sorry to people with families who have to deal with such ignorance and prejudice. Why aren’t our freedoms protected ?

    • C

      According to the article above, she understands little harm comes to children from strangers on campus, but believes the law will prevent grooming of children….by strangers.

      BRILLLLLLLIANT!

  3. USA

    This is an absolute joke! We have gang members, drug dealers, prostitutes, wife beaters, murderers and drug addicts who can visit campuses, but those with expunged misdemeanors must have an assistant when visiting a campus. This will never pass and it’s time for Caiifirnia to wake up!

  4. Me

    If passed, this bill will harm our children more than it will help any children. Why are our children less valuable then others? Especially when there is no known case of any parent registrant doing harm when attending school for their child? My spouse, a registered SO, MUST take our grade school child to school while I am working. We will remove our child from school (& therefore do home school, but we are not trained teachers) rather than have them harassed and humiliated when everyone learns what the escort is for. Isnt it sad we will have to REMOVE OUR CHILD FROM SCHOOL FOR THEIR PROTECTION IF THIS BILL BECOMES LAW?

    • Concerned Mom

      I completely get it. These politicians forget or purposely overlook that registrants have families and children too. We are the collateral damage for doing absolutely nothing wrong. The registry IS s punishment not just for the offenders but also their loved ones. I can’t even plan a family trip to Mexico or Canada! I don’t have the heart to tell my kids that their Dad can’t go because he will be refused entry. And now, they want to mess with my children’s right to education?! How is that conducive to a positive learning environment? So much for our so-called freedom.

    • Brenda

      I totally agree with you

  5. David

    When are they going to run out of sh!t to throw at us? After we are banned from grocery stores, government buildings, public transportation?
    (Oh crap, I just gave them three new ideas, didn’t I?) Seriously, this endless stream of bans, restrictions, “administrative requirements”, etc. has been going on 20/25 years already. It’s unbelievable.

    • Karen

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Each year, with another batch of legislators posturing to move up the political ladder, comes more restriction of SO freedoms. Fear buys votes. Doesn’t matter if the legislation isn’t sound. This might “save one child” at the expense of HOW MANY whose lives will be deprived of the esteem that grows from having your parent in the audience for school performances, athletic events, and at school conferences? Ignorance. Pure and simple.

      • Paul

        If these legislators continue to create new laws based on the concept of earning votes by promoting fear, they only do so with the assumption that failure to pass the bill will bring no consequences. Perhaps the time has come to exploit those running for office whose SO bills have failed. Inform their communities LOUD and CLEAR that these people are not in touch with reality. Announce that they are preying upon the emotions of their constituents and wasting taxpayer dollars with bills that make no sense rather than truly try to serve their communities. If any of the candidates who fall into this category lose an election, promote this as the reason. If the press picks up on this, I wonder how many lawmakers would want to risk their careers on ridiculous SO legislation.

        • Me

          Paul,
          This is a SMART idea and I would certainly extend my support and time to this effort. Your plan speaks the legislatures language. If anyone has the abilities it takes and the time to head up such an effort, I would find the time to be a foot soldier. Brilliant on your part Paul.

  6. wonderin

    I noted Senator Leyva’s statement ” IF IT SAVES JUST ONE CHILD”. I guess it still works.

  7. USA

    This is about the most gross bill I’ve ever read! I’ve never heard of a parent going on campus and kidnapping or ? A child. I’ve read about shootings, hostage take overs and multiple teacher/students relationships that result in arrests! Very terrible idea. This bill will result in lawsuits and I thought current laws already existed?

  8. Harry

    Senator Leyva…”also acknowledged that children are NOT OFTEN harmed by strangers while on school campuses.” Can, I replace “not often” with a plan are NOT?

  9. Robert R.

    Today was a wonderful experience as always. I strongly urge registrants, friends and family to get in line at the microphone and be heard! It is simple and empowering.

    Janice, as always, laid out the facts from government sources and refuted the nonsensical reasoning behind this bill. I was filled with pride when Janice delivered her well researched legal argument.
    The bottom line is registrants entering schools and bothering kids is not an issue. And in the end, Senator Leyva was grasping at straws. This bill, as with so many of this type, is obviously politically driven.

  10. Eric

    I would really like the statistics of how many RSO’s who are parents that came to the school with their child have reoffended while on the school grounds. I would bet there isn’t a single case. I have never heard of one. But everyday I see in the news where a teacher or administrator does some inappropriate conduct with a student.

  11. Mark

    I would argue that all teachers and coaches should be forbidden from schools being that they are more likely to harm a child than a person on the registry.

  12. David

    I too am sick and tired of hearing “IF IT SAVES JUST ONE CHILD”. I never hear anyone enhance DUI Laws with that very same argument. Politically cynical and disingenuous. Which simply demonstrates that it’s a convenient trope waved like a banner for any new sex offender law.

    • Nondescript

      Yeah, the ” if it saves just one child” slogan is getting kind of archaic. Saving one child could mean endangering thousands of other children. They know they can’t use statistics anymore, because statistics simply won’t bolster their arguments against registrants. And they will never point to the real danger to children’s health and well being already lurking within the protective fences around schools- their very own staff, mind numbing indoctrination and cafeteria lunches.

  13. Nondescript

    I’m really proud of all the people who voiced their opposition at this hearing. Senator Leyva didn’t have the same sparkle in her eye or enthusiasm in her voice like at the last hearing. It’s almost as if the other Senators, while being very cordial and statesmanlike, were really saying to her ” hun, your bill kinda stinks”

    I think this bill ultimately will go nowhere.

  14. Roger

    To those who feel maybe it was a waste of time to show up and speak up against this bill, consider that those legislators who looked at us in surprise when we all stood up will REMEMBER the crowd of us that showed up, so when the NEXT bad bills are being written–instead of rubber-stamping these bills like they did a few years ago–now they publicly state in the hearings the problems they see with the bills. Behind the scenes, anti-registrant bills are greatly reduced in scope and even quietly disappear. Don’t forget that SB 26 can still be whittled down even more or even quietly be withdrawn or voted down.

    KEY THOUGHT: The constant light of truth we throw on bad bills and our sharing of the human impact of these bad bills has helped slow the momentum of their creation.

    Read about the great news about the tiered registry bill passing another hurdle the same day that SB 26 passed by the same committee. That is a HUGE change in momentum of the anti-registrant pendulum. Changing legislators’ anti-registrant attitude affects how many anti-registrant bills are created and what happens to them.

    Fellow registrants and supporters, come to our next live events! Together we are making fundamental change. When we make California progressive regarding registrants (over time), it will affect other states.

  15. Doug

    I got in line , but when I got to the mic. I remembered my name , but not where I was from !
    I’m not a public speaker.

  16. David

    To Janice:
    1. Is it too early for us to start mailing our letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee?
    2. Do you anticipate that the Bill will be further amended before reaching the Senate Appropriations Committee?
    Thanks in advance!

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